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shoulder pain

Posts: 1
Joined: May 2003

does anyone else have shoulder pain and armpit discomfort on the side where the breast and lymphnodes were removed?

Posts: 49
Joined: May 2003

I had a lumpectomy, sentinel node and axilliary node dissection. They removed 16 nodes. That was three weeks ago. I still have pain in the muscles and nerves under the arm, in my back and all the way down my arm in my wrist. It gets a little better every day. I keep doing the exercises everyday and I am walking on the treadmill as well which seems to help (not sure why). Good Luck.

Posts: 14
Joined: Jan 2003

I had a bilateral. I don't know when you had your surgery. I had mine in february and I had a lot of discomfort the first three weeks. Think about how sensitive that area is. Give it time you will get better. I just got my implants and my underarms are sore all over again though not anywhere near as bad.

Posts: 24
Joined: Apr 2003

My lumpectomy, sentinal node and axillary dissection was in Oct. and I still have the sensation of a "tight cord" running through my armpit. I try to stretch it every day, but the feeling never seems to improve. It's not painful, just annoying. I've been wondering if that feeling will ever go away.

Posts: 29
Joined: Apr 2003

To Mar,
That tight cord is part of the lymphatic system. Keep gently stretching it and it will loosen up eventually. I had nodes removed last April and had that tighness for 7-8 months. Though I feel that "cord" once in awhile, most of the time I can't feel it at all.

Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2003

Carol, I had surgery 9 and 4 years ago. Without realizing it I ended up with a "frozen" shoulder and very limited range of motion. So one day while doing something simple at the gym, I tore my rotator cuff. Well the good news is that with physical therapy I have full range of motion in my "bad" arm. I still feel a tight sensation almost as if my arm were swollen and numb. I think after surgery and radiation I unintentionally limited the use of my arm. So I think it is very important to do your stretches.

Posts: 153
Joined: Nov 2002

It's been 2 months after my mastectomy and I think the pain was pretty well gone after the first month. But, I worked pretty hard at my stretching exercises that first month...1/2 hour in the AM and 1/2 hour in the PM. Sometimes a muscle will tighten up unexpectedly during the day. But I'm still doing 1/2 hour of stretching and strengthening exercises every day and am supposed to do them every day until I see the surgeon again in another two months.

Posts: 150
Joined: Jul 2002

Don't baby yourself. Do as much as you can. The more normal you move around, the faster you get back to normal.

Posts: 252
Joined: Apr 2002

Hi Carol, It's not uncommon to have pain. It's important to keep moving your arm and shoulder, but check with your doctor and do exercises approved so that you don't cause any more problems for yourself. You want to avoid a frozen shoulder, but you don't want lymphdema - I can guarantee you that. I've had many problems as a result of infections and such near my lymph node incision and I do a very specific set of stretches every day to keep everything stretched and circulating without causing more swelling or damage. Take care - Diane

Posts: 153
Joined: Nov 2002

Yes, I totally agree with ksfc. I only do the stretching and strengthing exercises that the doctor has given me. He gave me instructions with picures of the exercises so there is no guessing about the positions you are trying to attain. Also, there was information on how many repetitions of each exercise to try for, and about the level of pain you should or should not be trying to push through. Stretching through tightness, OK. Sharp, stabbing pain, NOT OK.

Posts: 132
Joined: Sep 2002


Take pain meds if necessary in order to do your exercises to prevent frozen shoulder. Also, insist on physical therapy if you need help exercising. DON'T WAIT! Your pain needs to be addressed IMMEDIATELY!

I had a lumpectomy and 18 nodes removed 6/00. I have had chronic breast pain and a frozen shoulder since (3 yrs. now!)! My doctors didn't address my pain problem properly, so I ended up with a frozen shoulder. At the time, I was so overwhelmed with the cancer diagnosis, chemo and radiation and very uninformed about the necessity of pain being addressed promptly that I didn't know what to ask for. Also, I didn't have access to this wonderful group then. I'm glad you found us!

Not knowing the extent of your pain, I may have 'come on too strong'. Most women do NOT have chronic pain or frozen shoulders.

I hope you feel better soon.

Take care,

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