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Deltoid Paralysis, Nerve Grafting (Page 1)

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Hello everyone. I am a 25 yr old male with a question about an injury sustained about 4-5 yrs ago. I was involved in a motocross accident which dislocated my shoulder. Now I don't know the first thing about medicine but I am willing to guess that a nerve was torn in the process, as I now have no feeling in about ten square inches of my right upper arm as well as a paralyzed deltoid. Now I know it's not the end of the world but it still makes live much more difficult as I can't lift the arm very high, I can no longer participate in the sports I love, and it is quite unsightly as well. My question to anyone with medical knowledge is, is there any type of treatment for this? What type of specialist would I want to go and see first? The reason for asking on this forum first is that I have no medical insurance and cannot afford to go to a bunch of different doctors who just refer me to someone else, or go to the doctor just to be told there is "probably" no treatment for this, as I was once told in the hospital (the doctor was in a big rush and didn't seem to care too much about my question as I was there for something else). Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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replied September 18th, 2008
deltoid problems
hi im an 18 year old male from spam unapproved and i also dislocated my shoulder playing football 3-4 years ago.
the deltoid nevre has been severed and now i have no muscle there at all. although i still have ok movement in my shoulder it does affect day to day life very much. i have seen docters and as u said, all they have done is refer to other docters and the finally result was nothing can be done. i was wondering if u have heard of anything that can be done.?
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replied September 18th, 2008
Good luck man. Hate to say it but the chances are slim. Mine turned out to be the auxillary nerve if I remember correctly, and that's probably what going on with you but I'm no doctor. I've spent over two grand on tests, doctor visits, scans, etc. and every doctor I've talked to pretty much rushed me out of his office and told me to try someone else. I've even called the office of Dr. Naft(I think that was his name, google it) who specializes in these sort of things and sent off my MRI's and X-Rays and was pretty much told, sorry. Most of these doctors and the woman who administered the nerve test said that there was some activity so there is probably a chance, but none of them showed any interest in treating me. Just seems like they already have a full work load so they don't want to deal with it. It really sucks trying to train MMA and do other physically demanding things with such a disadvantage. But hey, at least most of the tattoo didn't hurt(jk, this really sucks). Is yours numb, and if so, from where to where?
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replied November 26th, 2011
deltiod axillary nerve
My son was a passenger in a car crash three years ago. His body wrapped around the back of the driver seat at 75 miles per hour, the seatbelt embedded in his shoulder. the driver chose to smash the car went through an iron fence through a telephone pole into a tree trunk.The surgeon waited 6 weeks to repair his shoulder. It hung and was sceaming pain , had to sleep in a recliner awful to see him in that pain.The repair left him with a nub for a shoulder , a cut axillary nerve and no use of his deltoid muscle. Without insurance it took tears to get an electro test. He had PT no improvement. The neuroligist gave him the sad news last week he will never regain the ability to lift his arm . There is no surgery to repair the damage.
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replied September 18th, 2008
Oh and I forgot to add that nerve damage usually needs to be treated within a short period of time. Don't remember how long, but long before 3-4 years. This will make any treatment much more unlikely.
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replied September 18th, 2008
yea seems like same story no docter can do anythink. mine was also the auxillary nerve but with numbnes i must have got pretty lucky not much at all just a bit towards the top of the shoulder.
good luck let us now if u find any more out.cheers
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replied September 18th, 2008
Yeh man well you're lucky as I'm numb from the top of my shoulder to about 3 inches above my elbow. Hopefully that will give you a better chance than me. In Jiu-Jitsu people are always like, "what man? what the hell happened to you". I look like skeletor on one side and have plenty of muscle on the other, haha. Anyway, Good luck dude. And keep me informed please.
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replied December 27th, 2008
Hey guys, same injury playing football October of 2007. After many doctors finally diagnosed with axillary nerve damage in August 2008 and went to Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC. Got a rare surgery only a few places in the world perform (a tricep to axillary nerve transfer). Did so in October 2008 a year after injury when the surgery needed to be done 3-6 months after injury for best chance of success. Pretty stressed out no because I should be seeeing results 3-4 months after which is pretty soon I am praying it works. They took a nerve from the long head of my tricep (there is three tricep heads) and placed it in my deltoid. This in theory will activate the deltoid. Problem is, God forbid it doesn't work he gave me a 65-70 percent succes chance, then I lost function of both my entire deltoid AND a large chunk of my tricep. I am very into lifting, and no it is hard for me to do many exercises and the appearence of it sickens me. Just wondering how you guys cope with it, because I don't know of anybody who has it......
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replied February 23rd, 2009
Hey MMAFanAtl, i am having the same problem with you.I cant lift my arm high and numb at the outer shoulder. My doctor used to ask me to put a screw on it and make it the move it with more strength but, that will me permanent moving area of your hands. Ofcoz i didn't accept the offer from the doctor. Until now(about 10 years) I am quite used to it. I can play snooker, basketball, badminton, table tennis even Racing in a Race Track. But until last few days. I've found out a game that I cant play. It's GOLF! As a employee in a company, we will need to learn things to have more contact with customer. By the way, I am Marcus from malaysia and if there have any chance, please write me so that we can inform each other for any news for this problem.
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replied April 23rd, 2009
Hey greenghost23, any update??? Hope you are OK.
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replied November 20th, 2009
Hi all! I am a doctor from Russia, and I`ll try to give some explanation concerning the palsy of the deltoid muscle.
If you have the deltoid paralised only you must have full-ranged of shoulder motion and force, you may suffer only insignificant weakness of elevate the arm behind or/and putting the arm into the akimbo position. Most of my patients complainted of an esthetic damaged due to a "wasted off shoulder" without any difficulties as for work or even sport activity.
If your deltoid is paralised and you cannot actively raise your arm it may be explained by:

