My husband gets a locking feeling in ... - Oesophageal Patie...

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My husband gets a locking feeling in his right side, does anyone else have this problem?


hi my husband is 3 years post Ivor Lewis, he still gets a "locking" feeling in his right side. it feels like someone is pulling him the wrong way. he doesnt have to be doing anything his side will just "lock". Does anyone else have this problem? He was told he had a lot of scar tissue there. Would just like to know if anyone else has this problem?

9 Replies

Yes I still get it 5 years on, although it does get less pornounced as time goes on.

I have odd sensations even after 11 years. For me it isn't quite the same as a locking feeling it is there all the time and it is just a weird feeling of like part of me has been replaced by wood. I suppose it is just the nerves that have been damaged. I'm used to it now and hardly notice it.


I had my op last July and I certainly get that 'wooden' feeling quite often. I also find it difficult to reach high shelves with my right hand so I use my left instead.

My upper body and arms are very weak and I have strained my right arm lifting and pulling things so again I favour my left. The recent warmer weather has helped me feel less stiff and I may try and do some swimming soon. I have put this off due to the cold weather, my loss of weight and the fact that the local baths are a bit primitive!!!!

Best wishes


gutlesswonder in reply to Danko

hello Danko

Did you have a right-side Thoracotomy ?

I did and afterwards was unable to do any draughting or even sign my name properly for about two years.

This has been attributed to the right arm being immobilized for much of the 8 hour procedure---with consequent circulation damage ,anoxia,nerve compression etc.

I got back to normal by lifting weights,pounding a piano etc.

Even now (22 years post-Op) I have to take care not to dislocate that shoulder.

Danko in reply to gutlesswonder

Yes, I was opened up on the right side and the lower front. I also think I strained my right shoulder before the op which wouldn't have helped. I have bought one of those 'active bands' but overdid it I think and it made things worse. Interesting that you mention draughting. I draw a lot with my job and have not had too much difficulty with the actual mechanics of sketching but I find that mentally my 'creative' side has gone very flat. This is having a significant effect on my productivity which I am coping with because I am so relieved to have got this far. Like everyone else on this site, I am having to accept a new reality and adapt my life to suit.....sometimes this can be difficult as described on the recent post and comments re anxiety about possible reoccurrence.

Best wishes


gutlesswonder in reply to Danko

Hello Martin

This is completely uninformed speculation on my part but if you watch this video :


you will see that an unrelated but not dissimilar procedure to our Right Thoracotomy results in Shoulder dysfunction,which may be analogous to the difficulties we have both experienced ; as distinct from positional in-theatre immobilization trauma -IE nerve damage via another mechanism.




It might be worth trying to see a physiotherapist. It does take a surprisingly long time to get everything moving again as it should.

As a natural protective mechanism the Brain holds a stored image of "self "

In our case , after a thorough hacking about ,there is a discrepancy when the Brain compares the stored information with that being received in real time. Indeed if Nerves have been damaged or even severed then whole chunks of data may be missing entirely.

At the conscious level we endeavor to compensate by "feeling" an absence,numbness,woodenness and so on.

The most famous instance of this phenomenon is where an amputee continues to experience sensations from the missing limb and may even attempt to move the phantom .

Given time the Brain image adjusts or the sufferer learns to live with the illusory sensation.

I went in for my IL four years ago tomorrow. Spent best part of three weeks in Hospital. I still have this "pulling" feeling - it's like my right rib cage has been replaced with silly putty.

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