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#76616 07-07-2008 09:18 AM
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i finished my imrt in june 07. in march 08 i developed a frozen right shoulder and some pain in the joint of my left shoulder. the physical therapist told me that she has heard of these problems sometimes being side effects of radiation. has anyone else ever heard of this or had problems with their shoulders after radiation?


Nine years out. New normal with limitations, but surviving and living life to the fullest.
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I have a problem with my left shoulder in not being able to extend my arm fully above my head and I do have some minor pain with it. I don't know how it specifically got this way so I thought I got it from sleeping on my side from when I had my peg tube. I am an athletic person and can't understand how this happened. I am also interested in knowing more about this condition.


Tom
SCC T4N1M0 left side tongue & 1 node
Dx 05/21/07 42 yrs old
40 Tx IMRT @ 70 Gy started 06/25/07
Cysplatin & 5fu 1st & 4th wks
treatment ended 08/23/07
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This is a well known side effect of neck dissections, but neither of you list ND in your treatment. However, post-radiation fibrosis can impinge the nerves, causing various symptoms. I have a combination of both going on, and the docs have difficulty sorting out which is causing what.


Jeff
SCC Right BOT Dx 3/28/2007
T2N2a M0G1,Stage IVa
Bilateral Neck Dissection 4/11/2007
39 x IMRT, 8 x Cisplatin Ended 7/11/07
Complete response to treatment so far!!
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Jeff,
You are bang on my friend. Shoulder pain and/or numbness in the shoulder, arm and even hands are a more common occurence after Neck Dissection than radiation alone but, patients who recieve only radiation can also have similar experiences.
Radiation to the neck can cause fibrosis of the nerve sheaths and surronding tissues leading to scar tissue and nerve impingement. The nerve bundle that is affected and gives rise to these symptoms is the Brachial Plexus . I have attached a link to an anatomical illustration of the anatomy of the Brachial Plexus. If you look at the position and extent of this nerve bundle you can see how it could easily become affected by treatment/surgery in the neck region.
I hope this is useful to some of you.
Cheers,
Mike
http://intraspec.ca/images/brachialplexus.jpg


Dentist since 1995, 12 year Cancer Survivor, Father, Husband, Thankful to so many who supported me on my journey so far, and more than happy to comfort a friend.
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I had the problem after my neck dissection. On a follow up visit to the cancer clinic I mentioned this but as often happened there was little reaction and at that stage I had not discovered this forum to ask questions to this and other issues I was having eek
Was told by a physio that possibly my left arm had been put above my head during the 14 hour operation. (Makes sense as a section of inside of the wrist was taken as the free flap plus vein to inside of elbow.)
Could also not raise my arm and washing hair was a problem. Had massages and physiotherapy but after around 8 sessions was told no more could be done and even though I got 50% on insurance I was wasting my money. I was told with time it would come good on its own. One day around 4 months later I realised I had been able to raise both my arms to wash my hair without any problem. Woopey !!!
Cheers
Gabriele


History Leukoplakia bx 8/2006 SCC floor mouth T3N0M0- Verrucous Carcinoma.
14 hour 0p SCC-Right ND/excision/marginal mandibulectomy 9/2006, 4 teeth removed, flap from wrist, trach-ng 6 days- no chemo/rad.
6 ops and debulking (flap/tongue join) + bx's 2006-2012.
bx Jan 2012 Hyperkeratosis-Epithelial Dysplasia
24cm GIST tumour removed 8/2013. Indefinite Oral Chemo.

1/31/16 passed away peacefully surrounded by family

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Gabriele --

I know exactly what you mean when you talk about being unable to lift the arm above the head, or hair washing causing problems. I was drying my hair with the hair dryer this morning, and had to put my arm down for a few minutes! That is very depressing for somebody 6' 2" tall and 225 pounds. I even notice it driving. I drove about 250 miles yesterday, and I am paying for it today.

Still, a relatively small price to pay.


Jeff
SCC Right BOT Dx 3/28/2007
T2N2a M0G1,Stage IVa
Bilateral Neck Dissection 4/11/2007
39 x IMRT, 8 x Cisplatin Ended 7/11/07
Complete response to treatment so far!!
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,301
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Jeff,
While I could not put my left arm above my head I would dry my hair by bending over (the bath to catch falling hair). In other words had my head upside down and in that way both my arms were below below head. Now that I am OK I still dry my hair in this way as I find it gives more volumn grin


History Leukoplakia bx 8/2006 SCC floor mouth T3N0M0- Verrucous Carcinoma.
14 hour 0p SCC-Right ND/excision/marginal mandibulectomy 9/2006, 4 teeth removed, flap from wrist, trach-ng 6 days- no chemo/rad.
6 ops and debulking (flap/tongue join) + bx's 2006-2012.
bx Jan 2012 Hyperkeratosis-Epithelial Dysplasia
24cm GIST tumour removed 8/2013. Indefinite Oral Chemo.

1/31/16 passed away peacefully surrounded by family


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