Pain/soreness in upper arm!! Does it go??

Pain/soreness in upper arm!! Does it go??

Pain/soreness in upper arm!! Does it go?? Hi

I had a wide local excision + axillary nodes removed couple of weeks ago from my left breast. I am doing the exercises but can’t dress properly i.e. put t-shirts on as its “painful”. I can’t bend my arm fully as pre-breast cancer. Other than that fine. Anyone else got the same or has suffered the same or similar?

It will get better I had the same op as you. After 2 weeks it was still very painful, I felt like it would never be right. It really took about 4 weeks of doing exercises 3 times a day to get full movement back, 6 weeks to feel really comfy. Some nerve damage still continues (op 2/3/07) so I have couple of numb patches which occassionally twinge, but not really a problem apparently it takes about 3 months to settle.

It is essential you carry on with the exercises - I found taking some painkillers an hour before helped for the first couple of weeks. It is also worth experimenting with propping your shoulder up on a pillow at night to take the strain off. I found having a pillow longwise down the bad side supporting my shoulder and arm was best for me.

I hope this helps - it is a long haul. I felt desperate not being able to sleep curled on my left side, but I can now!

goodluck with your pathology results, they must be coming soon if not already
Take care - love Swanie

Hi Hi, I too have just had the same operation (18th May) and so far it has all been good after,just now getting pain and swelling in arm and top of breast. Think there is fluid building up,so may have to have it drained,hopefully Thursday. Am doing the excercises and awaiting reports back from pathology,(keeping everything crossed). Just read some of your posts and realised I am not alone in this,which is good to know. Del


I think I may have fluid built up too. Get my results tomorrow (thurs) - have to have radiotherapy for definite and almost certain chemo. I saw my breast care nurse last thurs just to trim stitches and check wound site and thats when she said about radio and chemo. I am glad I am not alone in this either. Good luck with your results. Bye for now, Tracey.

Hi ya
Thanks for the post. Makes me feel better. I can sleep on the non-surgery side ok and occasionally the surgery side is alright. More uncomfortable at night than pain. It just feels sore/tender - or more like a bad graze like if you fell over and grazed your knee and then your trousers stick and when you take them off it “stings/hurts”. I hope that makes sense.
I get my path results tomorrow morning (Thurs) - already know that I have to have radiotherapy and almost certainly chemo. I feel fine about it all - glad I caught it early and saw my GP day after I found the lump.

Glad your doing well.
Take care, Tracey x

Hi Willow

When you have lymph node surgery they cut through muscle which grows back tight as it rebuilds.That’s why you cannot straighten your arm as you used to. 2 weeks is still very early. If you keep up the exercises you should notice a steady improvement over the next few weeks.

Bear in mind that they have probably cut through nerves too so you are bound to be in pain for a while yet as everything starts knitting back together. Again your exercises will help by pumping blood to the damaged area which assists healing.

You will probably have some swelling, too, especially under the arm. If this becomes excessive (called a ‘seroma’) your breast care nurse can drain it. Swelling can also cause ‘cording’ which is a weird, stringy thing that runs from under the arm to the top of the arm and makes extending the arm difficult. Mine disappeared as the swelling went down, although I believe some people need physio.

Unfortunately, radiotherapy (which I assume you have yet to have) often brings back some of the pain, stiffness and numbness but, again, this is only temporary.

I had quite a time of it after lymph node surgery and was in a lot of pain but my surgeon says that’s probably because I had chemo first.

Hope that helps.

Good luck with the rest of your treatment.

Lola x

Hope those of you who have had their results are ok? I get mine this Monday coming (4th).Don’t mind admitting i am apprehensive about them,but will face whatever they are head on, with a smile on my face!! Can’t let this thing get me down!! I went to see my nurse on Thursday and had to have under my arm drained,which was sucha relief and instant! She got a load from the area,so called in the consultant to have a look too.He was really happy with everything and said see you Monday with a huge smile on his face,so am hoping it is an omen,LOL! Take care everyone and keep strong. Del x :slight_smile:

Me too! Dear Del and everyone

I had a left mastectomy and lymph nodes removed on 22 May. I have been doing all the exercises and it isn’t too bad at all really. It is a bit swollen under the armpit but I am hoping that will go away. Still daren’t sleep on that side though, which is a shame as it is my usual position!. Like Del I am due back on Monday 4th hopefully to get the results and see what happens next.

Good luck you all of you. Just cannot belive how many of us there are!

