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Swollen, sore arm with purple tint. DEAD ARM SYNDROME?

Resolved Question:

Right arm has been swollen for ~16 hours.

Feels full and sore (like after a new strenuous workout).

It's discolored with a purplish and red tint from my bicep to my hand.

No mobility lost but is sore in the forearm, bicep and especially wrist to move around.

Started out of the blue while typing at my desk at work. No exercise or heavy lifting within the past 2 weeks. Just walking.

Prior condition: dead arm syndrome diagnosed by chiropractor. Played volleyball regularly about a decade ago.

Pictures of right and left arm attached.

Category: Orthopedic Surgeon

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Category: Spine Surgeon
 30 Doctors Online

Thanks for your query at You seem to be in a lot of pain.
I have read your history and saw the pics attached. It looks to be an inflammatory reaction for which, I have few questions to ask, before I give my opinion:
1. Do you have any localised tenderness? Painful wrist or elbow movement?
2. Are you feverish? Any food or drug or any other allergy? Insect bite?
3. Any history of chronic illness?
4. What treatment did u take for dead arm syndrome in past?

Please get back to me with the question's answer.
Wishing for your good health.

Patient replied :

1. Do you have any localised tenderness? Painful wrist or elbow movement?

No tenderness to the touch anyware. Wrist movement is sore. Elbow is fine. Bicep feels full and forearm aches when moving.
2. Are you feverish? Any food or drug or any other allergy? Insect bite?
Not feverish. No food or drug allergy. No insect bites on upper body. Some mosquito bites on legs.
3. Any history of chronic illness?
Chronic tension headache for 7 years. Gone now. Other than that no.
4. What treatment did u take for dead arm syndrome in past?
Physical therapy exercises - rotator cuff with resistance band.

My keyboard at work is somewhat high and I was resting my forearms, near my elbow, on the table while typing yesterday. My scapula on the right site felt hot and bright a couple times yesterday. Icing and immobilizing my right arm provides temporary relief and improved color.

Thanks for your reply.
By the details you provided, it doesn't look to be related to your old problem; dead arm syndrome.
Looks to be a localised compressive muscular pain because of bad posture of wirst and elbow while working. Rest and icing should help you out with anti inflammatory medicine on SOS basis. I am sending you a picture explaining good wrist position while working on computer. Add proper support/padding at elbow also.
If the problem persists or increases then you should consult your orthopedic Surgeon for proper clinical examination and test for better recovery.
I hope my opinion will help you out. Take care of yourself and your health.

Dr. Karun Jain
Category: Spine Surgeon
MBBS, 2002 - Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore
D.Orth, 2009- J.S.S Medical College, Mysore
MS - Orthopaedics, 2011 - University of Seychelles - American Institute of Medicine
Currently pursuing ChM (Trauma & Orthopedics) from The Royal college of Surgeons, Edinburgh & University of Edinburgh, U.K
Dr. Karun Jain and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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