Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Vascular and Circulatory Disorders Forum

Arm pain picc line (Page 1)

Must Read
Chronic pain affects more than 70 million Americans. But what is pain? And how can pain management help relieve different types of pain? Basic facts here....
How does the nervous system work to register pain? And what are the major causes of acute and chronic pain? Plus, who's at risk of pain here....
Acute and chronic pain manifest different symptoms. Learn the difference here and know when to seek medical help for pain....
I had a picc line in my left arm from June 10th through August 22nd of this year. During that time, I had pain in that arm (inside of the upper arm and armpit following the vein used for the picc), but was assured by my doctor that it was first from the insertion and then from overuse and to rest it. The pain ranged from a dull ache to a sharp pain (particularly in the armpit area) and would occasionally radiate down into my chest.

Since the picc has been removed, the pain has continued to occur, more so when I use the arm but also for no particular reason whatsoever. I'm also having dull aching pain in the left shoulder and left side of my neck.

The arm is not swollen or discolored and there doesn't seem to be any loss of mobility or strength, other than what is limited by the pain. When I press upon the area that hurts, the pain increases and the vein feels hard.

It took 4 tries for them to insert the picc because it kept catching on something and I'm wondering if they didn't manage to do some damage in there. The guidewire even crumpled on one attempt.

I've spoken to my doctor about this and she dismissed it as "phantom pain" and refused to pursue the subject further.

Does anyone have any idea what this could be? Possibly more than one issue?

Thank you in advance. Smile
Did you find this post helpful?
First Helper nyxie63
|
Users who thank nyxie63 for this post: erin007 

