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Total Wrist Fusion
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Total Wrist Fusion

well today is the big day, it's 10:50am central time and i have to be at the surgery center by 1pm.  Today i'm having a total fusion of my dominate left hand, i have looked at all options and this is in my best option if i want to get on with my life as normal as possible if that makes any sense.  I've had three operations on my left hand apr 30, 2008, feb. 13 2009 and june 6 2009.  the orginal problem for the first surgery was a small tear in the TFCC ligament, that it.  i had extensive physical therapy after each surgery with only temporary relief and sometimes no relief of pain.  I went through the process to change doctors through workers comp. which went ok.  My new doctor reviewed my previous records and more checks and test and we (Doc. and I)  determined the best option due to the type of work i do and the very active life style i have is to have a TOTAL WRIST FUSION.  I plan keep everyone updated as often as possible, i want others to know what i'm going through and hopefully inform them what they will be going through.  Oh by the way the reason for the total wirist fusion is my cartlidge is totally destroyed, i have a legal matter going on so i can't mention the cause of the destroyed cartlidge.  Talk to ya'll later  Phill
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Wishing you all the best, will be watching this post ready for my full fusion two weeks today xx

Becki
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good morning Becki, the surgery went well according to the Doctor, the surgery  took 2 hrs. 20 min..  i woke up in hosp. room at 11:30pm hungry and having to to the bathroom (lol) never thought that would be an issue.  bone graph was taken from my left hip, doctor takes from the hip because theres plenty of bone to use for graphing.  the hip feels like a really bad charlie horse.  i feel like an old man walking around, it's a little difficult turning aroung in bed.  i've found stuffing 2 pillows into 1 pillow case works better 4 me to rest my arm,  last night i had a fever of 100.6, fingers very swollen, and exposed fore arm very red.  i called the Docs office around 7:30pm., i was really surprised that the answering service put him on the line.  he said it is not uncommon to get fever of up to 102, and redness and excessive swelling bothered him, doc did say total wrist fusions have an awful lot of swelling buts wants to see me before the weekend.  the only reason i'm up at this hour is waiting for the next pain pill  hydrocordone 10-500.  the meds say take every 4-6 hours, i need it every 4 hours there is quite a bit of pain in the wrist but a different kind of pain.  Docs says it's a must to keep moving fingers so they don't stiffen up.  well thats all the one handed typing for now and time to take Med.  i'll keep ya'll updated   Phill
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sounds increibly painful! thank you for keeping us posted. Im not having a bone graft apparently, think they may use some from forearm?

Ive heard sweeling is bad, did you stay overnight?

Wishing you a sppeedy recovery and thanks for keeping us up to date, its veryhandy (excuse the pun) to have people who are actualkly going through it.

Becki x
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today is 5 days since surgery.  well i went back to the doctors office they cut away the first dressings, no signs of infection, & normal swelling. 3 xrays were taken which showed the 6 in. long plate & 8 screws and where the bone graph was placed.  18 stiches close up the plate, pretty impressive.  it was rewrapped & i go back Mon. NOV. 16th.  the biggest problem i've had is Constapation and bad, today 5 days since last business was done, the pain killers every 4 hrs and the anastetic given in the hosp, yesterday morning i took drastic measures, i stopped the meds, i was already eating very little, quit anymore food,  i tried stool softners  no help, took the green bottle of magnesiumn citrus and 2 ES exlax,  no help.  this morning i took i again took 2 more exlax  and waited about 4 hours then i drank another green bottle,  by 5 this afternoon the problem was solved if you get my drift.  now i'm sure many of you did't need that added info. but no one yet has gone step by step what they went through.  i ate a lite dinner and took a much needed pain killer. the pain i'm having trouble with is the elbow to the forearm, it feel really knotted up. swelling has gone down in the fingers a little and i do move my fingers as i was told to.  thats all for now and i'll date in a couple days    Phill
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short arm 1/2 cast, i wish it was full arm, i'm left handed and my pea brain keeps telling me grab it, although i don't.  the pain is very different sometimes stabbing knife wrenching pain from wrist joint, sometimes in my forearm & above elbow like i lifted  weights the feeling of pulled and strained musles. then other times pain coming from my knuckles & thumb joint a long dull ache, i really know the pain when not taking meds when supposed to.  RB what has your pain been like and how long since surgery?  did bone graph come from hip?  hip doing much better each day, not really an issue except getting up and rolling over. thats it for now it took me 30 min to type this wrong handed   LOL    but thats ok  update is good   Phill
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7 DAYS SINCE TOTAL FUSION, just a short note.  the last 2 days i've been expierencing some extreem nerve and musle pain just below my shoulder to about 5 inches fwd of elbow where the arm bends.  pain meds not really helping this issue, i've just put Bio Freeze on this area and it's feels a hair better.  it appears i'm also starting having another bout with Constipation, this really s u c k s.  talk to yall later   Phill
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I posted a few new pics of my wrist, just click on my name & it will get you there.  Also today is day 8 post op, no more Constipation TG.  I'm having lots of shooting pain from elbow (funny bone area).  shooting to my pinky finger & knuckles, no pain today so far around fusion site just every else.   LOL    TTYL   Phill
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Hey Phil sorry for delay in replying, Thank you so much for keeping a blog if you like of your progress... they never really tell you what to expect. I am getting more nervous by the day for next wednesday. Really hope you get some releif soon

Becki x
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hi Becki, i forgot to mention that i also thought i was getting the bone graph from the forearm but at time of surgery i was enlightened that it was coming from the hip. as it turns out i'm glad it came from thhe hip caues i have enough going on with my wrist/arm. did you check out the pics.   Phill
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Hey Phil, yes i did, your swelling looks very painfu but the incision looks very tidy. I have very small wrists and they are concerned over the swelling and plate with tendons etc. How are you finding it in terms of the finger movemets?

Thanks for the updates its very useful. My graft is just coming from the arm and wrist area. :) Becki
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hI Becki your up early,my fingers move ok although i can't strighten them out yet, thet stay curled. Doc. said it was important to keep moving fingers, i use my other hand to streighten the fingers but no force is required.  i got a call yesterdat (Nov..12th 9 days post op) from a company thats sent me a bone graph graph stimulator device, it has to with ultra sound. the Rep said it just approved by workers comp and that it would be delivered today, i've never herd of such a device.  This Mon Nov 16th i have a follow up appt With Doctor and the Rep will be there to show me how to use the device, i was told "used 20 min daily it would speed up the bone growth in the area of the bone graph. this is proabably a good question for your doctor. i've woke up 3 times in last 5 hours, wrist hurts a little, more nagging than anything. i'm  gunna try and go back to sleep, i'll keep you and all thats interested posted    Phill
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Hey I was just checking on you to see how you are doing? How is the pain and how is the swelling? Will you need PT and when? I think PT would be more for your sensation back into your fingers rather then any kind of ROM in your wrist cause there wont be any. That's what mine was mostly for. Just make sure your therapist doesn't push all your scar tissue into one spot like mine did. I have a lump on my wrist of scar tissue. Any ways, let us know how things are going.