concommitant palsy of the suprascapular nerve (supra- and infraspinatus muscles),

concomitant tear of the tendons of these muscles - so-called "rotator cuff tears",

or, maybe, these muscles are torn and paralised simultaneously.

Unfortunately, most doctors all over the world do not know this, that is why most patients with such combined lesions are overviewed (no se fijan).
prof. Oleg PRUDNIKOV
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replied December 2nd, 2009
axiliary nerve damage
I am 47 years old, and damaged my axiliary nerve while dirt bike riding and breaking my upper arm near the shoulder about 22 years ago. About 1 year after the accident I had surgery to try to repair the nerve to no avail. I live with pretty consistent pain from the shoulder always and have accepted it as part of life, my thorn in the flesh so to speak ! Could be worse, my nephew is in a wheel chair due to a dirt bike accident about 12 years ago. Harvey.
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replied July 6th, 2010
axillary nerve damage
I was hit by a fellow rider 11 months ago; blunt trauma, dislocation, and broken collar bone. My shoulder was very weak, atrophied muscle, and I had significant numbness over a regimental patch about 10cm of skin around my deltoid. Went originally to my family Doctor, who advised me that my axillary nerve was damaged and time is the only cure for nerve growth. Appartently, a nerve will grow less than 1mm per week. 11 months later I have some growth of my middle deltoid. Many physiotherapy sessions, and low light laser treatment from my chiropractor (don't know if this helped). The posterior (back) and anterior (front) parts of the muscle are not there, yet. Here' what I have learned: If you have the abduction of the arm to 90 degrees away from your body you must have some deltoid function. There is no other muscle that can pick your arm up. Your trapezius cannot raise your arm. The look of your muscle may or may not come back (my neurologist said so) but if you have range of motion something's happening. I currently cannot pick my hand up off my hip, because (it's my belief) my posterior deltoid does that function. I went to see 2 neurologists for EMG's. One said that I had no deltoid electrical signals from my nerve and the other Dr. didn't test me because he said you must have function because you can raise your arm. Therefore I'd suggest talking to a neurologist rather than a MD, because they'll specialize in these types of injuries.
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replied August 15th, 2010
Deltoid numbness and lack of movement
I am a 39 year old female, I work out regularly with weight training. I tried a new shoulder/arm machine the other day and its hard to think it might be the cause of my current problem. The night before last, I suddenly noticed my right arm felt heavy and somewhat weak. I have regular movement lifting my arm in front of me, some movement lifting it to my side, but absolutely no strength lifting it behind! When I flex both arms tight, the difference in my deltoids is very obvious. My right will not flex at all, but I also noticed partial numbness radiating down the length of my arm, into my thumb. This morning, I also noticed that my right arm has started to tremble some (when I extend them straight out in front of me). I have no pain, no sensitivity, and other than regular weight lifting, have had no sudden trauma to this "injury" site... just numbness and lack of movement out of nowhere. Have any of you experienced pain or lack of pain associated with this problem? All the medical sites I've visited so far associate a shoulder injury with pain, and I no pain at all. Just trying to figure out how the heck this could have happened. It's driving me nuts, because it's difficult doing some of the most common daily tasks now, such as shifting my car, getting dressed, doing my hair... I'm trying to learn to use my left arm instead, but I am right handed. LOL not easy!
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replied January 24th, 2011
hey guys I had the same injury as alot of you.im a 21 year old male. Motocross accident april of 2010 dislocated shoulder and fractured the head of my humerus. So after wearing a sling for 3 months I finally got the go ahead to start physio therapy, had frozen shoulder so lots of pain and agony to loosen it up. Started feeling a little better but still numbness on my outter shoulder. Spent countless hours in the gym trying to get my shoulder strength back but deltoid just kept fadeing away till the point where it was completely gone. So i went back for routine check up at the specialist and he was like what? u have no deltoid, so he sent me to a nerve specialist for an emg and mri. Found out auxilary nerve was damaged with no sign of recovery after 9 months, so i had surgery to transfer the nerve from my tricep to my deltoid on janurary 5 2011 and am currently in a sling for another week and am hoping that this works. There are doctors that will do this surgery in ontario canada which is where im from. Let me know how you guys have made out. all the best.....Nick
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replied July 15th, 2011
I'm a middle-aged male in Albuquerque.