replied July 15th, 2009
I am in the hospital as we speak, in and out for chronic pancreatitis and gastroparesis flare ups. Every visit to the hospital for me is always results in lengthy stays and for my convenience, I am provided with a PICC Line each time. My most recent visit provoked me to investigate further into arm pain post PICC line removal as your signs and symptoms are described, I found myself saying "ah, someone else complaining of the very same thing" at first my Physician had it removed due to a spike in my temperature, it turns out that my PICC line showed to have 3 different types of bacteria, I have been on Vancomycin & Zosyn doses IVPB for a week. I noticed the rt. arm ache after removal of my PICC line. I mentioned this to my physician & like your physician, no initial concerns were taken. Just a simple shrug. Well my pain persisted and I am going for a venous doppler study and will hopefully have some insights .?
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied May 2nd, 2012
picc line pain
my brother has had one since march 13th and today home nurse said she is in fear of a clot he is in great pain abnd arm swollen. his doctors disreguarded as well and siad arthritis.so we shall se today when I take him to er for ultrasound
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied July 30th, 2009
PICC line chest pain
I just had a PICC line placed three days ago, and it caused arm, shoulder and chest pain from the moment they put it in. They had trouble getting it in -- three attempts. I'm headed back to radiology today to see what might be the problem. My doc says it shouldn't hurt and she has never had a patient with chest pain due to a PICC. So I'm quite nervous/upset about this. I'm glad I'm not alone, but I"m sorry to hear of your pain.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied January 27th, 2012
Just curious if the chest pains continued after picc removal??? My Picc caused chest pains on the right side from day one and have continued a month after removal. Stress test and ct scan are normal. Thanks for sharing!
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied February 27th, 2012
I had a Picc line 2 years ago, and now I'm experiencing severe pain on the upper inside of my left arm(below Picc site) that radiates to the front of my wrist. If you find out what the issue may be, could you please advise me on what to have my Dr look at?
Thanks in advance!
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied August 24th, 2009
Picc Pain
I had a picc line put in about a week ago to prevent dehydration from a pregnancy and have just started noticing a dull ache in the arm they put it in. I thought that the bandage I use to keep the IV and Medicine Lines from flopping around was too tight because it just felt like there was no blood getting to my arm. I took the bandage off and it still has the dull pain and numb feeling. It took them 3 times to get a good vein. The first once collapsed, and the second time they hit a nerve (that was horrible). I'm wondering if this is left over from that second attempt of if I need to get it checked out.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied August 27th, 2009
When I had my PICC put in, the nurse said my vein was sclerotic. It hurt the whole time going in. (i don't know why that vein was used if it was sclerotic.)
It also felt uncomfortable in my chest the whole time (2 months).
Then an IV medication burned the chest area where picc was.
I am going to my primary doc today to see what can be done.
It is a year after Picc was removed and there is still some mild pain. It would be OK, but I am supposed to get another PICC!
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied January 27th, 2012
How long before your chest pains subsided? My Picc caused chest pains on the right side from day one and have continued a month after removal. Stress test and ct scan are normal. Thanks for sharing!
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied August 27th, 2009
I had a picc line put in after e developed staph infection following a c-section 3 weeks ago and the past 3 days i have been having pain under my armpit area band hurts to lift my arm plus there is all this discharge from the insertion site but the visiting nurse says it' s ok. Picc comes out in 5 days, im hoping i don't have pain after.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied October 19th, 2009
I am post a picc line two years and more now. I can't believe after all this time thinking I was pre-heart attack, all you guys have been having the same problem! WOW. Well, I want you guys to know how long this has been going on and I am glad to have found this site cause now I will know NOT to let my doctor dismiss it. I can't stand it anymore, The pain is now keeping one of the muscles tight in my neck down to my shoulder blade. it never loosens up, even after a half an hour of my daughter grinding at it with her elbow. I get terrible tension headaches, and I am not sleeping well. I hope you guys can get your dr's to listen. Sorry about all your pain, good luck.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied December 10th, 2009
arm pain from picc line
I had a picc line inserted and remained for 10 days. During the time it was in I had pain in my arm radiating down to my wrist and up to my shoulder. After removal, almost a week ago, my arm hurts and feels tight and painful mostly around the wrist area but the entire arm is involved. I complained to the Picc nurses and they dismissed it as being unusual. I mentioned it to a neurologist and my own doctor who merely shrugged it off and said it will go away with time. When the Picc line was inserted, they did hit a nerve in my arm and had to re-try. That intense nerve pain dissipated but this residual pain and tightness remain. Very upset about this.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied January 1st, 2010
Picc & Cental Lines Are Bad News
I am a retired nurse. Avoid picc lines and central lines if possible. If there is a doctors order you still have the right to say "No". 75% of the time, after the removal of the picc line, the whole arm will swell up. If any doctor tells you that is not so, dont believe them. In my 38 yrs of practice, did not matter what hospital or state I was in, I have never seen good results from the insertion of a picc or central line. The nurses have to move a regular IV site every so many days.

Some nurses are not good at hitting a vein. They are allowed only two tries (per person). Say No to the picc and central lines, whether it be a nurse or doctor. They will just have to move the IV site. My husband did not take my advice and learned his lesson the hard way. Dont be another victim-say no!
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied October 25th, 2011
PICC LINE PAIN
I am a nurse, AND I have had multiple PICCs in the past because of Cystic Fibrosis. They have always worked well for me. Some pain and discomfort is normal after the Lidocaine wears off after insertion. The PICC nurse was pushing a large catheter up your arm, it makes sense that it would be sore. It is also normal to have some discomfort in the arm after removal of the PICC. If you notice swelling, contact your doctor. It is probably due to a thrombus that formed because of the foreign body (PICC catheter) being in your arm. Blood thinners can help with this. In response to the retired nurse above: Central lines have come a long way over the years and often times are indeed the best option. Especially for people who must have IV therapy for a sustained amount of time, or for those who have bad veins due to frequent venipunctures.
|
Did you find this post helpful?
Users who thank NurseAmy85 for this post: user690078 