Oh yeah I had a few questions. Your original surgery for the small Tfcc but then you had more surgeries, what were those surgeries if you don't mind me asking?
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Hi Regina, i'm doing ok, i'm having muscle and nerve pain in elbow and forearm but i'm dealing with it. I got the stiches out yesterday all 18 of them, the doctor said all was looking good so far. i have to be very careful with everything i do so i don't cause a non-union of the bone graph. I asked whats next, i'm waiting for approval for PT but only limited (electrical stimulation) to the nerves or tendons that move my fingers.  yesterday i started ultra sound therapy that promotes bone growth, the ultra sound product name is EXOGEN Bone Healing,  workmans comp apporved the use and payment of this machine which tells me it must work also the doctor said it was medically necessary, i use it daily for 20 min., i go back to the Doc. every 2 weeks for recheck.  About my 2nd and 3rd surgeries well #2 i was still having considerable pain in the area of the TFCC and my R.O.M wasn't great, actually i was having several issues going on. he went in and again cleaned out my whole wrist joint and this time put a stich in the TFCC. surgery #3 i was still having pain at the TFCC and the stich from last surgery, also a ganglion cyst formed around the TFCC repair causing a large lump on the pinky side of the wrist.  2 months had gone by and still having lots of pain, Doctor sent me to his buddy another hand Doc. which told me he could take care of the pain by total wrist fusion.  Went back to my Doc. and told him i wanted to be treated by another Doctor of my choosing, he released me from his care i left with a complete copy of med records.  I researched my current doctor for almost 2 months before selecting him, i also went to several hand PT's and asked who they thought was the best hand doctor, so thats where i am. thats all for now i'm tired of typing one handed.  Becki who has a post above is having total wrist fusion tomarrow Nov.18th) you might send her a note, i am  take care,,  Phill
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Becki, i hope all goes well with your wrist fusion today, i'll be thinking and praying for you. hope to hear from you soon.    Phill      p.s. and join the one anded typing crew
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Todays 16 days post op.  i actually got 7 hrs sleep last night without waking up with pain (amazing). no pain killers for 2 days now but i keep them close by.  I'm continuing bone growth ultra sound therapy at home (4th day doing this). i'm still  having muscle and nerve pain in elbow and forearm but not much in area of fusion. waiting on approval for a custom wrist brace.  I'll add more later     Phill         p.s.  i'm not using left hand for anything, i don't want to take any chances.
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Hi Phil

Just to let you know after waiting 10 hours on wednesday from 7.30 in the morning and even having pre med etc the operation was cancelled as my surgeon had a traumatic case before me and he was so tired he was worried he wasnt up to my operaton and as its major he didnt want to risk it. I am very gutted but we are hoping im being rescheduled for 2nd December. Unfortuntunately my pain medication was changed yetserday and as a result im feeling unwell today but back in work.

Ill get the definate date today.

Hope things are improving?

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Good morning, todays 21 days post op. still having muscle and nerve pain in forearm/elbow and it's not really improving yet. I'm sleeping a little better and longer without waking with pain. i'm still not using my wrist for "anything", i don't want to take a chance of a non-union of the bone graph. i've been doing daily ultra sound for 20 minutes at home thats suppose to stimulates bone growth, whatever it takes to get it right and back to work and being useful.  only using pain meds a couple times a week usually at bed time.  thats about it for now, i'll update in a couple days.    Phill
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good afternoon, todays 30 days post op.  i'm not having any pain in area of fusion, thats good.  i started having pain in my pinky and ring finger knuckles at top of hand 3 days ago, it comes and goes although not bad.  i still have a little muscle pain in my forearm, that pain i slowly going away. i'm still doing daily therapy with ultra sound in my home thats suppose to stimulate bone growth, i hope its working.  i'm still working streighting my fingers there getting pretty close to streight.  i was suppose to start psyical therapy at a clinic but i haven't herd any approval yet and thats been 2 weeks since last appt.  i have a 7:15am appt tomarrow, i'll update if i remember.   later  Phill    
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Hi,
My surgion that did me a bunion and Looseninof a kid's fusion of the big toe and the one next to it, prescribed 'self help' phisiotherapy:    Massage the foot in warm as possible water  bend toes & foot, flex it in all directions . then put in ready bowl of cold water and follow the same procedure...do this continuously as often as possible till pain subsided completely....days months on end...depend on you...mine recover well , I became a better 'person', than I thought possible
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good morning Dicky, how have you been?  todays 5 weeks post op, my wrist seems to be doing better every day. i had a new removeable splint made yesterday Dec. 10, just wanting to know if you made your appt. with Dr. Henry in houston?  i'm having my foot worked on today (orthoscopic) i've got a really bad ankle.  anyways if you still got my # i'd welcome the call.   Phill
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HI RB, glad to hear your still out there, i wanted you to see how i've done from the this thread and hope it will also help, i've have a few people that called to ask questions and i invite you to do the same just ask and i'll give the number.  Phill
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Hope your appointment went well.  Are you in full rehab now?  My surgery is set for Jan. 21.
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It's been about six weeks since wrist fusion, sorry i haven't updated lately.  yesterday Dec. 22nd, i got a good report on my wrist progress.  it appears in the x-ray  all looks normal, i guess that means the bones are fusing.  the doctor was extreamly happy that i had full flextion of my fingers, he noted that was one the main problems with people that have total fusion, they don't work on streightening there fingers mainly the middle finger.  my next appt. is in 4 weeks and if he's happy with the progress then i'll start strenghing my arm or what ever is done.  if anyone has any questions and wants to talk to me, post your question and leave a note. i'll get an email are respond to you with my phone #    ya'll have a very Merry Christmas   Phill
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HAPPY NEW YEAR, this sunday will be 2 months since my total wrist fusion and each day it seems to be a little bit better.  on Jan.13 workers comp is sending me to get a MMI evaluation, by Texas state law i'm apparently at max med, improvement after 2 years    ya right i wish.  i'm still having pain at the base of my thumb joint as has been for over a year now, sometimes it get inflamed for no apprent reason and a small lump forms at the base or lower end of the thumb joint, new doctor is still monitoring this.  anyways i just wanted you to know how things were going and was thinking about your progress.    Phill
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Hi phill614
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU SAME.
Last Wednesday DOC took my stitches from my hip and wrist. He said everything looks great. no infections. He put me in new cast witch stays for 4 weeks. No more pain medication. i am doing ok. still little pain in the hip when i am walking. i also feel little pain base of my thumb and pinkie but DOC said it's normal. it will go away after while. hope so. i am stared to move my finger, make a feast as well - vicki
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DID YOU HAVE TO HAVE PINS REMOVED AFTER  SURGERY?
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Hi Britsnana, there are no pins in a total wrist fusion, theres a 6 in plate held in by 8 screws thats what in my wrist, they will stay in my wrist unless there is a problem in the future.  to answer your question whats in the hand stays in the hand after total wrist fusion.  will you being having your wrist fused.  i'll be glad to answer any question about this subject. today is 2 months since my fusion, i'm having no pain, maybe a few phantom pains once in a while.  if you would like to see what this plate looks like click on this link that i got from google images, this is what my wrist looks like in an xray.  let me know    Phill
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I have 4 pins.
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did you have a total fusion? or a partial 4 corner fusion.  did you have a serious injury to your wrist?  anyways hows everyting going.  any complications? did you have a bone graph?  can you let other know what you went through, this link has helped a lot of people and what they can expect.  i go in next week for a 10 week for a post op appt. and should start psyical therapy to streighten my arm i hope.  i've done nothing at all with my wrist, i didn't want to take any chances. i don't want to go through this again.  so i gotta say i did as the doctor ordered          DON'T USE THE HAND     nana take care and fill us in with your progress.  theres several people that keep up  with this link    Phill
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I had a total wrist fusion on Dec. 2, 2009 and I still have some pain  but am feeling some what better. i am just worried about if I  will be able to work and do the things i enjoy doing on a daily bases or will i have a disibilty? Doc, dont tell you that. but i do have limited use of my right hand.what has your doc told you about your ability to use your hand?and you level of disabity


Char
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Hi Char, is this a work related injury?  i ask because workers compensation will asign a doctor to you to determine percent of disablity.  i was concerned about this myself because i'm left handed and my injury was to my left hand, i have looked all over the internet for a percentage of disablility and found anywhere from 14% to 23% disability for a total wrist fusion.  your 1 month behind me in healing and i was and still have some mild pain and i hope this is all apart of the healing process, i return to see my doctor this tuesday 19 jan..  i'm having some burning pain at 2 points along the long scar, one near the middle and the other at the beginning of the plate lets say 2-3 inches back from the wrist joint and i presume thats scar tissue i'm sure i'll find out tuesday.  one of the main reasons of going through with the Total
Wrist Fusion was to get back to as normal life as possible.  i'm an aircraft mechanic by trade and will do everything i can not to let this lack of wrist movement beat me.  i am told i should be able to do heavy lifting and do what i did before, so i am told.  i am concerned about extensive pain in my thumb joint which i had before the fusion but doctor was hoping this pain would also go away, it has not.  i hope this tuesday i get the ok to start working on strengthing my arm and fingers, i will be 10 weeks post op.  i really need to get back to work but not at the expense of going to early and my wrist not healing properly.  please comment again      talk to you later   Phill











