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Severe Elbow pain after 14 years since surgery.

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14 years ago, I had broken my elbow and in result had to have reconstructive surgery. Pins in all. I had to go through 10 months of physical theropy.
I am now having serious pain in the elbow! Is it possible that the pins are coming out? Pain goes right down my arm into my hand. Please help! I had called a Orthopedic Surgeon but for some reason they couldnt help me, because I had already had surgery.
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replied June 14th, 2011
Especially eHealthy
Momof32011,

Usually, in children who have fractures of the elbow (supracondylar, epicondylar, etc) and have pins placed, the pins are usually removed within a few weeks, once the fracture has healed enough.

In an adult, fractures are usually treated with screws and plates. These can be left in. Straight, nonthreaded K-wires can migrate, and as such are usually not left in place for any extended period of time.

If the pain is like a electrical shock, going down into the hand on the small finger side, you may have irritation of the ulnar nerve. The ulnar nerve runs right next to the bone on the posterior aspect of the elbow. It is not uncommon for this nerve to be injured at the time of the injury, surgery, or to develop problems down the road (from several reasons).


I would seek out another orthopedic surgeon. Inform him/her that you are having problems in your elbow after a significant injury that required internal fixation. Just because it has been operated on before, does not preclude it from developing problems later on down the road. As a matter of fact, because it was an intraarticular fracture, you are a set up for traumatic arthritis in that joint. It just seems strange that the orthopedic surgeon would not see you. Again, you might want to try a different surgeon.

Good luck.
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