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left arm pain

Posts: 177
Joined: Mar 2010

Hi all,

I just want to get some feedback from those who have suffered with arm pain. After all treatments, I had diep flap surgery in July,2010. A few months later , I started noticing pain is my left arm. The plastic surgeon said I was healing great and saw nothing wrong. I finally called my onc. after a few months of this. It only hurts at night when I lay down.No swelling is involved. The pain wakes me up from sleep. I take tramadol to help me with pain. My onc. sent me for an x-ray, which came back clear.

So............ anyone else have this? I have struggled with femara and tamoxifen side effects, so, what do you think?

Thanks for your input,


Ritzy's picture
Posts: 4382
Joined: Aug 2009

Could it be lymphedema? Did you have lymph nodes removed Jean? Or maybe they should pursue this further with a CAT scan or something? Really sorry for the pain and I hope you find out what is causing it and can get rid of it.

Sue :)

Posts: 1191
Joined: Dec 2010

I would document exactly where on your arm and the type of pain feelings you get and talk to your surgeon, not the plastic surgeon, but the surgeon who did your mastectomy, and your oncologist. The more specific you are, the better they can help you.

Posts: 2515
Joined: May 2009

To determine, hard to do, I know, if's it's nerve damage.....it is a burning pain, as if set on fire....I've had it since I went through rads a second time...across my breasts...and down my rt arm....I was put on Gabapentin....it has changed my life, , pain wise! It kept me from sleeping and interfered with my daily life...It's a blessing...I have lymph nodes pressing on a nerve from my clavicle down the back of my rt. Arm....ouch! No swelling of the arm at all....so mine is not lymphedema.....

I hope you get some relief, soon....
Hush, Nancy

SIROD's picture
Posts: 2199
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi Jean,

I have pain in my left arm since I had a 2nd lymph node dissection 13 years ago. This was to remove a tumor that sucked in two nerves wrapping itself around the axillary vein. I used Amitriptyline for years and then went on gabapentin. It helps a little but, I still have flare ups of nerve pain. On those occasions I use my lidocaine patch. It calms it enough.

I have nerve damage and learned to live with it. I am on Femara and with this drug, the pain is bone which is very different from nerve.

Wishing you the best,


jendrey's picture
Posts: 377
Joined: Sep 2009

Yes, I know arm pain. The pain was so bad I couldn't even lift my arm up any higher than my hips.

Where exactly is your pain? Mine WAS on the front part of my upper left arm. About 3 inches down from my shoulder. It hurt for months and months and by the time they got around to doing an ultrasound of it, well, it didn't really hurt anymore.

Now, it doesn't hurt at all. If you'd told me just a few weeks ago that it'd suddenly stop hurting; I wouldn't have believed it.

Nobody can tell me what was causing my arm to hurt, but I'd really like to know.

(Oh, and this was on the other side.)

Hope your arm pain fades away as mine did and soon!


Cinkal's picture
Posts: 161
Joined: Jan 2011

I have pain in the top part of my lower arm that seems to come and go. It seemed to start just above my wrist, but now it seem to move around a little. My lumpectomy and node biopsy were on my right side. I think it has something to do with damage from surgery or radiation.

jendrey's picture
Posts: 377
Joined: Sep 2009

I forgot to mention that my x-ray cam back clean and nothing could be found on the ultrasound either.

beachmom's picture
Posts: 50
Joined: Nov 2011

I had arm pain constantly, radiating from my elbow. I have been going to physical therapy 3 times per week, started pilates and the pain is so much better. I had a lot of nerve issues going on in my neck and shoulders. The pain was caused by the shoulder but I had no pain in the shoulders. I believe that chiropractic care and good physical therapists have saved me. I was in pain 24 hours per day and sleeping very little. Please don't give up, keep talking to your docs until someone listens and moves you in the right direction.

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