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Done.  Very little pain so far.  I am worried that there isn't that excruciating pain. They took the bone from my hand for the graft.  I am glad for that.  I am back at work and am having an amazing small amount of pain.
I did spend the night. Everything else is like you said.  
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hi all, sorryu for delay. i finally had full wrist fusion done on right hand on 16th december. just to add insult to injury they also had to remove the bottom line of bones in wrist referred to as a proximinal row carpetomy.. if anyone wants any advice ill glady help, im 6 weeks post surgery in splint but still on morphine and tramadol. Im 29 and UK based so happy to help. My entire incision is huge but will upload some pics to my profile. hope your well phil :)

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Hi Vicki and Dickie, sorry its been a awhile since my last post.  Today i was assigned and impairment rating thats required by workers compensation at the end of two years, i had a few test and measurements done that came up with a total impairment rating of 20%, i still don't understand all the mumbo jumbo but if i am required to get retrained because i can't do my current job for what ever reason related to my fused wrist workers comp. will pay for retraining. I pray to God it doesn't come to that.  well over the last month i've been doing psyical therapy (PT) with a max lifting restriction of 15 lbs., i've be going 3 days a week. today the doctor has raised the that weight limit to really what ever is required for me to get back to work which is 50 lbs. for the big person i am 15 lbs even feels a little heavy right now. i'm waiting for approval of a whole body conditioning which will help ensure other musles on my body are worked to prevent a injury from doing nothing for the last 4+ months. Today was my last doctors appointment unless i have a problem with the wrist, i'm still having pain in the thumb joint area which the doctor says its scar tissue after the mulitple surgeries. I still have some pain but not much on the ulnar side of my wirst, i received an injection in that location today.  I also have a little pain about the center of the wrist where what looks like the plate bends in the x-ray and at the beginning of the plate (on forearm side) again the doctor says thats scar tissue.  PT is still working on that.  Really everything has gone just as my doctor said it would, good bone growth at site of bone fusion looks great in his words.  truthfully i'm a little afraid to use it (hand/wrist) and ruin everything thats been done, doctor says its fine. i have to work slowly with stengthing so i don't tear or strain a musle, the doctor doesn't seem worried about the fusion.  ok i'm just rambling and really would like to see how everyone else is doing with there WRIST FUSIONS or from others considering a fusion.  take care and god bless you   Phill  
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Hello everyone.  It is almost six weeks since the wrist fusion and I am doing very good.  I have really had very little pain.  The feeling in the wrist area is still odd but I am doing well.
I am still having siome trouble with the strength in my fingers but that is slowly coming around.  I go back to the Dr. the 15th of March and I expect to get on a rigorous PT plan.  I was told when I went back to get sdtitches out that I could continue normal activities but not like hammering.

I think I have been extremely fortunate.  I do hope everyone works out good.

Dicky
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Hi Dicky, glad to hear your doing well. today is 4 months to the day since i had my fusion and i've got to say i'm still having moderate pain in my thumb joint and the knuckles from my pinky to my middle finger.  i found out today that i'll return to work effective Mar. 7th without restrictions, i pray that goes well i will continue to keep ya'll updated as often as possible.  and Becky if you read this i'm sorry for calling you vicky in one of the updates, i didn't proof read. i hope all is going well for you also.
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After 4 months since surgery, can you move your fingers without much pain.  My doc says I will not be able to bend my wrist, but I will be able to move my fingers.  Can you button your shirt?  Can you start your car? I suppose I have a million questions, but mostly for my right hand.
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After 4 months since surgery, can you move your fingers without much pain.  My doc says I will not be able to bend my wrist, but I will be able to move my fingers.  Can you button your shirt?  Can you start your car? I suppose I have a million questions, but mostly for my right hand.
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Hi Temma, i have no pain moving my fingers and i have full movement.  i have no problems dressing or starting the car although i did have problems for a couple months after the surgery but that has passed
i still have some pain behind my middle knuckle and around my middle thumb joint also occasionally at the center of the wrist where the center of the plate is located, maybe that due to weather.  i'm glad i went for the total fusion because i was in constant pain.  i now have a different kind of pain but no where as severe.  i'm still being treated on a as needed basis.  
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Hi Good morning Phill.
I just had a few questions. How long was your surgery? Also my doctor told me that he will be getting bone from a cadaver. Reason is because the little fusion I had, where they took bone from my forearm bone, has developed an enchrondoma and they can not use that bone again, and they don't want to take a chance of using bone from some where else in my body because of the fact that I developed the enchrondoma from the bone graft. Also my doctor said the block that they do in the arm will be numb for 2 to 3 days. Now I have had plenty of these blocks and they usually only last till about midnight. How long did yours last? It could have something to do with the fact I told him I don't like taking pain meds. Not sure.  How long was your fingers swollen for? Does that plate with the screws stay in or does it eventually come out?
Is this something you stay in the hospital over night or you go home that day? Did you have any physical therapy?  How does your scar look?
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Hi Regina, how will you receive the nerve block?  when i had my total fusion it took about 2-2.5 hrs and i stayed in a room at the surgery clinic for a total of 23 hrs.  i think my hand remained numb for maybe 12-18 hrs after i got out of the hospital but i still had some pain. my doctor took bone from my hip rather than the forearm because there was more bone in the hip he could use.  i'm not really sure what enchrondoma is.  my fingers stayed swollen for maybe a week. and after a couple days at home i had increase swelling which was of a concern to me but not apparently to the doctor.   talk to you later   good luck  Phill
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Well my surgery was scheduled for tomorrow but I ended up having it Tuesday the 18th. my fingers are so swollen and purple. i can not lift my arm by itself and for some reason my elbow hurts bad.
They did nerve block in my arm pit but after surgery my upper arm was numb but lower arm i could feel pain. the night i got home i was bleeding through bandage so my husband called the  doctor and told him to change bandages. Yeah i called doctor about fingers they were not concerned i have been icing them off and on all day and no improvment. The enchrondoma is a tumor/cyst that grows in the bone he had to remove it or the fusion would not take. my incision goes from my knuckles to half way up my forearm i didnt think it would be so long. i will take pictures when they change the dressing tomorrow. I saw it the night of surgery cause we had to change bandages was not in mood to take pics then. i have felt so sick. i really hope this is last surgery ever.
i will know everything my doc did tomorrow as he told my husband after surgery but he forgot everything he said  ok im outta here for now ttyl
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I've never heard of that type of fusion. Couldn't they have left it in an imobilizing brace?  The Doctors have left my left knee to fuse on it's own due to severed femoral nerve. The leg has been in an imobilizing brace for 1 1/2 years and I am on constant pain meds. Maybe it wouldn't be worth any surgery because I still couldn't use my leg. Will your wrist get strong enough to lift a certain amount of wieght?
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Hi, one of the reasons i decided to under go a total wrist fusion was I do manual labor for a living and requires heavy lifting.  May 3rd was 6 months since my fusion and i'm no where near being able to do any heavy lifting,  OndEdge you had your knee imobilized for a 1.5 yrs, for those of that have a total fusion of the wrist its like having a broken arm and the bones have to grow back together which takes about 2 months before the wrist bones can fuse.  I still have some pain every day but nothing the extreem pain i once was in, now it is rare that i take pain meds because i've learned how to handle the pain.  To answer your question yes i can lift weight up to 25 lbs with little problem and only moderate pain, before my surgery it hurt to lift a pot of coffee, before my injury i could lift 100-150 lbs with little problem i was very strong.  not now         Phill
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hi phil, hope your well?

Just to update: most will know I had a wrist fusion on my right wrist in December 2009 as well as proximinal row carpetomy at the same time.Have also had a wrist stabilistation using tendons and bone anchors year before. It's been a very slow recovery process and I am now at work (I work in e-learning development and also doing a part time Ph.D.). Apologies for the lack of response posts unfortunately right smack bang in the middle of my recovery I lost my father unexpectedly. My issue with my wrist had been ongoing since I was 15 (I'm now 30) and the wrist fusion was operation number seven. Now the old pain has near enough gone however just when I thought things were going to be okay I start again horrendous pain by the tendon areas just above my wrist. To cut the story short my hands are very tiny and because of this the plate is prominent and I have recently found out that my tendons are now rubbing over the plate and there is a high chance that my tendons could now rupture. With so very unexpectedly and only after eight months they are going to take the plate out (only if bones are strong enough) on August 28 this year which will be operation number eight. I don't regret the fusion it's taken a lot to adapt doing various things which I never thought would be an issue. However, at work I now use will full voice activation (I work in computing) and can thoroughly recommend Dragon naturally speaking 10 and I've used a lot of a voice activation software over the years.

