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Ask Dr. Arun Phophalia Your Own Question
Dr. Arun Phophalia
Dr. Arun Phophalia, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 34731
Experience:  MBBS, MS (General Surgery), Fellowship in Sports Medicine
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My left arm is very swollen from my shoulder to my wrist.

Resolved Question:

My left arm is very swollen from my shoulder to my wrist. I took a shot or Trenbolen Acetate (Finaplix) steriod 3 days ago. I have been to the ER three nights in a row. First, they said it was an infection, then something to do with my lymph nodes and tonight they did an ultrasound. They "think" I have narrowing of a vein valve. I personally think its a reaction to the drug. No pain at all just my whole arm is swollen. The swelling started in my shoulder and migrated to my forearm and now seems to be mostly in my elbow area. Any suggestions? Obviously the ER doesn''t have a clue after seeing me 3 nights in a row.

Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Arun Phophalia replied 9 years ago.


Allergy is a definite possibility, I agree, in the absence of pain and if there is no redness also. The steroids are very unlikely to cause allergy but they can have allergic reactions. Taking anti-allergic medication like benadryl, if helps, will further substantiate this and will give a therapeutic diagnosis.

The other causes like infection or affection of the venous valves (thrombophlebitis or phlebothrombosis), lymphangitis, are associated with redness, pain and fever, apart from swelling.

Please feel free for your follow up questions.

Dr. Arun

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Dr. Arun Phophalia's Post: What are the systems for vascular stenosis or deep vein thrombosis? That the latest diagnosis from my 3rd trip to the ER. Can you look up the drug? Is there something that can be done to counter act the chemical reaction that I'm having? My elbow feels like it has fluid in it but it doesn't. I thought it was blood but it wasn't.
Expert:  Dr. Arun Phophalia replied 9 years ago.

Hello Brian,

The ultrasound is very good technique for detecting the stenosis of the artery and its blood flow. This also detects the deep vein thrombosis which is called as phlebothrombosis. Arterial stenosis will give lot of pain and color changes in the arm like blue or black. Did you inject it yourself? Phlebothrombosis too give quite serious symptoms; especially the pain, redness and swelling are profound.

Since the origin of the drug is somewhat not standardized, this is the reason, I suspected allergy. Low grade/mild grade infection obviously is a possibility. I read this resource before answering you;

Do you want me to read something else or specific site of manufacturer, which you used?

Please feel free for your further queries.

Dr. Arun

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I don't think it's an infection. I have no pain at all and I forgot to tell you they had me on bendryl, medriol pack and a very strong antibotic for 3 days and still no changes. Please see what else you can find. In reading the properties of the drug in your link it states that it can "Also, since it’s a progestin, it can exacerbate the estrogenic effects of aromatizable steroids." Does that mean it can effect my lymph nodes like what happens to women after they have a breast cancer surgery? My mom had a very swollen arm after her surgery.
Expert:  Dr. Arun Phophalia replied 9 years ago.

Hi Brian,

The only other possibility seems to be is a chemical reaction which can induce inflammatory reaction in the muscles and lymphatics. The medication or mode of injection cannot cause lymphatic edema as seem by breast surgery or surgical dissection of the lymph nodes in some diseases/surgery. The symptoms of infection can be masked by the antibiotics and medrol pack as they reduce the inflammation/infection tremendously (this also needs consideration).

Dr. Arun

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Dr. Arun Phophalia's Post: So what should I do? Keep taking the antibotics? How long should the swelling last? I've been on oral cycleme...someting oral and had an IV with 900mg of the drug. If it was an infection I would think I would see some serious improvement by the 3rd day of medriol pack and the antibotic, right?
Expert:  Dr. Arun Phophalia replied 9 years ago.


Swelling can take 5-7 days, to go. So, taking same treatment for further 3-4 days would be prudent. You are right that antibiotics give significant improvement in three days. Medrol pack helps in infective and allergic, both the conditions. In the present context, it may be difficult to give you exact diagnosis (allergy or chemical inflammation are more likely), the best course seems to be continue with the same treatment regime.

Dr. Arun

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