User Profile
replied February 1st, 2012
re Picc Line Pain
thank god, all the negative commnets were freaking me out, had picc line in today took 2.5 hours and was not nice. now arm is quite sore and cannot bend it properley was frightened but now can relax a little, see nurses daily & surgeon weekly so will c heck it out for sure but your comment gave me some relief
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied October 1st, 2012
Nurse Amy - Thank you for your well stated response. I appreciate both the medical and your personal experiences you have shared. Prayers for you and your well-being! "BREATHE!" DUH # 1179 Wink
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied April 23rd, 2014
I am a vascular access specialist and have been placing piccs with ultrasound for over 13 years. this advice from the retired nurse is just blatantly untrue. this may be her opinion, but it is not evidence-based. piccs can be lifelines for patients.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied January 9th, 2010
Still Hurting

I had a picc line in for 6 wks. I had it removed the beginning of Nov. It's now Jan. and my arm still hurts. It has hurted every day since they put it in. Like others said I told the picc line nurse when they put it in that my arm hurted and they said that's unusal. It shouldn't hurt at all. All during the 6 wks. I complain and they would say, try to put heat on it. Which that didn't help at all. Its been out now and is still hurting. I was trying to find help on the internet and found this foruum. It makes me feel better to know I'm not the only one that this is happening too. What in the world is going on? I hope someone comes up with an answer and posts it. I'm getting sick of the medical population shaking their heads.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied June 8th, 2012
Pain after PICC line removed
I had septicemia in March and had a PICC Line put in my right forarm for 6 weeks. During my last weeks, one of the home care nurses was changing my line and pushed it in too hard. The next day I had blood backing up in my line so another nurse came and changed it. We watched for infection and sue enough I had a little discharge where the line entered. A week later I had the PICC line removed and I was complaining of swelling and a burning, pinching, aching pain from my armpit to my elbow. I have now been complaining to my family doctor, homecare nurses, neurologist and infectious disease doctor and they all say, I don't see any redness or infection, just keep an eye on it. I have been keeping an eye on it now for 8 weeks. I take Motrin every day. My liver will love that. I have asked for an x-ray, ultra-sound, blood work and have been ignored. I am seeing my doctor next week and I am going to insist on something being done. I should not have to live with this pain everyday. I'm getting stressed out. I see a lot of people have the same problem with this so someone has to listen to us. I will post again if I get any answers. I'm Taurus and very stubborn!
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied June 27th, 2012
PICC complications
I had a picc line put in on 6/4/12 and removed the very next day. My left arm is swollen at the insertion point of the picc line, tender to the touch, and bruised. The bruising has turned into red circles connecting each other. My oncologist finally put me on a low dose of coumadin and advil. Started this regiman on 6/25/12. Still no relief. Pain seems to be spreading on my arm.
TLH
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied March 5th, 2010
Picc Line Pain in the Right Arm after removal.
I came out of hospital about 3 weeks ago and whilst their I had a picc line in for 3 weeks of my stay. (This was my fourth picc line)over 4 years. It didn't hurt going in and whilst I was having treatment. But after I had it removed my arm has become painfull over the passed 2 weeks, a week ago when I first complained about it to my PCP doctor she sent me for a ultrasound that same day. It showed a had a very small blood clot, but was told by the tech who done the ultrasound that this should not be causing my pain. So that same day I got a call from my PCP saying not to worry the pain should go, just give it a bit more time. Oh by the way I did not get this pain from the other 3 picc lines I have had in the passed. So yesterday I gave my doctor a call again to say I am trying to put up with the pian in my arm but its getting to bad. So she once again sent me for another ultrasound which I had first thing this morning and once again I was told by the tech that the blood clot I have is to small to be causing my pain, so he suggested that maybe it is nerve pain damage. I have an appointment with my PCP tomorrow to find out what is going to happen next, if anything. Does anyone want to know what she suggests tomorrow?
I hope this is helping you all.
UK Liz
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied June 12th, 2010
PICC line pain