So to summarise, I'm back and I'm happy to answer any questions and I'd like to apologise to those that have messaged me and I haven't got back to them.

Becki

P.s this was all voice dictated!
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Thanks for the update. Was wondering, do you have problems moving your fingers? Like typing can you type or is that why you are using the voice dictation? I can use one finger. I can not do the finger movements needed to type. They are "stuck" I can actually feel fusion plate on top part of my hand, the skin is very thin. When I move my thumb it feels like it is hitting something. I also can not straigten my fingers all the way out. I have so many things wrong now. I figured all would get better not worse.
Since I have had the fusion I have been diagnosed with ulnar impingement with DRUJ instability and DJD, Ulnar positive variance. Plus my ulnar is curving. I have one doctor saying it was there before surgery then the doc who did the surgery says no it wasn't like that before surgery. So am going to a new doctor 2 hours away to find out the truth. Hopefully I can get this all better. Anyways good luck on your plate removal let us know how that went. Oh yeah are they going to use old scar from your fusion?
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hello everyone, i broke my wrist scaphoid about 10 months ago. the VA ortho doc put me in a cast for 4 months. No progress, then was told i need a screw to fuse the bone together....done. i got no progress at all ( it actually got worse). so they then told me i will need bone graf from hip surg. i have heard bad things about the va so i went with the nearest gen hospital. ortho doc there told me he would try to connect another attery to the bone and still do the graf. this was almost 2 months ago. i have a follow tomm. but the doc told me i would prob need fusiion due to my scaphoid deteriorating  to almost nothing. im going to try to sue va for many reason (irrelevant). this would normally not be an issue but im only 23 and i am heartbroken to the fact that the army probably wont take me back. i love lifting lots of heavy weight and playing contact sports (mma and football mostly). im willing to deal w/ some pain but im so scared i wont be able to do these things anymore nor get back in the military when this is all said and done. im not sure what im getting at but its just nice to see people who understand where im coming from. support from people with experience seems to help. this has been a very depressing 10 months. thanks for listening.
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Good morning Joey, i'm sorry to hear about all the pain your going through, many of us on this thread have expierenced that pain also.  Back in Nov. of 09 i started this thread to let people know what i was going through from day 1 of my TOTAL WRIST FUSION so others will know what to expect.  I've been slacking in the last few months updating this thread.  Joey i am 50 yrs and i can no longer do what i used to and thats just a fact of getting a Fusion and i'm ok with that if i'm without pain.  I am prior Air Force and know what you mean about wanting to stay in the army, i enjoyed my service time while i was in.  Have you looked at changing your MOS in order to find a position you could be useful to the Army?  I used to body build while in the Air Force along with many other sports and if i knew then that in the years ahead all the aches and pains i got today, i'd done something else.  I would advise you not to mention on the web any plans of suing doctors or hospitals because lawyers can use what you write to use against you in court.  So lets get back to your hand,  is it your dominate hand (left or right)?  what type of fusion did you have?  Since my Total Wrist Fusion Nov. 3rd, 2009 i continue to this day deal with extream pain but my original pain in the wirst joint for the most part is gone. I'm dealing with other problems that seem to have occured form the extream swelling from the last surgery, now thats my opinion not the doctors.  I'm having major pain coming from my middle knuckle going outwards to the pinky, i cannot apply pressure with it being painful. I still wake up at night with pain.  I've had 2 injections to my middle knuckle on the palm side of my hand which helped me to open my hand fully but did not relieve the pain and now looking at another surgery to releave pressure on the tendon, no surgery date has been set,  i go this thursday to have injections to relieve pain in three other knuckles.  I have very little grip strength with my left hand (i'm left handed),  I'm an aircraft mechanic, you try working on anything that manual labor without bending your wirst and well its difficult and i'm trying to adapt.  I cannot have any impact to the hand due the pain i'm expierencing, just resting my hand on the top of the steering wheel can be painful at times.  Joey i've been dealing with wrist/hand pain since Feb 08 and i'm so ready to be pain free, but its not going to happen over night.  my doctor has said i will always have some sort of pain but i don't want extream pain as i'm having now.  Joey this is a life changing expierence that you will have to adapt to once all the surgeries are done.  If it means a new career so be it but get the schooling for something you like to do and be happy at.  At this point i don't know how much longer i'll be able to stay in my career field because of my limitation.  If you like to talk about it person to person email me at phillcady @ yahoo.com and i'll reply with a phone number.  Until later        good luck   Phill    p.s to all the other that have written on this thread i hope all is well and i'll try to do better to responding     Phill
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Hi, My name is darlene.  i am happy i found this sight.  I hope someone can answer my qwestions.  well here i go.  I fractuerd my wrist at work on march 10th of this year.  Had a plate and screws put in.  June 23rd thay had to come out because the plate was wrapped around the tendetamd if i dident have them removed i could have lost the use of my thumb.  I have RA.  But because of the fall i also developed osteporosis i think i spelled that write.  Now after having an MRI done found out that my bone where the screw was had calapsed.  Know i need a wrist fusion>  The doctor told me it was eather that or live with the pain.  Now that really *****.  Some times these doctors have no feelings towred there patients.  I have been in thurapy for 63days.  I told the doctor and the case worker do not take me out of thurapy untill its time for surgery.  Come to find out i cant have surgery for six mor months because i already had 2 surgerys in six months so i have to wait.  That is not far for people to have to go though this.  How long in hospital do you stay when you have wrist fusion done and bone grafick from your hip.  Please can any body answer these qwestions inqwirie minds want to know.  Thanks
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I cannot help you with the wrist fusion, but as far as your RA have you tried getting off gluten (wheat, barely, rye) and dairy? Both of these cause inflammation and anyone with autoimmune diseases would do best to stay clear from these two. Another thing to look into is turmeric my nutrition professor said it is a very powerful anti-inflammatory.

I have autoimmune disorders and following both of these suggestions has been wonderful in helping reduce pain. It is worth it! Also have your vitamin d checked the levels should be between 50 and 100. (If you do and if the doctor tells you it is normal be sure to get the numbers.) To often I have had a doctor's office call and say the lab tests are normal. I get the numbers and I do my own research and learn that in fact since I have symptoms my lab results are not normal.

good luck,
achilles2
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Good morning Darla, i'm sorry to hear all the pain your going thourgh as i know all to well.  Darla if it were me i'd ask the doctor to remove me from PT unless you want to continue or the doctor feels its necessary.  Your case worker is not a doctor and its possible you could do more harm than good by continuing PT ask your Doctor.  Do you what type of fusion you'll be getting?  My TOTAL WRIST FUSION was an outpatient surgery, i stayed in the surgery center for 23 hours the was released.  The bone graph from the hip felt like a really bad charlie horse if you know what i mean and i felt like i was a 100 year old man with bad hips for the first 2 weeks or so.  Please keeps us informed and and we'll let you know what to expect through our own expirences.  Regards  Phill
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Thanks Achilles for the RA input i didn't have any answer to that, i have other issues with arthritis and will look into your suggestion.  I'm sure they have blogs on this site just for RA and i'll take a look, i'm going to try to keep the thread just for WRIST FUSIONS.  thanks again  Phill
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hello, well i had my plate removal following my full right wrist fusion and proximinaly row carptetomy in dec 09. the plate was removed 4 weeks ago and it already feels sooo much better. like regena i had sticking like sensation as my wrist is v small for the wrist to take so i had to have ti out as it was threatening to rupture my tendons from rubbing on plate... im also coming off my painkillers after 15 years and down to a combination of tramadol and codeine so all going well.

