T Nation

Snapping Forearm Tendon at Elbow

I had surgery in June 2011 to fix torn cartilage in my right wrist, was put into a full arm cast (for the 2nd time that year) for a month. After it came off, my doctor did not want me to do rehab so I just had to stretch my wrist a lot throughout the day, and after 6 months of that I had most of my motion back and could continue lifting.

I’ve been lifting for 2 months now, bringing my strength back up in my right arm, but I get this weird snapping/numbness in my right lower arm if I try to do pullups, and occasionally db bench/ db incline bench. It’s at the top of the movement for the pullups. The snap happens down near my elbow on the inside (where it bends) on the forearm half of my arm and shoots up toward my thumb.

I can only get it to happen when my hand is pronated (like a pullup) and when Im flexing/using the muscle. Happens when my elbow is most of the way bent, like either a nerve is getting pinched or theres no room left for my tendon and it has to get shoved out of the area. Feels kind of like a rubber band being pulled a bit then letting go, that “snap” and little vibrations that accompany it.

Anyone know what this is? Or what I should do? Im almost positive its a result of my surgery.

Sounds like your median nerve is being irritated, maybe a result of your surgery and the carpal tunnel is a little cramped for space (scar tissue?), the snapping feeling is most likely a tendon, also lending to some involvement with the median nerve and the “numbness” you feel in your thumb. You should probably stretch more, go a little lighter and try to use a less pronanted grip on your presses.

stretch what exactly? My bicep? Forearm? Which muscles in the forearm?

I googled the median nerve and yeah that runs right where the snapping/numbness is. I don’t know how much lighter I can go, Im only doing 55 lb DB’s for 10 reps on DB Bench right now as im still trying to gain strength back from my surgery.

Stretching your forearm flexors (muscles on the palm side of your arm) would be helpful. Can I ask about your surgery? was it the TFCC? trauma involved?

It was a ECU Subluxation, a tendon on pinky side tore out of its catilage sheath and a new tunnel had to be made from tendons on the palm side of my wrist. The doctor said the TFCC was (and still is after my surgery, doc didn’t think it was the cause of my pain) slightly torn just because the tendon that ripped out was pretty close to it, though he doesn’t think its enough to cause any problems. I originally caused the injury 1 year before my surgery when I was doing barbell curls I think.