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DRUJ (wrist) arthrodesis/Sauve-Kapandji procedure
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DRUJ (wrist) arthrodesis/Sauve-Kapandji procedure

I broke my wrist 15 months ago and already have had 2 surgeries. In the first, the doctor repaired the fracture to my radius by setting 3 removable pins. In the second, she reconstructed the (severed) volar radio-ulnar ligament using a tendon from elsewhere in my forearm.

The joint has continued to be unstable, and I dislocate the ulna on a frequent basis. This happens in supination; when the joint is loaded (while I am holding weight) the dislocation is very painful. If the joint is not loaded, the dislocation is not painful but still disturbing.

My doctor has recommended arthrodesis (Sauve-Kapandji procedure). It seems like a last resort and is frighteningly invasive. Has anyone had this procedure who can tell me what the recovery and long-term effects are like?

I'm a 30 year old female in otherwise good shape. I enjoy a very active lifestyle (including outdoor rock climbing, cycling, and yoga), which has been entirely diminished due to this injury. I have been quite depressed over the past year plus because of this change in lifestyle and have also subsequently gained weight.

Any experience or advice you can offer is appreciated. Thanks very much.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am now 24 and have had similar problems it sounds like. I was in a car wreck 2 yrs ago and have had to have 4 surgeries on my wrist. The dr put a plate and screws on my radius, but I still had lots of pain and very limited supination and pronation of my wrist. She and another dr joined together to do the Sauve-Kapundji procedure and overall it has turned out good...it has been 1 yr since the procedure and I have almost full range of motion back and limited pain.  

I was wondering if you had this procedure done because I do experience a sharp pain at the ulnar stump sometimes when I rotate and also I experience a clicking/grinding and a sensation that my wrist is pulling apart when I carry something with the hand. My physical therapist and dr. keep telling my that this will most likely subside as time goes on, but if it persists that there are further procedures that can be done.

  
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Avatar_m_tn
I had the V.A. do the Suave Kapanji Procedure on my right wrist. I had a post surigical cast on for 3 weeks, then a forearm cast for six weeks, after which occupational therapy was administered for two weeks. In the second week of therapy the carpal tendon that holds the ulna stump to the ulna bone gave way and the ulna bone stuck up a half inch above my arm. I then had to be recasted for five more weeks. In retrospect, I have RA and knowing what has happened to me, I WOULD NEVER SUGGEST THIS SURGERY. I am in constant pain and the VA has pulled all my pain meds, I would take them to court but, I CAN'T! My ulna  is free-floating, and I have never ending pain in the stump. I'm seriously thinking about discontinuing my veteran's right of benefits and seeing a state doctor to try medical mariquana to control my pain (federally illegal). A disappointed Veit Nam Veteran, disappointed AGAIN!
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