They used my old scar its a bit angry but then i have had 8 operations in all over 15 eyars with 3 over the last 2 years.

please pm me if there are nay questioins, ill upload some new photos too xx
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Hi becki, so glad to hear your doing better and in less pain and really great your weaning yourself off the pain meds.  please keep us updated   TC  Phill
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Hi y'all, i'd like to ask all those that had a fusion to try and remember what kind of things they went through in there first few weeks of recovery that may help others that may not have been posted here.  What kind of things did you expierence that other should know ahead of time, for example after my first surgery i couldn't tie my shoes for nearly 3 weeks.  No doctor and no links perpared me for what i was going to go through. When i started this thread nearly a year ago it was because i couldn't find any information on what to expect before and after fusion surgery.  I really appreciate all the input everyone has made to help others that have and will be getting the unfortunate wrist surgery.
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for women: intiially doing your bra up is difficult but i can now and also changing santiary things.....

Typing is awkward and writing is something you have to change... also how can i put this delicately.......wiping your bottom too...i got told this by somebody on day of op rather randomly but you learn to adapt lol sorry its a bit graphic but its someehting i didnt realise.

Pain wise - my swelling was awful and a bit of tingling...i wont  lie its the worst op i had but i do not regret it i wish i had it years ago... my pain level has dropped and hoping it will nearly go after thois last op..

my surgeon slighlty fixed my wrist (whats left of it) in a cupped position so you can grip properly too.... been too  sore to drive since as my car is heavy but to be honest with everything you learn to adapt andyou really do...

I just kept telling myself there are people out there who loose limbs etc every day so if they can cope so can i xxx
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I am not sure what is going on in my wrist. The doctor that did my surgery missed an ulnar positive variance (before surgery) and 3 other doctors all agree positive variance was there before the fusion. So now I have ulnar impaction syndrome and distal radial ulnar joint instability and degenerative joint disease. Along with a curved ulnar. and the joint is DRUJ is possibly damaged.
I can not move my fingers very well. I figured after almost 5 months I would be able to at least move my fingers. I can not lift much, Things that are empty or not very large. Like I can not hold anything wider then 3 inches because my fingers wont go out that far. I can't even squash an empty soda can
I am worried about tendon irritation or rupture. I don't even want to imagine the pain. I can feel the plate through my skin. I can even feel where the one of the screws is, that's how thin my skin is on top of my hand (from the blisters I developed) My hand is still swollen. It feels like it is chunky.
I don't know what to do. No other doctor will see me.

Will have to add more pics
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I added more pics of my scar and the xray film showing the curve in the ulnar and screws backing out. Not very good. Don't know what to do. Don't even know why they even should be coming out but original xrays don't show those screws above the plate
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that sounds very sismilar about the plate but i know i couldnt have mine out ubntil now (had fusion in dec 09 plate out augu 2010) as they need the bone to fuse...what fusion did they do?

Mine was slighlty different because they also removed the botom line of bones (proximinal row capetomny) as my issues ahve been going on for 15 years and had 8 ops in total but my issue originally was a rupture ligament in the wrist causing it to go out of line and all my boens in that area were in awful coniditon so he removed them, its shortned my hand but it feels better.

if you want to message me happy to help in whatever way i can...i also felt the screws too but one which i thought was a screw was actually a deep tissues scar...did they tell you to massage the area as it gets scar tissue down...the plate was visibale on me and could feel it so understand how you feel :( x
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I had a total wrist fusion done 3 weeks ago they also had to put in 2 kwires as well. these will be remove in about 5 weeks. this is addition to the plate
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Hi Phill,  can you please tell me if you know what i am going to ask.  I had a plate and screws put in march 10 of this year.  thay had to come out because the ligamints wrapped around the plate and if i dident have them taking out i could have lost the use of my thumb.  i had the 2nd surgery to remove the plate and screws june 23 of this year.  Now i am told i would need a wrist fusion or live with the pain.  the doctor wasent very nice when he said that.  I went to a second doctor and showed him an MRI and he saw that the bone had culasped and there was unknown fluied.  this is a work mans comp case.  I feel that the doctors are afraid to do a wrist fusion because when i went back to him he dident give me another exray he looked at the old one and said it was healed.  and he said if i wanted another apinion i can go for one.  Workmans comp is delaying a surgery thay said the i would have to wait 6months befor i can have one because i had 2 already.  I am very upset what work mans comp is doing to me. I went to my lawyer and he is going to send them a letter to send me to a thurd doctor. i am tired of beeing pushed around.  I have RA, lupus, osteaproses,  epilepsy and tmj that has to do with the jaw.  i think the doctors are afraid of operating because of my condition.  Thay have to operate because this happened on the job.  and what i have was  preexcisting.  So workmams com by law have to take  care of my wrist.  i hate getting the runaround.  I have been in thurapy for about 75days and i feel it is not helping me. i cant have my are sragnthind untill my wrist gets taking care of.  The doctor put me on another med to see if it helps with the swelling.  He than wants me to have a cortizone shot but i will refuse it because it will only hide the pain but not whats wrong with the arm.  I keep fighting to have that fusion.  Can you help mw with any thing that i have writting because i am getting very pist at doctors, workmanscom, thurapy.  a cocerned person.  datrlene.
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hi phill and every body else,  I forgot to tell you that my wrist clicks some times when i try and bend it.  I just started a couple days ago.  To all persons who had a wrist fusion on there domenent hand how are yous couping with it. what can you do and cant do.  how long did it take you befor you can drive. that is so inportent to me because i need to drive.  dont want to depend on other people. All this from a fall.  were yous able to write with domenent hand and pick up heavy things. Please any body let me know darla.
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Hi Darla i'm can relate to the pain your expierencing because i went throught it all myself along with all the other on this post.  My injury is also workers comp and i've had 4 surgeries and i don't think i'm done yet.  I still have the 6 inch plate in my wrist which at this time isn't causing any problems.  My forth surgery i had the wrist fused and i'm so glad i did, i don't have the same kind of pain i did before although i have other problems with my thumb joint and tightiness in most of my fingers when moving them.  I called the state workers compensation commission and requested paperwork to change doctors. now this takes time and i was only able to change one time.  So if i were you i'd make sure you got the very best doctor you can get.  remember is doesn't have to be a doctor selected by workers comp and i would advise against it, It took me two months to find my current doctor or i should say it took that long to research him.  My car is a automatic transmission and i was driving usually 48 hours after my surgeries.  i'll be glad to answer any other questions.  ps my wrist clicked and popped before i got it fused.  Phill
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Happy New Year, i pray that you have a pain free year, i'm still struggling with pain and surgeries are still happening.     Phill
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Hi,
I live in the UK. I'm in the process of meeting my hand consultant tomorrow to discuss a wrist fusion, i thought i'd read all the posts. Very interesting and informative.
In March 2010 i was involved in a bad accident at work, where i had my right hand/wrist severely crushed in the hydrolics of a skip wagon.
i was in hospital for 3 weeks, where i had 4 operations to take away dead tissue and muscle. i had compartment syndrom (syndrome).
I haven't been able to work since, due to severe pain in my wrist when i try to pick anything up. I'm a bricklayer.
Tomorrow i'll be talking to my consultant about what surgery i can undergo to help me get back to work, as i'm desperately depressed with not being able to do what i could, nearly a year ago.
If i was to get my wrist totally fused, how long do you think it would be, before i could pick up bricks/blocks etc. I'm left handed, so i can use my trowel.
Reading Phill's posts, i know it's not going to be sooner than i'd like it to be, but i'd like to have an idea. I know everyones healing is different, i just want to focus on getting back to using my hand again.
I'd really appreciate any information that may help with a speedy recovery.
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Had a total wrist fusion today.  Now it's time to wait and see.
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Thanks Phil for responding to my email.  I appreciate your time.

I guess it has been about 6 weeks or so since my fusion.  I THINK the pain is improving, although I keep getting SEVERE cramps in my middle and ring finger, and my wrist crunches whenever I rotate my arm.  The cramps are a totally new symptom.

