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A 45-year-old member asked:

Is it normal to have shoulder pain after hand surgery?

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Raymond Raven
Hand Surgery 24 years experience
Can happen: Depending in the surgical procedure you had and the position in which you were placed for the procedure, the shoulder may become sore afterwards. Symptoms usually improve after a short period of time and with a little physical therapy.
Dr. Christopher Henley
Hand Surgery 20 years experience
Some patients have a nerve block in the armpit or shoulder, usually done by an anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist. Occasionally patients will completely forget they had a nerve block and the soreness may be related to this.
Dec 21, 2011
Dr. F. Thomas Kaplan
Hand Surgery 25 years experience
Maintain motion: After hand surgery, it can be natural to protect the hand and arm. Many patients stay in a sling, or keep the arm close to their body. This can lead to pain and stiffness in the shoulder. Make sure you are keeping the shoulder moving and add stretches if it feels tight.
Dr. Barry Press
Plastic Surgery 44 years experience
Not abnormal: Depending on the kind of surgery you had, you may have had to use the arm in a different manner than usual, which put different stresses on your shoulder than usual. This is a common situation and it should improve as you begin to use your hand more normally.

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Last updated Nov 7, 2018

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