Limited Arm Movement

Hi all

Hoping that someone can advise on my issue with a very stiff arm following a WLE & SNB opp 3wks ago, although I’ve endeavored to do the exercise on a daily basis I’m struggling to straighten my arm or get it any higher than shoulder height, has anyone else struggled?

Also worried about the breast wound which has been grand until the last week but it’s started to look angry and have had a large lump appear above the scar which freaked me a little, I’m sure it’s fluid or something but still concerned.

Thanks Lucy

HI Lucy, sorry to hear about your arm movement. I had two ops in March/ April with limited arm movement starting from my first op -
WLE and lymph node clearance. I did the exercises pretty religiously but the arm movelment was very limited. I couldn’t work out if it was muscle or skin tightening. Anyway I asked to see the physion again and she said I had something called cording although it was very mild apparently. On her instructions I just kept moving the arm and doing exercises and you know what - its almost back to normal now 4 months later. It just gradually felt less and less tight. Also I was told its OK if its uncomfortable while doing the exercises, but don’t go as far as it hurting. That helped me too I think.
The best exercises I got were from a Pilates teacher and they were much better than the physio exercises - wish I could show them to you!
very best of luck. Nicola

Hi Lucy

Re the lump above the scar, you should get that checked. It could be a small haematoma (collection of blood) or small seroma (serous fluid). Both can get infected so I’d advise getting it seen quickly incase you need antibiotics.

I had an axillary clearance and mastectomy last year and it took me 6 weeks before I could properly raise my arm. I religiously did my exercises and all of sudden it improved. I had a seroma and I think that didn’t help with the movement.

take care
Elinda x

Hi Lucy
Yes it is normal. I am having the same problems, docs say its cording. If I massage in my arm pit then it helps me to straighten arm out. Been told it will just take time. Re the lump think you need to see the docs as it could be nothing or something and until you get it checked you wont rest.

i agree with the others. Get the lump near the scar checked out. I found that suddenly, about 5 weeks after the op, I had full movement without pain from the arm. Before that, I was considering contacting the physio as it really hurt doing the exercises, but in the end I didn’t need to contact them.

Wow, reading your advice has completely lifted my mood - was begining to get quite frustrated and down, it’s great to know I’m not abnormal!

Nicola, your pilates advice sounds perfect, going to find myself a willing teacher.

I’ve now contacted my BCN and arranged to in on Monday to check out my concerns regarding lump.

Thanks guys, can’t tell you how much this site helps

Lucy xx