Prior to the fusion, I'd tried everything to relieve the constant severe pain, to no avail.  I had a PRC (Proximal Row Carpectomy) and a neurectomy (removed the radial and interossious nerves) and have a hundred thousand dollar (no, I'm not kidding) electronic nerve stimulator implant.  The ENS doesn't help me at all.  So, I've been living on high doses of an array of pain medicines of which some I regret agreeing to.  (Stay clear of Fentanyl!)  Nothing helped.

Like you Phil, I had the same constipation issue!   Ten days!!  I got some Fleet suppositories and Preparation H suppositories.. yeah, hemorrhoids too  :(   Once I used the Fleet, problem was solved within a few hours.  I think mine was the result of not only the anesthesia, but also since I've developed a tolerance for narcotics, I was using Morphine for the pain, which just made things worse!

My procedure was done in an outpatient facility, and they pushed me out the front door about 45 minutes after the surgery!  I had no cast, just coband tape bandage and 21 staples!  I HATE STAPLES!! LOL!

Because my wrist had deteriorated so badly over the years since the initial surgery that caused the avalanche of problems, I had pretty much no movement in that wrist anyway, so I've not even noticed the difference in day to day activities, although there's times when I need to turn my hand to accomplish something, and it takes me a second to remember that I'll need to use my left hand.

The proximal end of the plate is visible through my skin.  Don't know if it's that thick or even if I should be able to see it, but it's a sizable bump in my arm!  Don't have it on the distal end.

All in all, I'd call it a successful procedure.  I don't have any regrets.
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thanks DGA for letting all of know how your doing.  If you have anything to add to your recovery expierence "IT" will be helpful for others.   Don't forget keep moving your fingers to the extended position to get full movement back.  the only thing i could think the cunching sound is your ulnar nerve rolling over the bone on the side of your wrist, if that's it mine still does it and it's not a problem yet.
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Well, I hit the magic 2 month recovery date.  Here's a quick update:

My wrist doesn't hurt at all!!  YIPPPEE!  But, my hand bones and fingers DO hurt a lot!  I guess since the middle hand bone is fused and won't move, whenever I do something 'heavy' with my right hand, the adjoining hand bones take all the beating.  Also it feels like the bone graft might have grown something like a bone spur; there's a large hard lump in my wrist just at the base of my ring finger hand bone.

Now, when I say 'do something heavy,' I'm not kidding.  The last two weeks I spent outside in 100 + temperatures digging a lily pond!  I got it all dug, got the frame built using an electric screwdriver, and installed the liner!  I have a few of the flagstones down, but it's time now to stop and take a breather, let the hand rest and then get back at it at a slower pace this time!!  Well, and also, I did the maintenance on both cars: Oil, Spark Plugs, Air Filter, Cabin Filter, etc..!!  I don't know how to stop!!

It's late, and it sounds like the grand princess finally gave in and went to sleep, so off to bed I shall go!
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If anyone is interested, I just posted a picture of my incomplete lily pond that I've been working on beginning six weeks post op!  I did it all myself, even if it was primarily one handed!!
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It's good to see some positive things about total wrist fusions. I've been researching that treatment for quite some time after a few family members brought it up to me.

Back in February (2011) I underwent a wrist arthroscopy in my right wrist due to a TFCC tear... the surgeon also found that I was missing some cartilage in one of the joints near the area of the tear. According to the surgeon, the procedure went fine. However, I don't believe he counted on me experiencing severe, non-stopping pain each and every day since the surgery. I cannot move my wrist in any direction without experiencing it... writing/typing/working and any every-day activities cause the pain to get worse - and the pain is now all over the wrist area, not just on the ulnar side.

When I was at the hospital (before the surgery) the surgeon came into my room and told me there could be a "heart-to-heart" talk. That talk would encompass a possible wrist reconstruction, but that didn't need to happen, obviously.

I am currently going through twice-a-week occupational therapy, and that only provides temporary relief. I can't even do the stretches and that at home without cussing like a sailor each and every time an ounce of pain surfaces. I can't do anything without pain, nothing at all.

Phill, what other treatment options are there to talk to my surgeon about? I am seeing him again this coming Wednesday (July 20). I've researched wrist fusion and the wrist reconstruction, but I don't think that's the correct treatment, or is it?

I am going with the wind here. I am going to mention those two possibilities to him, because I don't want to undergo two-or-more surgeries and have the pain remain or get even worse. I want a pain-free existence in the wrist that happens to accompany my dominant hand.

Thanks in advance, and all the comments I see above are all helpful.
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Hi Phill..  Just read thru your entire blog and I want to thank you for posting it for others.  My name is Vicky and my husband, Joey, was in an explosion at work Sept 2010.  His left wrist was shattered as well as damage to the hand and shoulder.  He has had three surgeries so far and has been in pain 24/7 since the day it happened.  First surgery, pins were inserted all thru his hand and wrist, to align broken bones.  Second surgery was to insert a screw in the scaphoid bone and removal of pins.  Third surgery, scaphoid bone was removed as it was disentigrating, and several more wrist bones were removed and what was left of the wrist bones were fused with two large staples.  He has no movement sideways or backwards of the wrist and only half movement downward.  This last surgery was supposed to alleviate the constant pain he is having, but it hasn't.  Doc say only other option is fusion with metal plate.  Says he'll remove all the bones and therefore there should be no more pain.  That is what he said the third surgery would do.  It didn't.  He also said there is an artificial joint replacement available, but that will not give him the strength back.  He has little to no strength in it now.  My husband is a Welder by trade, but he is such a talented artist and carpenter also.  I just don't know what he should chose.  Been a very stressful year for us.  

How is everything going for you?  Painfree I hope.  We are also seeing a doctor in Houston.  Supposed to be the head of orthopedic surgery, specializing only in the wrist.  I would love to chat with you and trade information on doctors, hospitals, recovery stories.  My email is ***@****  

Thanks..  Vicky
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An update on my situation.

After speaking with my hand consultant we decided that the best way forward for me, was to go ahead with the 'total wrist fusion'.

With the severe crush injury i had to my right hand/wrist, which totally destroyed all the cartilages in my right wrist.

My main concern was i'd never be able to do my job as a bricklayer again, so on Saturday 27th August 2011 i had the 'total wrist fusion' operation.

I'm now only 2 days post operation and though it's quite sore and tender, i'm able to keep the pain at bay with just paracetamol and anti flammatory tablets. I'm praying that i'm going to be lucky and not go through the pain that others have on this forum. So fingers crossed, on my left hand, for now :):).

It's been a real help reading other peoples journeys and their recovery.

I've been given a post operation plan which is;  

1) Got to wear tight surgical stockings for 2 weeks to stop any blood clotting. (Think the male staff nurse got off on seeing me wearing them :) )

2) Elevate arm for minium of 3 days.

3) Minimal movement of hand/wrist.

4) Get stitches out 09/09/2011. Don't take bandages off before this date.

5) Appointment to be sent to me in 6 weeks for check up.

It's obviously too early to determine if i'll have enough strength in my hand/wrist to continue with my job when i'm fully healed. If not, i'll have to retrain to do something less strenuous, i suppose.

I'll keep anyone who's interested updated with my recovery, as i think it really helps knowing what the the likes of Phill, Bexy, Joey, DGA61, etc, are all going through the same things.

Until next time,

Steve.








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Just to add to my post. I've got some very graphic pictures of my initial crush injury. I'll put them onto my profile when i get to know how to do it. That's if people want to see them.
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i have had 7 surgeries on my (L) wrist since i came home from iraq. i have had a total wrist fusion, but it won't take. there is nothing left in the wrist. i am in pain everyday. i will not be able to lift anything over 5 maybe 10 lbs ever again. i am looking at surgery nr 8 it looks like.
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Day 17 post operation.

I had my stitches out on Friday and the nurse put a light bandage on to keep the scar clean. She told me i only needed to keep the bandage on for a couple of days. I'm concerned that they haven't given me some sort of splint to wear, just in case i knock it and the bone graft doesn't bond correctly (non-union). But i suppose they're the experts and know what they're doing..........I hope.
I'm getting by ok with painkillers, but i'm now experiencing a lot of niggling pains in my thumb area and forearm. My thumb feels really weird, it's numb to touch and when i run my finger up and down it, it feels as though it's been scalded with hot water. My elbow also aches. I'm putting this down to extra use of the forearm/elbow as my wrist no longer moves.
My wrist and top of the hand is still swollen quite a bit. They've done an excellent job with the stitching up.,..Really neat.
I've got to go to the hospital in a little over 4 weeks for an update.
I'll let you know everything as it happens and the outcome of my hospital appointment.

