Chiropractor Questions Elbow Injuries and Disorders

Experiencing numbness and pain after elbow fracture treatment. Why is this happening?

I am a 28-year-old man and I recently underwent an elbow fracture treatment following a major accident that I had. Post the surgery, I am experiencing a lot of pain along with sudden numbness in the affected area. What could be the reason behind this?

24 Answers

Could be elbow or wrist bones are out of alignment
Possible compression syndrome
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Without knowing what you actually had surgery for or what was done, I can only speculate that it's possible a nerve is being affected by either scar tissue or was damaged in the fracture or surgery and is leading to numbness.

In Health,
Dr. Jodie Schultz
Was proper rehabilitation done after surgery? A number of scenarios come to mind as to the cause of pain
Most likely, swelling is pressing onto the nerve. Once swelling has decreased and the muscles overlapping the area are lax, the symptoms should resolve.
Could be that there was damage to a nerve or nerves near the fracture site, frommthe accident or the surgery. Scar tissue also can be extremely sensitive. You need to follow-up with your surgeon
This could be from damaged nerves or discs in your neck which supply nerve flow to your elbow. The fracture in your elbow may also be compressing nerves causing pain. Most likely, nerve pressure is causing your symptomology. Please feel free to contact my office if you are interested in a consultation to determine if I may be able to help. 281 557 5525
Most likely some bruising or injury to the ulnar nerve. To have numbness and or tingling a nerve has to be involved. If it happened Pre surgery it was likely the accident, if post surgery probably due to factors in the procedure. These are common but will heal in few weeks. If not then a Regenerative technique needs to be applied very soon. We would use a stem cell approach if there is nerve damage suspected
I would recommend that you talk with your doctor.
Please appoint with your surgeon and let him rule out any surgical complications.
Thank you for your question. This is a complicated question because it is post trauma and post surgery. I would follow up with your orthopedist surgeon. You could have pain from nerve regeneration or something muscular. The numbness could also be from surgery or a misalignment of the joint. I would definitely contact your surgeon and make sure everything has healed properly. He may refer you to a physical therapist. Once you are cleared from the surgeon you are welcome to also contact a chiropractor who works on extremities and does physiotherapy. Best of luck!
Hi there! First of all some follow up questions I would have would be what the major accident was, what was fractured in the elbow, and what surgery was performed. There are nerves, especially the ulnar nerve, that runs right through the elbow. This is what nerve you hit when you accidently hit your "funny bone". There could be some impingement on this nerve although it is unclear without examination and testing. In my opinion, I would go back to the surgeon for a follow up to discuss these symptoms. If all else fails, a chiropractor on examination can easily figure out at least which nerve may be having pressure on it and help to determine the best course of action, which may be in this case to find a different surgeon if the current one is not helping.
You most likely sustained some nerve damage and or inflammation around the nerve either due to the trauma or the surgery. If it is not coming from the elbow itself, it may be coming from a disturbance to the nerve higher up the chain like in the shoulder or neck. A chiropractor who does Quantum Neurology and Applied Kinesiology should be able to evaluate the source of the problem and treat it. The GRT light used in QN works beautifully on over or under active nerves. In the meantime, the homeopathic remedy Hypericum Perforatum is available at your local health food store and may help to calm down the nerve pain and inflammation. While you are there, pick up some Arnica Montana and use that for inflammation from the surgery and injury. It can even work months after the trauma. If none of those options work for you, find a practitioner who does Neuro Emotional Technique (NET), commonly a chiropractor but could also be someone in the psychology field who can treat the emotional source of the pain, which lot can last forever following an injury. Best of luck to you!
There any many reasons to have numbness following a surgery. First there is always inflammation present during the healing process so having some numbness following surgery can be totally normal. Depending on the severity and site of the surgery could also be affecting your ulnar nerve which runs right through the elbow aka your "funny bone". I would encourage you to speak to your surgeon and let him know what's going on so that he can recommend the proper course of action.
I would most definitely bring this to attention of the surgeon. I don't know what he/she did for surgery so hard to know why. Abnormal sensations is neurological for sure to answer questions though.
I would need more information about possible injury to the neck, which part of the arm/hand/fingers are numb or experiencing pain. Without this information my first thought would be some physical damage to or around the ulnar nerve as it travels through a groove at the bottom of your elbow. It is the nerve that you feel when you hit your "funny bone" and usually causes numbness at the two fingers farthest from your thumb. You can have a nerve conduction velocity study done to see if there is any problem with the nerve; it can also be that the nerve is irritated by inflammation due to the healing process and taking an anti inflammatory medication would confirm that if symptoms reduced or went away.
It depends on the type of fracture that you experienced. If they did surgery the healing process of the body develops scar tissue that may be compressing a nerve. Swelling may also compress nerves causing those symptoms. Make an appointment with your doctor and get an evaluation.

The reason you are experiencing numbness and pain after surgery could be a couple things:

1: During surgery they could have damaged the nerve. Typically with surgery that's always a risk. Also when you have surgery your body builds up scar tissue which is the body's way of seeking to heal but in doing so, it heals wrong. Scar tissue can cause a lot of pain post surgery. Doing soft tissue therapy once your fracture heals is vital to get rid of the scar tissue.
2. You are experiencing numbness and pain because with a severe fracture you could easily damage the nerve causing that to occur. I don't know how severe your fracture is because you didn't give any details. If it's a compound fracture you can easily damage the nerves.
Bottom line is the symptoms will get better with time if you allow it to heal. Make sure you do plenty of Physical Therapy once healed so you don't experience muscle atrophy and begin the nerve and muscle healing. Muscle atrophy is a serious issue because you won't get that muscle back. Muscle atrophy is when the muscle cells fade away and are lost forever.

Dr. Quentin Smith
Chiropractic Physician
Thank you for your question. Thought the cause of your pain may vary, it can be a side effect from the surgery as often, surgeons have to cut nerves or repair them during the course of repairing the fracture. Another potential cause is that the muscles around the area, in response to the surgery, may be spasming and potentially infringing on a local nerve. In this case, a detailed examination is the best approach to determine the potential cause and the best treatment. Find a chiropractor that specializes in the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries and ensure that they do a detailed examination to get the best possible results.
It sounds like there may be a pinched nerve. It can be from swelling but an MRI would help understand the cause better.

Any numbness, throbbing ache is muscular pain. Tingling, burning, sharp, stabbing pain is nerve related.

Is the pain localize in one area or referred pain going into hands? You can consult a chiropractic physician with a specialist in neurology or an neurologist MD, to rule out cubital tunnel syndrome located in the cubital fossa.

This area is the crease between bicep and forearm when you bend elbow.

It affects the ulnar nerve. A lot of times after surgery, there's pressure on the nerve from swelling. The nerve usually repair itself in time as the swelling goes down.
Hope this helps, symptoms worsen consult your physician.

Dr. R. Hazziez

As the area continues to heal, inflammation can still be present causing other irritation. Also as the elbow heals, muscles and tendons can be overactive causing impingement on the ulnar nerve. This can be corrected with soft tissue release and other therapies.
Did you have the elbow re-imaged since you have more/new pain? If so and all is in place, find yourself a good physical therapist. You want to retain full range of motion and produce the least amount of scar tissue and adhesions which can alter the movement of the joint as well as compress the nerve in your elbow. First thing to do is make sure it gets cleared as a successful surgery.
The nerve could have been damaged from the fall or from the surgery.