Brachial Plexitis following tetanus shot? Please HELP!

Treatments, Rehabilitation, and Recovery
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Re: Brachial Plexitis following tetanus shot? Please HELP!

Post by admin » Wed Aug 13, 2003 10:10 am

Just an update. It is now more than 6 months since my problems began due to an adverse reaction to a tetanus shot. I am not improving, and there are increasing signs of muscle atrophy in the hand and nerve damage.
My whole hand feels numb most of the time, and I have been dx'd with cubital tunnel at the elbow, but the shoulder and hand problems still have not been figured out. I am going to PA next week to see a top TOS(Thoracic Outlet Syndrome) Dr, I think the nerves in the brachial plexus are being compressed due to the shoulder drooping. I am also to get a stellate ganglion block at the pain center in a couple weeks, to see if the hand pn, temperature changes, sensitivity to A/C or drafts , and increased pn when I touch or pick up anything is due to Reflex Sympathetic Dystropy.

Once I do get dx, I will be looking into filing for compensation from the Vaccine Injury Fund, I'm sure that will be a pleasant experience LOL So no happy endings in sight, but I am finally on track to getting a dx for all the pain and problems that have come on due to the neuritis, hopefully then I can get some treatment. This has been the longest 6 months of my life!!

Mary1
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Re: Brachial Plexitis following tetanus shot? Please HELP!

Post by Mary1 » Wed Aug 13, 2003 4:50 pm

Hi Paul

bjones
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Re: Brachial Plexitis following tetanus shot? Please HELP!

Post by bjones » Fri Aug 22, 2003 9:53 am

I don't know why but I cannot read the recent replies. It says there are 21 replies but only 18 show up. Any idea why?

My husband and I flew to PA this week to see Dr. Togut, he specializes in thoracic outlet syndrome. He dx'd me with brachial plexus neuropathy (TOS) and CRPS II(RSD). My scap is winging due to long thoracic nerve damage and the trap injury. he told me I will likely be dealing with this for the rest of my life. He would not say whether surgery could be helpful, he said we will discuss that later, I think he felt I had enough to deal with and digest, which is certainly true. He started me on Lidocaine patches and gave me a scrip for Zoloft to help with depression. Monday I go to the pain clinic for a stellate ganglion block to see if the block will help with the nerve pain in my arm, if so we will do a series of them, but Dr. Togut says that CRPS type II is not likely to go into remission, I guess because of the ongoing nerve compression which is causing the problem in the first place.

I finally have a dx, but it is not what I wanted to hear. It is very hard to accept that my arm will never be normal again, that I will be dealing with chronic pain forever, due to a routine tetanus booster.

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Re: Brachial Plexitis following tetanus shot? Please HELP!

Post by admin » Mon Aug 30, 2004 2:19 pm

I was given a tetanus shot last Monday night at Shawnee Hospital. I immediately started hurting in my neck and shoulders and spine, it moved to my chest the next day and I could hardly breathe. I suffered until Thursday night when I drove myself back to the E>R. and told the doctor there what the shot was doing to me. They knocked me out to do an MRI and I woke up two days later to find that they had operated on me cut the front of my throat, took the disc out of my neck at the 5 and 6th vertebrae and put in titanium metal. I told them the tetanus shot did this but they ignored me. They did not ask my permission to do this operation. I don't know anything about this kind of surgery. I am a 47 year old teacher living alone and this has been excruciatingly painful and frightening. How can this happen to someone who is perfectly healthy until given a shot? Please contact me 918-424-5627

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Re: Brachial Plexitis following tetanus shot? Please HELP!

Post by admin » Sun Sep 26, 2004 4:39 am

I just had a tetanus booster shot and am having the side effects mentioned by others on this web site. I can't believe how many seem to be having this problem. Just got the shot last Friday and it is Sunday am, can't sleep because of the pain. Hope it resolves soon, this is really scary.

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Re: Brachial Plexitis following tetanus shot? Please HELP!

Post by admin » Thu Sep 30, 2004 5:59 pm

Hi, I had a tetnus shot a week ago and I am having bad muscle soreness in the arm it was given in and havent been able to sleep through the night since I got the Shot it is hard to lift and feels so painful. How long will these symptoms last? I just don't feel good now my upper back is getting achy I do not ever want another Tetnus shot again. My husband is planning on getting one next week do you think he should? He works around metal an always has small cuts our last shots were 10 years ago. I remember having a similiar reaction but would like to know what to do to get over the symptoms sooner? It seems worse this time. I will be looking forward to your response A.S.A.P Thank You Jan

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Re: Brachial Plexitis following tetanus shot? Please HELP!