Steve.
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It makes me sad to read your post, but mostly because I know how you felt when you wrote it!
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It's been 4 months since my fusion, and I am doing ok, but I'm seeing some things that are bothering me.  I will have to make an appointment and have the doctor see if something is wrong.
At the proximal end of the plate, I've developed a large, painful 'lump' for the lack of a better word.  The end of the plate was always visible, but now there appears to possibly be some bone callusing or something; I just know that it is very very tender, and worrying me!
I'm still having pains in my hand bones, as I was 2 months post op.
I guess this will be never ending!!!
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Hi Phill here, i also had or i should say have a lump approx. 6"-7" from my middle knuckle on my fist roughly and about 2" behind my wrist where i used to bend it. my doctor said it was scar tissue it feels like a knot, for a very long time i would massage out of habit.  I once asked the doctor if my 6"plate would ever come out and he said "not unless it was causing a problem such as tendons rubbing over the screws down the center of the plate". i do remember the doctor saying some people have very thin/skinny arms and that the plate or screws can become an issue and then the plate is removed. The Plate and screws are only there to let your bone fusion heal and once healed its scrap metal. I went back to my doctor sometimes every month to month and a half for about a year because of pain but not my original pain. I felt there must be something very wrong when in fact i was so used to expierencing pain and trying to pin point where the pain was located i would mark my wrist with a ball point pin to make sure i got the right area when i got to the doctors office.  Well my doctor told me several time PHILL you've got to understand you will always have some pain and you will have to train your mind to block the pain because the pain your expierencing is small and minor your major pain has been taken care of.  Each and every time he said this i didn't want to hear it and finally a few months ago i stopped going back to the doctor because i wasn't getting the satisfaction i wanted and it was time to attempt to move on with my everyday life and i have with minor pain but i'm just dealing with it and alot of time i don't notice the pain there.  sorry i'm long winded.  good luck  Phill
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Hi Allan Phill here, sorry to hear that your fusion hasn't taken.  a couple questions for you.  Do you Smoke? anything.  for one this can and will cause a non union of the bones.  Did you use artifical bone for the fusion? the bone for my fusion came out of my left hip, damn it hurt for about a month it felt like a charlie horse.  the doctor said he perferred to take bone from the hip than the forearm because the hip gives him as much bone for the graph as he needed and didn't have to worry about not having enough bone taken from the forearm. Allan what do you mean there's nothing left in the wrist? please explain.  who is doing your surgeries? has all the surgeries been by the same doctor? are you in the U.S.? if so i'll be willing to research a surgeon for you, i felt i had one of the best doctors but not before it was to late after 3 previous surgeries.  Allan keep in touch this Total Wrist Fusion thread has helped a few so i read and i'm told.  regards  Phill
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Hi, Thank you for everyone's stories and experience! It is nice to know that I am not alone! I have had 7 surgeries on my R wrist in the last 10 years. I had a total wrist fusion and also(I dont remember the name) a chunk of my ulna bone taken out(I had already had a ulna shortening). It has been quite painful at times, but for the past month it has become excruciating!   I am wondering if anyone else has experienced this? I am wondering if I should look into having the hardware taken out.I am tired of being in pain. I have already accepted my limitations as is, but I just want to be out of pain. I do expect some pain to come every now and then. Just wondering if anyone else has had their hardware taken out and their experience with it.
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I am about to have a total wrist fusion in the next 8-10 weeks. I have had several ops which have been unsuccesful and last year i had major reconstruction but its now coming apart again. I did find a video which showed you how they did it but its really nice to be able to talk to people who have been through it. Thank you for all the posts you have made on here. It has really helped me and made me feel alot easier about having it done now.
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Hi, Phill here.  for some reason i'm not getting updates sent to my email as an alert to this Thread posting that i started awhile back.  If anyone wants to email me directly use the "SEND A NOTE" feature by setting the mouse icon over my highlighted name Phill614 and give it a second and a box will pop up and give you options to contact me.  I'm sorry i'm not on the site as often as i used keeping up with the updates.   regards Phill
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got date for my op . . .14th December hopefully if all goes well x x Getting a bit nervous now x x
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pre assessment for my op is on 23rd November. ANy questions you think i need to ask x x
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i gather no one comes on here anymore
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Hope all goes well with your surgery.  Let us know how it goes.  My hubby has to make a decision next week if he is to have it or not.  He is so sick of being in pain, but is scared this surgery won't help take the pain away.   He's had 4 surgeries in a year and none have brought him any relief.

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How is everything going with your wrist?  Any pain?  Hope all is well.  My hubby will be making the decision, either yes or no, to do the surgery.  Scared it want take the pain away.  I pray it does.
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My op was on wednesday 14th but they have changed it too Friday 16th December. WIll let you know how i get on. I to have had alot of operations so i am hoping this is the one to cure me.
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Hi Niki, i'm sorry i haven't responded there seems to be a problem with the site sending me a email notification when someone new comes on this blog.  Niki i hope you surgery went well today, I started this total wrist fusion link the day i went in for my wrist surgery over 2 yrs ago.  I tried to give others some insight what i had to go through day by day week by week.  If you can let others know what was helpful for you and what made your recovery easier please pass it on even the most simple things that you may not have read or learned before your surgery.  if anyone needs to contact me please email me at phillcady at yahoo . com  good luck Niki
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unfortunatley got infection in my hip from the bone graft so spent 6 days in hospital, only just got out. Hip is now incredibly sore as a result of this and is making even walking hard. i have only been given paracetamol for pain relief which i feel is not enough.  cant move my fingers much yet ang i too have bled through the dressings which they didnt seem to worry about. I also had the knobbly bone in the wrist remove which is where i am feeling the pain at the moment. i also cant move my arm without the help of the other one. Still quite happy that i had it done and cant waitto see the results x x
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3 weeks since op fusion and its my hip that still hurts the most. The infection has gone i think but i am still numb at the top of my leg, is this normal? They also used my right hip and fused my left wrist so i was completly stuck for two weeks moving about as both side hurt. They havent x rayed my wrist yet but i did have the stitches out last week and got a cast on until 10th feb, hoping they will x ray it then to make sure its ok. I did find it a bit strange not being able to move my wrist for the 10mins it was out of dressings, how have you managed not being able to bend it as i found my brain telling my wrist to move but my wrist saying no. Is it a strange feeling to deal with? Also anything you found you should avoid once its all healed?
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I am scheduled for the 10th of Feburary to have a complete wrist fusion (right).  I have had RA for 11 years now and both wrist have always been affected the most. I am scared about the whole thing but the carples are already partially fussed together on there own. I am 40 now and I have a better chance of healing now then if I wait. I also know that my wrist could change directions on me as well. I have been told by several that there isnt anything you cant do. I guess we will see. Good luck to all who have had the surgery and the ones like myself are headed that way.
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Good luck x x I had mine on December 16th last year, still in plaster until 10th February. Only thing i wasnt prepared for was if your having  a graft from your hip, just how sore your hip actually is!! Got aninfection in mine too but it was sore. They also used my right hip for my left hand so i couldnt get out of bed either side very easily x x Will let you know how i get on and what i found , if anything i cant do.
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Hi,

I am a 49 yr old lecturer who has had wrist fusion at my local local Cornish hospital last week and have just had my stitches removed. Apart from taking small doses of pain killers at night to help me sleep, I only have a slight dull ache in this repaired wrist.  

My wrist was initially damaged many years ago and, as the pain began to develop, it did begin to restrict the activities I could participate in. My doctor and surgeon were very blunt but honest in assessing my options but,as they mentioned, I would only present more problems if I did not have my wrist attended to.

I did undertake a lot of exercise / stretching before the operation and am undertaking light finger stretching on an hourly basis at the moment
.
My surgeon was fantastic and my local NHS could not be better. I would urge all those who have to undertake this surgery to find  good surgeon, trust in the judgement and try to maintain a positive attitude. Things will never be the same after the operation, but they will certainly be better than it was before.

