Shoulder pain with radiating pain/num... - Advanced Prostate...

Advanced Prostate Cancer

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Shoulder pain with radiating pain/numbness


For reference, please see profile for history of my Dad:)

My Dad experienced a pain in his right upper scapula radiating down into right arm along with his thumb and pointer finger numbness. He had an mri that showed possible compression at C6-7 but not clear if it’s a met or slipped disc...

His last CT pelvic scan showed possible “epidural extension at L1” The oncologist didn’t mention this at all....., but could it be related/linked to the mentioned pain my Dads experiencing?

Neurologist is scheduling PT and maybe a CT guided injection at C6-7 for temporary relief until this next round of Cabaxitaxel is complete (7 more tx to go) They say, either the chemo will help if the pain is from a met or maybe he needs a surgery to fix if it’s a slipped disc🤷🏻‍♀️ All I know is my Dad says he can’t take this pain anymore and if he has to amputate his arm to get rid of the pain then so be it🥺 My Dad never complains but this pain is on another level. Please share some insight!?



11 Replies

It sounds like a good strategy to me.

I had a pinched nerve in my lower back several years ago. The pain went down my leg and hurt a LOT. I suffered "allodynia" which meant that anything touching my skin hurt. My knee hurt. My upper leg (quadriceps) hurt. I couldn't move my leg without pain and yet felt restless like, whatever position my leg was in, I was suffering I felt a need to move - which relieved pain for a few seconds and then it started all over again. I was laid up, unable to walk, lost my appetite, and growing weaker and thinner all the time with my left leg becoming obviously thinner than the right leg. Sleeping was very difficult. Climbing stairs was near impossible. Taking a shower was a major effort requiring a plastic chair in the shower stall.

I don't know if my experience is relevant to your Dad's but, for whatever it's worth, here are some things I learned about my particular problem.

First, there are conservative treatments that won't solve the problem but may reduce the pain. The ones I found helpful are heat, cold, and ibuprofen. For heat I used a heating pad, for cold, an ice pack. I seemed to get some relief from one of them and, as everything got warm (or cold) I could sometimes get things better by reversing the treatment and icing the hot area or heating the iced area.

As for ibuprofen, one 200 mg pill didn't do anything for me. Two pills did hardly anything. But three pills made a very noticeable difference for an hour or so - as much or more than the prescription pain killers I was given. Four pills might have been even better, but that much ibuprofen upset my stomach. The relief was far from complete, but when you're in a lot of pain, reducing it to a smaller pain is a great help. I spaced out the treatments so as not to exceed the amount recommended per day, always saving one treatment for just before I attempted to sleep.

I was told by a pretty good neurosurgeon that he thought he could help me by operating and that nothing else could work. Some others said I should try physical therapy (PT) first. I did the PT, learning some exercises both from a physical therapist and from my own experiments. Then I did them 2, 3, or 4 times a day. The PT was counterintuitive because movement caused more pain, but within a couple of weeks I was pretty sure it was helping and beginning to reduce the pain. I started to walk again. It took months before I could walk a mile without major pain but now (I'm aged 74) I can walk as well as I ever did. When I saw the neurosurgeon again he said that he wouldn't operate now. He was sure he could make my situation worse but not at all sure he could make it better. I still have some numbness and minor pain in my leg, but it's no longer a problem.

I'm pretty confident that heat, cold, and limited ibuprofen can help. As for PT, that's something I think your Dad should consult a specialist about - though be warned that specialists are all over the map when it comes to recommendations on this.

I wish the best of luck to both of you.


Whimpy-p in reply to AlanMeyer

Whoa nelly! You’re one tuff hombre.By you Enduring what you have and still living with such great attitude It gives us hope Alan . Thanks for sharing brother . Take care 🙏

j-o-h-n in reply to AlanMeyer

Thanks Alan.... this post will be very helpful to anyone experiencing pain.

Good Luck, Good Health and Good Humor.

j-o-h-n Friday 06/19/2020 1:41 PM DST

Thank you for sharing your experience:). I wish you the very best 🙏🏽

The pain is related to whatever is happening at the cervical level. It does not have anything to do with the epidural extension at L1. Most probable compression of the roots of the median nerve.

"The median nerve is derived from the medial and lateral cords of the brachial plexus. It contains fibres from roots C6-T1, and can contain fibres from C5 in some individuals. After originating from the brachial plexus in the axilla, the median nerve descends down the arm, initially lateral to the brachial artery."

You could discuss with the doctor about doing a MRI study to determine if it is a disk or metastasis problem.

Dear savingdaddy. To witness and not be able to save daddy from this pain must horrible for everyone . Please no amputating of the arm . Is he given narcotics . ? Whatever it takes to stop that pain for now. I m praying for your father to catch a break and break that pain . In these type of situations we see that we are powerless ... Thank God that he has your love . Stay strong yourself for he needs you now. 🙏❤️

Sorry to hear you Dad is suffering. The radiologist may not be able to tell if there's a subtle disk problem, like an annular tear, from the MRI. For the short term, an interventional radiologist/spine neurosurgeon may be able to administer cortisone to the painful area. Good luck to your father in getting better.🙏

Tell your Dad to stick it out....his pain will be gone soon.

Good Luck, Good Health and Good Humor.

j-o-h-n Friday 06/19/2020 1:44 PM DST

I am sorry to hear of your Dad's severe pain - we know how challenging it is. My husband, stage 4, metastatic prostate cancer with spinal tumors had a brachial plexus injury from radiation to the right shoulder area. He has very severe pain in the cervical area (where bone mets area), shoulder and arm with a lot of neuropathy. He has lost the use of his right hand. The radiation was for palliative reasons so it is very frustrating that this happened. He has been told that this pain is one of the worst by a neurosurgeon. Unfortunately, the neurosurgeon has nothing to offer. He finds that a small amount of Dexamethasone and Ibuprofen help with the inflammation. He also has strong opioids to use when needed. Hopefully something will help with the severity of the pain.

There is a nerve bundle area that is identifiable---one quick way to determine if this is Orthopedic, or Pca--is not to have any surgery---but to get a Nerve Block Shot. Not the typical Epidural---A Nerve Block specific to the nerve bundle area that feeds down the arm to the fingers. This can give relief for 6 months to multiple years[ if coming from compression on a nerve bundle]--and it should be first detectable with an MRI.


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