Same neuromuscular issues with right shoulder. Woke up one morning two weeks ago with loss of use of right deltoids and numbness on outside of upper half of arm. NO PAIN. Confuses all the local docs. Exclusions so far: no stroke, no pinched nerve in neck, no oddities seen in MRI of brachial plexus. EMG shows that auxiallary nerve to deltoid in the arm works fine. Tow possible diagnoses given to date: viral infection of bracial plexus or Parkinson-Turner Syndrome (but usually starts with a lot of pain) or peripheral diabetic amyopathy. I'm type I diabetic for 27 years. Haven't lifted weights in weeks. Did have bronchitis 5 months ago. Foot surgery 8 months ago.
I guess the one question that worries me the most is whether I can ride my upright bike again safely. Any experience or advice would be appreciated. I suppose if that doesn't work, I could buy a recumbent. Glad I found this forum.
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replied August 20th, 2011
Fresh to paralysis...
Hey guys
I dislocated my shoulder and have been in a sling for four weeks now and I swear some days it feels like the nerves in my deltoid are healing and some days, like today, it feels like it is back to where it started. im really nervous about losing that muscle, i dont know how this is gonna go (im still in a sling). I tested moving my arm around and i can do it, but its really difficult to move it behing my body. i was playing indoor cricket, indoor mixed netball and three days of squash per week before this happened, and now im worried i can't do any of it. glad i found this forum too. any advice would be greatle appreciated.
Cheers, Roger
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replied February 8th, 2012
Pretty much the same story here. I rolled my truck over my arm and dislocated my left shoulder 2 years ago. Surgeon waited for 8 months to operate on my supraspinatus in order for my auxillary nerve to regenerate, which it never did regenerate. I am left with no deltoid muscle and cannot lift my arm more than 20 degrees. I was in physio for the past year with no improvement, and doctors tell me that it is too late for a nerve transfer. It is unsitely, painful and frustrating, I'm also left handed. I do daily exercises involving my tricep which seems to help a bit with my arm strength and mobility. Sleeping and racket sports are a pain but you learn to live with it. It's a hidden disability as people see nothing wrong with you (unless your shirt is off)which can be awkward sometimes. I just needed to vent, I know how you all feel
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replied February 11th, 2012
Hey im going in for the same surgery after breaking my upper arm and shattering the ball joint into four peices abour 8 months ago. After the accident and getting a plate put into my arm I recovered and had very good motion and strength in my arm not even 3 months later. However now, and has been evident for a long time, my deltoid muscle is gone. Im hoping that this surgery helps as this was my right arm and I am right handed =(.
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replied March 5th, 2012
Hi Everyone, I am from spam unapproved i had a total shoulder replacement in May 2011,I have had nothing but problems. My hand & arm kept going numb, it took my surgeon 3mths to decide that the screw was too long & touching my nerve,so had a 2nd operation to fix that in Aug 2011. Then the ball that was put in my shoulder was too big for me & that was removed & replaced with a smaller size, but he never replaced the socket to the same size as the new ball, that was done in Oct 2011. I have not been able to lift my arm for 8mths. I found out that my deltoid is damaged & has been since July 2011, which the surgeon never mentioned. Now my Infraspinatus & Supraspinatus are both absent and he is not quite sure what to do, so i have stopped seeing him & i am now going to see a plastic surgeon to see if he can fix it by nerve transplant. I am starting to give up but keep trying to find someone that will help as the pain is so intense i can not stand it, and i want to be able to lift my arm. Pretty hard to have faith in a surgeon when they are not telling the truth but it's us as the patient that is suffering not them. So to put it bluntly he has totally screwed my shoulder & i am praying that it can be fixed. Sad
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replied April 17th, 2012
29 year old male, wrapped myself around a tree on my mountain bike a few years ago and severed the nerves for my deltoid in the process. Years of physio, mri scans and nerve conduction studies and still no improvement. I cant do most things i used to do before my accident seems like all my hobbies have now gone as a result. Loss of movement, numbness, pain and no sleep for as long as i can remember. Diagnosed with major depression and anxiety a couple of years back all rolled into the package, girlfriend left last year and its really hard trying to meet new people when i constantly feel like a freak, nevermind contemplating the thought of undressing in front of another woman now that im so self concious of having the 'Skelator' look. I suppose i just cant handle this as well as other people and it just sucks to know that nothing will be improving and its really hard to stay positive. I got a complete discharge from hospital today as theres nothing they can do and the specialist doesnt want to know anymore, i dont know what to do
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