pain/cording after lumpectomy and SNB


I wondered if anyone has any advice for me. I am 6 weeks post op and in more pain now than at anytime in the first 3 weeks after surgery. The pain is cording and also a stabbing pain in my armpit. If I do my exercises gently or more perisatantly have tried both I am crawling up the walls two hours later. In fact if I don’t lay down with my arm resisting for about 20 out of 24 hours I can’t sleep at all at night. Have tried codiene and pharacetomol up to max dose but then If the pain is bad at night I resort to 1/3 bottle of Port! Which I don’t want to do (I don’t normally drink alcohol) but otherwise I cry all night which I found worse. I am allergic to Ibupfrofen. And if I sit around all day and barely move my arm I can sleep and feel happy. I have an appointment with physio but don’t hold out much hope. I am very muscular and was very fit before my op I am at a loss if I don’t move no pain - move and I am in agony. I can move and have no mobility issues just pain with it. Help please.

Hi Jaspurr

That the way of cording it really starts to kick in a few weeks after surgery as everything is healing. Unfortunately the less you move your arm or do your excersises the tighter it gets. Your physio should be able to massage the arm and help release the cording, i had physio at about 3 weeks after my surgery for about 6 sessions and again after i finished chemo because the cording came back. I was given Tramadol to help with pain and that did take the edge off. Before DX and surgery I was really into weights and fitness and really this should help as your muscles etc repair quicker.

If alchohol is taking the edge off it , you need to get stronger perscription painkillers.

not moving your arm won’t help the cording in the long run


Hi Jaspurr
I second what Rhian said - physio and exercise WILL help. It will probably hurt like hell at first, but it will be worth it.
Another suggestion for the pain is Amitriptyline. My GP prescribed 20mg per night and that helped a treat. It’s an old-fashioned anti-depressant but 20mg is a small fraction of the dose used for depression and I had no trouble stopping taking it when I wanted to.
Sarah x

I had some cording after my WLE and ANS, it was very painful. I found that gently massaging my arm with a moisteuriser helped, its painful at first but seems to soothe after.

Hi, I must up date you all, I have taken to water baths, swimming pools and jacuzzis. I get no pain when I exercise in the water before or after and come out feeling fab. Also off all pain killers now. Fingers crossed I never had lost my mobility but I don’t feel stiff anymore or sharp pain, amazing.