Much love and stay strong


Hi Dilys and all Hey Dilys, I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you and you for me on Monday hey?? LOL! I just want to ge them over and done with now and face whatever is coming my way. I too can’t wait till i can sleep on my right side again,as that is my usual sleeping place/way. I can sleep on my left side,but not for long as it is still uncomfy. Swelling not too bad today,but still got small dressing under arm,where the scar had split a bit due to swelling. Big hugs to all of you,together we can face it hey? Strength in numbers!! :):):slight_smile: Love n’ hugs to all Del xx

me again Guess what happened to me today??My arm decided to drain itself,in the middle of the supermarket!! I got my trolley,startd off shopping,felt something wet trickling down my arm,then “gush” all over my t.shirt,jeans and the floor!! I couldn’t get out of there fast enough,i felt so self concious,even thoughi don’t even think anyone saw!! Been to the hospital and they have fitted me with a bag for now,as it is still leaking,slowly,but continuously and I will get it sorted tomorrow!! The releif is fantastic,just wish it hadn’t happened like that!! Speak soon and love to all Del x

I had two wounds that both decided to drain on their own!! Thankfully not in an embarassing place like you. First one was whilst sitting at the kitchen table studying (two hours later and I would have been at college!) then the 2nd wound erupted at 4.15am, whilst sitting up in bed reading!

Instant relief of the pain… I hadn’t realised how sore and tight the area had felt until the fluid came out. I then had a small bag fitted to each of the wounds, for them to drain into. The amount of fluid gradually reduced day by day and the last bag was removed on Wednesday, which was exactly 3 weeks after surgery. So far, so good - no recurrence of fluid build-up!
Hope yours clear up soon…

Hi Del Dear Del

Goodness how embarrassing! Mine was drained at the hospital today. Uncomfy but private! I am now in for chemo. How about you? I really did not want it but there you are. Scared but head up still.

Take care my love! This is a very exclusive club!

Much love


Dear Dilys and Alis News not good for me today.They apparently discovered 2 more tumors in path lab,which had not showed up in any mamagram/ultrasound etc. After talking to my consultant we decided best option for me was mastectomy,get rid of it all(hopefully). This will take place in 2/3 weeks,as soon as the wound i have at the moment heals.they put a smaller bag in place for me today,just incase it decides to leak again,but so far so good.I go see dr again on thursday to check progress and maybe get this bag off?? Am still smiling,JUST!!Glad i am not the only person who self drained Ali !!LOL! The relief was fantastic though,just not really the place hey?? Ahh well,different,LOL! Well off to get some sleep,totally drained. Take care all and love and hugs to everyone. Loving this site,so glad i found it. Keep positive,we’ll stay strong for each other hey?? Love Delxx :slight_smile:

Pinging left armpit club Hi Fellow Pain in Arm/arm pit sufferers

I too have the same weird sensations going on in my left arm pit. I had lumpectomy on 24 May and carried round my bottle of home brew in a gift bag. I wasn’t allowed out of hospital until I drained less than 20mls in 24 hours so had to stay in for a week after my op! and I thought that was bad but for those of you with leakages that’s scary and hope you are all okay.

Despite doing the mexican wave and air hostess type exercises my left armpit feels kind of knotted. I can do them and I can put on a t-shirt but I agree it is a bit awkward. As for the physio telling me the next stage is to raise your arms above your head but with your elbows straight resting against my ears she is having a laugh! that’s just silly as it hurts.

I found wearing a support bra at night helpful for sleeping on left side but now trying without. Only problem is I’ve taken my dressings off as been told wound is healing well and it hurts more now as I can feel the raised scars chafing a bit against material.

I’m worried now because my armpit is kind of pinging and I have to have further surgery as the sentinal node test I had revealed first node was positive. Hope the pinging and discomfort doesn’t mean more nodes are affected? and as my second op isn’t for 4 weeks will the cancer starting having more of a party in there and spread?

Ginger Smurfette :slight_smile:

Dear Del and all Dear Del and everyone

At least I was drained again in private! It made the whole thing more sensitive and a bit of a bind when stripping off for various undignified procedures! It so helps that others are going through the sme thing. I was back today to be told that I am so young (well 55) and healthy that I get the very hardest chemo. Thanks a bunch! But something to be grateful for really.

Arm still stiff but the exercises do help… Exhausted now but looking forward toChristmas when the worst will be over I hope.

Much love to you all


Hi Dilys I am still doing my excercises too,but must sy my arm is feeling really good at the moment(perhaps i shouldn’t speak so soon hey,somethings bound to happen now)LOL! I have some discomfort uner my armpit,but some of that is coming from the drain i have in situ at the moment. I am going to try and persuade my consultant to take the drain away and put a stitch in the wound instead,but not holding my breath!! Hope you are all ok today? I feel great in myself,just want this second op over and done with,so i can start treatment and try and get back to some kind of normality,life before “CANCER” if that exists?? Off to bed now,so take care and love and hugs to all Delxx