I have a PICC line in my left arm, inserted 6 days ago. Within 1.5 hrs of it going in, I developed intense throbbing pain in my neck, right shoulder and down my right arm. And yes, my oncologists have said this is unusual. I have had an x-ray and everything is in its correct position. If I bend down, especially if my head is lower than heart, I feel a constricting pain across my chest and in my clavical region. This is frequently accompanied by shortness of breath. It is encouraging to know I am not a) Going mad, b) Having a heart episode, & d) having a panic attack.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied April 24th, 2012
I HAVE HAD THE SAME RESPONSE AS YOU JANET. AND IT WAS DIFFICULT TO PLACE THE PIC LINE IN AND TOOK 1.5 HRS,TOO!
I FELT PANIC WHEN THE VACOMYCIN IV IS DRPPING AND THE CHEST PAIN INCREASES. SITTING UPRIGHT HAS HELPED. I CAME CLOSE TO CALLING MY PCP ABOUT THE CHEST PAIN, BUT AFTER VEIWING THESE POST I CAN SEE ALL OF US HAVE SIMILAR PROBLEMS. BELEIVE ME DOCTORS DO NOT KNOW ABOUT PICC LINES THEY LEAVE IT UP TO THE PICC LINE NURSES TO KNOW WHATS UP. MOST DOCTORS ONLY KNOW ABOUT THE FIELD THEIR IN--AND DO LITLE ON CONTINUED EDUCATION. THEY KNOW VERY LITTLE ABOUT MRSA TOO! THEY NEED TO CLEAN THE PATIENTS ROOM AFTER THEY CARE FOR A OPEN WOUND!!!
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied June 19th, 2010
PICC Pain
I have a picc line in and I have pain sometimes.. They also told me it was in position correctly and it wasn't touching any nerves. I can assure you what I am experiencing is nerve pain. They hurt me going in and that is what I think happened. What are we to do when receiving chemo that damages veins and heart? I was told picc LINE is the safest option... Looking for options from our nurse friend above??
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied March 5th, 2011
picc line pain
I feel absolutely sick about the whole experience. I only have my right arm working as the left shoulder was shattered and I have a prothesis in that side. It became badly infected amd dpctprs had to remove the shoulder.The doctors insisted in putting a picc line into my right arm. I had the line in for 16 weeks. Inserting it was mildly uncomfortable. Removing the line was fine. Soon after, the right side of my body(shoulder,underarm, upper arm, chest and pain under my left breast)started hurting. I thought there was something wrong with my heartl. Doctors shrug their shoulders and say take more pain medication.Now both shoulders are on fire. I'm just beside myself!!! You think you're doing the right thing, and then.....
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied March 6th, 2011
Artieral line pain
four days ago I had a cardiopulmanary stress test with an artial line inserted. However, after three attemps another doctor was called in and she could not get the line in due to the vessel was to narrow. Since that test 4 days ago my wrist and arm is brusied and I am experiencing pain from my wrist to my elbow. I am also taking wafrin.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied March 6th, 2011
PICC LINE
I had a PICC inserted in my left forearm 2/28/2011 and no pain going in but some mild discomfort in there and every once in awhile they said it kink inside my vein & have me move my arm a bit and then they could flush it. Prior to that it met some resistance & I had some chest discomfort. Then I had the PICC removed Thursday 3/3/2011.
It was mildly sore but expected but tonight I have noticed how VERY sore my whole arm is and it hurts to move it. The wound looks O.K. no fever or discharge is this normal? Thanks Linda
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied July 20th, 2011
What can be causing shoulder pain after central line removal?
My 70-something mother had a PICC line for 12 days while in the hospital recovering from ovarian cancer surgery. I was with her post-discharge for 2 weeks and towards the end of my visit, she began complaining of slight shortness of breath. Well, after her 1st chemo. treatment, and 3 weeks post-PICC line removal, she is in excruciating pain on her entire right side! She siad her left calf muscle is stiff, and her upper right arm/shoulder is unbearable! She informed her team and she was sent for an x-ray; she was told there was no blood clot and was given strong muscle relaxants (which knocked her out for 2 1/2 days). Water massages, heating pads, and my dad's massage were of no help. She called the medical folks again at our urging. She is scheduled now for a bone scan with contrast to hopefully see what is going on. I feel so badly for her and am amazed how many other people have suffered, too. Thanks to the nurse who wrote in! I wish I had read this site before my mother's surgery.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied July 29th, 2011
I am a PICC nurse
I am a nurse and I insert PICCs. Complications are rare but my hunch is each of these are related to brachial plexus pain. I am investigating now b/c i have a patient who had a TOTALLY EASY UNCOMPLICATED line insertion but is experiencing strange pain.
To those of you who suffered traumatic insertions. I suspect your pain is phelbitis and some of you an associted thrombus.
I have inserted hundreds personally. One must always choose wisely when dealing with vascular access devices, BUT there are LOTS of risks using just peripheral IVs too. (Do a google search for a forum about that...i bet anything it will be a longer one).

