Cording after lumpectomy

smokie08smokie08 AdelaideMember Posts: 73
Hi all 
Thought i would let you know how it is all going after the surgery.  All the pathology was good clear margins and lymph nodes and only less than 1mm of cancer left in tumor which was very good news.  Still a bit sore but only been 2 weeks since op i think i expect miracles!!!! been doing exercises form the physio but got a bit of cording has anyone got any suggestions on how to deal with it ?  I have been doing streaches but was wondering if massage would help as its in the arm pit as well as my arm.  I did have a bit of fluid build up which was drianed on tuesday and nurse did say about massage for that but its still quite sore under my arm.



  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 2,333
    Hi @smokie08 ; I'm sure someone will come along with some help for you.  In the meantime if you put in the word cording in the search area of this site - Discussions front page, in line with the word Home, about 2/3rds across the page is the word Search - use varying words and you will find previous posts on this topic.  Hope that helps and take care
  • adeanadean Member Posts: 1,019
    I had terrible cording down my arm and into my chestits so painful .lm sorry but its a must to keep up the exercises and l did eventualy go to a massage therapist , a reputable one who released the last bits. You will feel them ping when they release themselves. Massaging yourelf in the shower with sorbelene can also release them as well, most of mine went while l was doing the exercises. All the best. Adean
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 4,211
    I saw a lymphodema physio who helped with cording. Laser sorted mine out and continuing to do the exercises. 
  • Summerhill38Summerhill38 VictoriaMember Posts: 731
    Hi @smokie08
    The physio did a job on cracking my cording and I continued with the exercises but in the end a remedial masseur managed to keep it in check.
    The ''popping'' sound as it cracks is one of life's pleasures.
    Good luck.
    Summer   :)
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 1,482
    Can't recommend a lymphoedema therapist enough. Plus exercising even when you don't feel like it. Best wishes.
  • viking1viking1 Perth, Western Australia, NORMember Posts: 278
    What exactly is cording?  I have a lot of pain in my left armpit after full axillary clearance ... they opened me up twice. 
  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 2,333

    This link from the BCNA website has a section on cording 
  • UnicornkissesUnicornkisses Central CoastMember Posts: 395
    edited November 2017
    @viking1 Cording is thought to be the damaged lymph vessels drying up and going hard, it feels like a thin rope inside your breast area, going towards your underarm and sometimes down to the elbow or even wrist, it pulls when you try to stretch out. It usually is uncomfortable and limits movement. 
    I do not have cords any more after the lymphodema physio used the laser on me and massaged out the area after surgery. She could see the cords when I lifted my arm out to the side, there were two of them.
    I still have very sore areas under my arm and in front of my shoulder just above the breast area where the lymphnodes were removed ( I also had a mastectomy) Those two areas flared up the worst and swelled up with radiation, very painfully. Three weeks after radiation finished, they are still very tender for wearing bras or some clothes. I guess it will be a while before they are healed properly.
    I am going back to the lymphodema physio this week and hope she can help a bit there.

    For anyone with cording I would suggest seeing a lymphodema physio that uses laser, it only took one treatment for me to get rid of the cording, and felt really good, as did the massage. The stretches were a little more challenging but I felt so much better after the treatment.

    My health fund, NIB partly covers physio treatment, otherwise you can organise a physio through the chronic condition management scheme through your GP. 
    It is one of the Allied Health appointments you can have ( you get 5 per year) 
    Make sure they are trained for lymphodema massage and laser.
    The Cancer Centre here in the central coast NSW also has a lymphodema clinic in the public hospital which is free to access, you just need a referral from your GP. 
    Other public hospitals may have one too, ring them and ask.

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