Tingling fingers, right shoulder pain, numbness on chest near incision

by Anissa
(Austin, TX)


Hello, I have a few questions post surgery. I had my operation done back in October 2015. Here my surgeon removed my cervical rib through an incision done right above my collar bone.

While the surgery overall was a success, I'm still having trouble with pain issues. I continue to feel a knot in my shoulder that seems to be located in the middle of my trapezius muscle near my spine. Then whenever I go to try to massage it out I feel numbness in my arm and tingling in my pinky and ring finger.

Also, when I try to move my head and neck around, a sharp pain goes down my arm sometimes. Additionally, my hand has become weaker and once my fingers were trembling. I tried to put my hand in a fist and stretch it out but the trembling continued to do so the more I began to stretch my hand out fully. I'm not sure if this is connected to my TOS but I'm curious.

The last thing I would like to mention is my chest area. Where my surgery was done near my collar bone, it has become sensitive and numb feeling. It has faded some since my surgery but it is still there. Should I be concerned?
Thank you!

Hello Anissa,
You say your surgery was a success; I take it by that, that you have much less overall pain and discomfort.

Frankly, if you'd been to a chiropractor, the chances are great that there would have been some residual symptoms as well. There's a sense in which nothing will 'cure' this, and some remaining pain.

However, there's a strong suggestion that your symptoms were not only coming from the first rib; or not at all from the first rib, but then you would not have had any relief from the surgery.

Clearly you have a C8 nerve root impingement; you have a positive Spurling's sign; that trembling was probably what is known as a fasciculation; Google the term.

I would visit the surgeon again before contemplating any other treatment; I fear the way forward is likely to be difficult which ever way you turn.

A simple traction unit, used daily at home may be of considerable benefit.

Dr B



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