Post by admin » Thu Oct 07, 2004 1:30 am

hi,
i had a tetanus shot yesterday, october 5, 2004, and tonight, i am having severe pain in that arm, unbearable. is this normal? what can i do for it? should i go to the ER? thanks.
linda/wisconsin

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Re: Brachial Plexitis following tetanus shot? Please HELP!

Post by admin » Thu Jan 06, 2005 11:44 am

I've been reading these postings regarding tetanus shot reactions. My husband received a tetanus shot about three weeks ago before he had to have stitches in his finger. He has not been the same since. He has severe pain in his left shoulder and it is travelling across his chest. He has had many tests and nothing is coming back to explain what is going on. The doctor told him that this has nothing to do with the tetanus shot. This doctor is associated with the hospital who administered the shot. All we know is that before my husband received the shot, he was a healthy 41 year old man. Now, he his burdened with pain and finds it difficult to lift things. Can anyone tell me some good news?

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Re: Brachial Plexitis following tetanus shot? Please HELP!

Post by admin » Mon Jan 31, 2005 1:45 pm

I had my tetanus booster almost 2 weeks ago and I have deep, burning pain in my arm (feels like the biceps area. Sometimes my whole arm feels numb and I get pain shooting down into my hand and up into my neck. Is this ever going to go away? My doctor has me on ibuprofen and muscle relaxants which do not help.

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Re: Brachial Plexitis following tetanus shot? Please HELP!

Post by admin » Tue Feb 01, 2005 1:00 am

Sorry, I haven't been back to check in for quite a while. Sorry to see so many posting to this, but hoping your problems have resolved! Mine haven't, unfortunately. Thursday will mark 2 years since I got the tetanus booster, and I am still in pain, disabled, undergoing treatment. I keep hoping to at least plateau, so I can get some sort of control back, start a new life and begin to live again, but that isn't in the cards yet. I had a second surgery in October to detach the pec minor tendon from the coracoid process(shoulder) as an EMG showed chrocic denervation of the medial cord of the brachial plexus. I have a good deal of atrophy and weakness in the arm and hand as a result. I think there is still compression at the back of the armpit, from the drooping scapula, if I lift up on the shoulder girdle the pain and tightness seem to ease, but let that scapula droop back down and instant parasthesia in the hand and fingers, worse if I raise it, plus pain under the arm. However, after two surgeries on that side already, I don't think further surgery on the right side is a good idea, so am not sure what to do. Taping has helped in the past, but is impractical long-term - what do you do when your shoulder droops? And seems no PT will help to strengthen those muscles, the nerves are too damaged/hyper. I've been diagnosed with full-body RSD as well, so that complicates things, and I'm hypermobile as it gets, which I discovered after my PTs kept screaming at me to stop bending things the wrong way! LOL!

Did I also mention osteoporosis? At 43, I must be a therapist's nightmare!

I did finally get to a TOP neurologist, Dr Robert Schwartzman in Philadelphia at Drexel University College of Medicine. His diagnosis stated I had suffered an autoimmune reaction from tetanus toxoid of the brachial plexus, particularly on the right but spreading to the left as well, cervical plexus irritation, and complex regional pain syndrome(RSD) particularly in the upper extremities. This was at the consult in October, seems I have gotten worse this winter with the CRPS. I just got back from Philly where I had a 5-day IV Lidocaine treatment to try to relieve the RSD pain, I'd say I got about 50% relief, which is great! It can last from 2-6 months, I am just praying it gets me through til warm weather.

Enough of a novel, just was told by a friend I should check in, so thought I wd bring you up-to-date. Oh, and the govt (Health and Human Services) plans to make me go to court to prove the tetanus shot caused this, even though I was healthy as a horse prior, and have several Drs stating the tetanus shot caused the brachial neuritis which preceded the RSD and TOS. They do this because they are trying to protect the vaccine manufacturers, isn't that special? Why is it I ever thought the government was there to help me if I needed help? Guess I've learned MY lesson!

Terri, did you have any weakness before the pain started? Did the arm feel heavy, or the deltoid almost paralyzed, like you couldn't raise your arm? You need stronger meds, Vicoden or similar, and possibly an antidepressant - for help with pain and sleep, and also a nerve med, like Neurontin or Topomax. If it hasn't improved at 3 wks, I'd ask for an EMG/NCV, as this will show if there is reduced nerve velocity, or nerve damage indicating brachial plexus neuritis. In the meantime, yell, scream, beg for pain meds!! If you don't, they will say your pain must not be that bad - trust me, I've been there!

good luck!

beth

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