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didn't know where else I could put this/  It was not until about 1 1/2 months after stroke that I was able to move fingers on my left hand a little.  Unfortunately, it was also about that time the spasms, contractions and contortions began.  Since that time my hand has become more swollen, and I just noticed tonight blue bruising (I think bruising) in the last three fingers of that hand.  They had begun to move a little, but now, three months out, they have begun to get stiff.  I still have feeling in them but had hoped I might have some mobility by now.

So now the paranoia strikes in, as when I was in rehab I overheard one of the therapists talking to another patient about amputations.  I don't know the reason for that patient being in therapy, it being a VA hospital, quite possibly nothing to do with strokes whatsoever.  So, is atrophy from stroke ever leading to amputations?   Insight would be greatly appreciated

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A couple months after my stroke, my hand swelled as big as a bear paw. I also had redness and was a little bluish. It finally went away after about 3 months. What bothered me most was my hand remained closed into a fist, and I was constantly sweating between my fingers.

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5 minutes ago, Benni said:

A couple months after my stroke, my hand swelled as big as a bear paw. I also had redness and was a little bluish. It finally went away after about 3 months. What bothered me most was my hand remained closed into a fist, and I was constantly sweating between my fingers.

Is your hand still closed into a fist?  I make a conscious effort to make sure I don't allow my fingers to close up like that.  When I lay my hand down I always reach over with my right hand and make sure my fingers are open and laying as flat as possible

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No, it's much more relaxed. I used to do the same thing -- always working to straighten my 'claw'. I did a lot of stretching exercises for over a year to get them more relaxed to 3/4 of the way open. I got an E-stim machine to stretch them too. It helps to wake up the muscles.

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Good advice, Benni.  Also, you can ask your therapist to make you a hand splint.  This will prevent your hand from automatically closing.  You will probably need to wear it 24/7.

 

To help with your hands swelling put it up on a pillow while you sleep. 

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My lt, affected limbs all swell, with my lt foot getting the worst of it. I was told by my doc that it's due to inactivity. Not much you can do about it- movement and diuretics.

  The stiffness you feel is probably due to tone.  "Tone" is another thing that can affect your muscles when they have no communication with your brain, and are not used enough. They can become stiff, harder, or rigid. Movement or muscle relaxers may help. Tone may be very susceptible to temp extremes, especially cold temps. The affected limb may feel very cold, and ache, or even hurt.

  The contortions of your hand sound like they might be spasticity. I have spasticity, but never had it like this. Spasticity is random, purposeless, and   jerky movements of a limb that occurs because the muscles have no connection to their director, the brain.The "cure" is to teach your hand how to move in a smooth, slow fashion, that has purpose, and is coordinated. Muscle relaxers may aso help. I, and many others on here, take the muscle relaxer, Baclofen, to help tone and/or spasticity. There are other muscle relaxers, of course. But, if you're unresponsive to muscle relaxers, your doc may suggest Botox injections.

  I have never heard of a lib being amputated simply because of entropy. I have only heard of amputation being suggested when there is another disease process going on which there is no other way of containing. But, just because I've never heard of it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.  Anyone heard of amputation just for entropy?

  My suggestion is to have more occupational therapy to help your hand, and to see your doc, because I'm not a doc, just a stroke survivor, who's "been there". Hoe something here helps.   Becky

 

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So long as the limb is otherwise healthy there should be no need for amputation but a limb that is unused is very susceptible to injury and complications especially as it has reduced lymphatic circulation (this is why you get the swelling).  As well as atrophy of the muscles reducing the strength of the limb over time you need to watch out for excessive tone causing the muscles to shorten so regular stretching and range of motion exercises are vital to maintain possibility of future recovery and use.

 

You need to be very careful to avoid burns and pressure sores which can become infected and lead to problems/complications where amputation could be a possibility. The biggest risk if you have tone in the fingers is actually your fingernails digging into the palm of the hand.  A splint especially for night time is a good idea. I go through periods where I am very good at wearing the split and other times I get tired of it and don't bother.  A splint during the day prevents you from attempting to use the hand so is not generally recommended although there are circumstances where it may be done. If you are wearing a split during the day it is wise to also use a sling so that the shoulder does not sublux.  With all this stuff everything's connected and it comes down to risk/reward assessments.

 

Talk to your OT and PT and make sure everyone is on the same page with your goals and decisions.

-Heather

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