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Numbness of forearm after radial nerve injury

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i had surgery on my left humerus bone five days ago because i broke it in a arm wrestle match against my friend. i had a plate put in my arm to align the bone and also because it shattered more than a clean break and there were bone fragments in my muscle they had to remove and the alignment was very far out so they couldn't just cast it. also they said the bone sliced through my radial nerve.

my question is.
why do i have no feeling in my forearm. but yet i have feeling in my fingers and wrist. i can move my fingers and wrist. but my bicep and forearm muscles dont move at all when i make a soft fist. but in my right arm the muscles are clearly flexing.
is it because of nerve damage they dont move at all and also i have no feeling in my forearm?

i am 80kg 24 years old i have a built physic from gym working out.

thx regards travis

Category: Orthopedic Surgeon

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Category: Spine Surgeon
 25 Doctors Online

Welcome at Doctorspring.

I have read your question with diligence.

It looks from your details that most probably your fracture humerus has also teathered radial nerve.This nerve do also supply to back of forearm and dorsum of hand.There are different branches of radial nerve which supply to forearm and wrist as well as help in extension of wrist.

Most probably sensory nerve supplying to forearm is injured more severely ,this is the reason why you are getting almost decreased sensation in forearm.Nerve supply to wrist and hand is through other branch.If you are able to do good extension at wrist then this nerve is not injured.To assess this you may have NCV study of upper limb.Hope this will help you.

Feel free to ask followups
Thank you

Patient replied :

Thank you for your reply.
Why would my bicep not be contracting either? Does the bicep connect to the radial nerve as well?

Also I work full time as a news press printer which is manual labour job and I require to lift heavy things at work.
How long should I have off work so I do not injure myself?

When do you think my arm will be completely healed?

I attached a photo of my arm also
Thankyou regards travis

Hello Travis,

The Biceps muscle is not supplied by radial nerve, it is supplied by musculocutaneous nerve. If you are having loss of sensation at forearm and there is loss of function of biceps then musculocutaneous nerve may also be injured. All this can be confirmed by nerve conduction studies.

All your future recovery depends on results of your tests. If there is severe type of injury then only surgery for nerve repair can help you. In case of mild injuries it may take about 6-9 months in recovery.

Hope this will help you. Please feel free to discuss further.

Patient replied :

One more question.
So my bicep muscle and forearm muscles should still move (contract) even with a broken humerus bone unless there is nerve damage?

I know I have a damaged my radial nerve because the doctors at hospital said I had when the bone fractured. Just didn't know it controlled the forearm muscles as well. But now I am wondering about my bicep as nothing was said about that. And it is not contracting at all as well.

For the surgery just so you know. They had to put a plate on my humerus bone to align it as the fracture was bad. They had to get a couple of broken off pieces out of my muscle. And they had to fix the radial nerve that had been cut by the bone.

Thank you very much for your help. This is the first time using this site. I did so to get a second opinion about my problem before I go back to hospital to start my physiotherapy rehab on my arm in a couple of weeks.
Thank you again,
Regards Travis

Hello Travis,

Movements of biceps depend upon various factors like
- where was incision for surgery given,
- how much insult to muscles during surgery occurred?
- Amount of fractured bone because muscles attaches to bone so if attachment point is weak or unstable then there can be weakness of affected muscles.
- Presence of pain do also has an inhibitory action over muscle movement.

Answer of this question can be given by your operating surgeon in better way.

Hope this helps, please feel free to discuss further.

Dr. Mukesh Tiwari
Category: Spine Surgeon
Fellowship - Khandaka Hospital, Jaipur
Residency - MS, Rabindranath Tagore Medical College, Udaipur, 2000
Medical School, Internship - MBBS, SMS Medical College, Jaipur, 1995
Dr. Mukesh Tiwari and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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