As a nurse I am sorry that some practitioners don't know enough or don't take you seriously. That may be more awful than the pain...
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied July 30th, 2011
IV nurse,
Thank you for your experience and comments. My mother's bone scan was negative (hooray) and even a subsequent trip to the ER (yes, she was still hurting and having SOB) detected nothing of concern (no blood clots anywhere, no lung issues, no pericardium issues). Her docs suggested an ortho f/u. She did have her 2nd chemo on 7/28; at that time, her oncologist mentioned that he thought her pain could have resulted from an infusion of WBCs (to help boost her counts) the day after her first chemo... This time, she received the WBC infusion in her left arm to give the right one a break and to see if the doc's hunch may be valid...Will keep posting of her experience.

thanks,
Runninghawk
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied August 1st, 2011
PICC LINE PAIN
PICC LINE PAIN

I also had a picc line inserted for 6 weeks due to three botched surgeries on my ankle. With this fourth surgery, my new ortho doctor found lots of bone infection which is why it would never heal and I was in a lot of pain. My infectious disease doctor had the picc line inserted. It didn't hurt going in, was okay for the six weeks, and I felt nothing whem it was removed. Later that night my arm was very sore and tender and red. That was on Thursday. It is now Monday and the pain has subsided quite a bit. The insertion point feels hard and still a little tender. I have a call in to the doctor to see if this is normal. If it is, I just would have liked to been told what to expect. It has been a nerve-racking weekend not knowing if this was normal or serious. Please docs and nurses, let patients who are having picc lines removed know what to expect and if they should call if their is pain after removal. I am very pleased with both of my doctors, but was quite nervous about this pain having been told nothing.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied August 6th, 2011
CF Eric
I had a picc line put in on 8-2-11 in my left arm. They tried to put it in my right arm 3 times but failed and the introducer slipped and it SOMETHING very tender and its now 8-6-11 and my right arm is yellow and blue and very sore. Also getting numbness in my right hand as well as chest and shoulder pain on my right arm where my picc line ISN'T!! This is my 5th time getting a picc due to Cystic Fibrosis. And by the way they had to adjust my line afterwards in my left arm also...5 times...REALLY!!!! I may seek legal advise.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied February 20th, 2012
Picc's are dangerous period
Had a PICC line put in last Saturday Feb 11, 2012 as they could not find a vein for IV during an emergency heart/respiratory admission to the hosital. The PICC was removed on Thursday Feb 16, 2012 when I was discharged. Woke up yesterday Feb 19, 2012 with severe Right neck pain that kept me up most of the night. Woke up today Feb 20,2012 with excruciating pain and weakness in Right hand and arm along with swelling of right hand and arm. Hand is numb using ice pack to lessen pain. PS: A nurse called from hospital about an hour ago for a survey mentioned my issues she got quiet and recommended immediate medical attention if symptoms persisted. Do not get a PICC line.
|
Did you find this post helpful?
12 >>
Quick Reply