Good luck to all

Craig
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hi craig i had my wrist fusion in june 2011 in a devon hospital and it is the best thing i have ever done.the pain was awful i could not turn my wrist over i wore a strap for years .there was a slight problem when they took the plaster cast off arfter 6wks it was fine for about a weekthen i noticed that i could not lift my little finger up then 2days later another finger did the same thing.i went back to see the surgen and a jagged bone had ruptured my tendons so it was back to surgery for me and another 8wks in a plaster cast up to my arm pits with my fingers hanging on bits of wire and thread.ihave no pain what so ever my little finger is not quite right the tendon could have been tighter but i can live with that.so if any one is having this opp dont worry you learn to ajust  get a good surgen as graig said and do the exercises .
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hi my husband is due to go and have his wrist fusion on 6th of december we are uk based, i hope you have recovered enough to get back to work. our biggest worry is how long it will be before he can get back to work he is a labourer so manual work, if you dont mind me asking how long wa it untill you felt able for light duties thanks in advance
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hay buddy,i just had my other wrist fused,yes you read it right,my second wrist surgery.i would request anyone who is having this kind of surgery to get a workers comp lawyer.because i don't think i will be able to go back to my job.i work with glass and heavy gage aluminum,I'm a union glazer.happy healing to all..
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I had a severed ligament in the back of my right hand.  I had surgery in Dec. 2010 where they stretched a ligament from the palm side of my right hand through a hold they drilled and reattached to the back of my right hand (mid back of hand area).  I learned this surgery only works 50% of the time.  I knew going into the surgery, I would have to have either a partial or full wrist fusion eventually (depending on where the arthritis in the wrist joints occurred.  I recently found out the doctors feel I have stretched that ligament out and that a fusion is definite.  I just have a question though.  I type 90% of my work day M-F.  The pain seems to intensify the more I move my hand around and the more I type and move the mouse around.  I read the full wrist fusion gives you strength back but not movement.  Well I need the movement to continue my job.  I am just afraid that if I decide to have the full fusion, my working days are numbered.  (The physical therapist stated that I would hold my wrist and hand at a different angle when typing and I will start hurting my forearm muscles and eventually end up hurting my shoulder muscles.)  I was wondering if you are having issues moving your fingers constantly?
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Hello everyone, my name is Grant.I had total wrist fusion 5 weeks ago in Philadelphia. I am still in a cast which itches like crazy. I have progressed well so far but still have a dull ache in my hand/wrist and sometimes feel a clicking in the ulna area. Can anyone add some color to my comments and progression so far? I go back to the doctor on Monday for the post surgery X-ray and evaluation.
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Hi Lat62, i'm sorry to just getting back to answer your questions i've had a real hassle to get logged on to this site.  Lat it's been over 3 yrs 5 months since my TOTAL WRIST FUSION and i'm doing fine not great but fine.  I continue to work as a aircraft mechanic I have to TYPE an awful lot with no issues (and no i don't finger peck the keys I know how to type well) on and off the job.  I can't speak for all the other people out there that have had fusions but typing has never been an issue.  I personally would get another physical therapist that person doesn't know what there talking about. does your therapist have a TOTAL WRIST FUSION and have expierenced these issues with the forearm mucles and shoulder? If anything the mucles get tired or ache because i don't excersise the mucles enough but that's not been much of an issue.  As far for the angle of the wrist well my Dr. said it was set that way because if was a more natural postion to continue my every day life stuff, I have a issue with the way my middle knuckle sticks up and seems to get bumped every so often.  Lat62 you and anyone else reading is welcome to send me emails directly at phillcady @ yahoo. com (no spaces) to get quicker answers to questions you may have.  If you would, anything that you have gone through with your recovery that you can share with others and can add to this thread it would be great.  I hope this thread that i started has been helpful to you and others
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Gerr622, I personally have had a workers comp lawyer and felt it was a complete waste of time and money for what i needed.  A workers comp lawyer doesn't give a damn about you and only wants half of your settlement and 25% weekly paycheck.  Sorry but after what I went through I would have to be totally desprate to deal with workers comp lawyer, and maybe you were and it worked out for you.  Gerr I'm sorry you had to go through a second fusion, Please let others know how that's coming along.  thanks Phill
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Hi I had total wrist fusion about 6 years ago on my right wrist. I am now amberdextrus but have to favor my right wrist still I get muscle falure in my hand and it feels like someone smack wrist with a ballpen hammer but only if I use it for a while is this normal  please let know thanks.I also get throbing pain threw my fingers.
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Good morning 300Rum, I'm now 3 1/2 years post op Total Wrist Fusion.  Have you been check for carpal tunnel syndrome?  and when you say someone smacked your wrist with a hammer is his area a long the scar line where the plate is installed? The problem i expierence is my forearm gets tired easier and i presume this is because i use it less for wight bearing tasks and it starts to ache.  I have more of a problem when pressure is applied to my palm near the middle knuckle, i feel my fusion to some of the smaller bones either didn't take or arthritis has formed.  It's hard to think about going back to a doctor for my wrist or hand when it seems to be just nagging and not a sever issue.  I have a hard time trusting any hand doctor at this time because what i have delt with since my orginal surger with my hand doctor, so i have to be in extream pain before i go to another doctor again.  I have learned to deal with my limitations to my Left Wrist and try to as careful as possible.  Rum i've got to get to work so i'd be interested in additional details to your hand and wrist. take care   Phill
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Hi Grant, well i've just sat here for several minutes thinking what to say or how to answer your question i just received.  I'm now a few years post op and I'm working at my same avaition mechanic job.  The past few weeks I've been experencing some pain to my left hand (with pressure applied to the palm) and some at the top of the hand.  I think some of the smaller bones that were supposed to be fused never took (fused) or now becoming a problem, at this point i dare not go back to the doctor.  The pain I was expierencing before my fusion is completly gone and nothing like I have now.  The hand doctor (Dr.Mark Henry) that did my surgery i have lost all confidence and respect.  I have come to believe once this big shot doctor does his surgery they just have to go through the motions to treat you post op because they've made their big money.  When I complained about the pain I was expierencing in my wrist and hand he told me "the pain will end when i quit thinking about it" I told him what kind of crap is that. He said it was all in my head and that i will always have pain in the wrist.  I requested to have a MRI and he wouldn't think of it because of the cost, I told him what the hell do you care about the cost.  Grant, I'm just venting right now because my hand aches.  I suggest you don't do anything for a few months that may disrupt the healing process to ensure the fusion takes, give it time.  I'll try to have a better attitude in my next post.  take care  Phill
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Good Morning Phil. Sorry to hear of your situation. My surgery was on February 25 and other than the initial pain, constipation and stiff fingers at the beginning, so far so good. I had a series last weekend and my hand swelled like a balloon. I was tending to overwork the hand as it was feeling better. A trip to the doctor on Friday and all is healing as expected. I am only told to pick up a bottle of water, weight wise, for another 6 weeks. Doing my own therapy and have good movement in my fingers. Staring wrist turning exercises now and that is tough. My doctor out of Penn in Philadelphia has een excellent, takes all of the time you want each visit and called me right back when I called on Monday about the swelling in my hand. How do they do an MRI with the plate in your hand? I have x-rays from each visit and will try to post pictures tonight for all to see. Could the pain in the palm be from the screw's tips which come through? Looking at my x-rays, I wonder if that will be a future issue when gripping hard or leaning on the palm. Can you see another doctor for a second opinion? Such a shame when a doctor forgets their oath.
Hang in there and good luck.
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Hi All,

I took a terrible fall December 10, 2012 and severely broke my left (non-dominant) wrist.  Had surgery on 12/18 to insert plate and 13 screws.  Unfortunately, due to the severity of the break, many of the small joints have/are disintegrating and, while the break healed, I have been in extreme pain for the last couple of months.  Each x-ray looks a bit worse than the prior one.  I have spent some time just living with the pain and wearing a wrist guard and have decided that I will have a total wrist fusion, rather than living with the pain.  While I wish I did not have to lose the mobility of my wrist, the truth is, I've already lost the mobility due to the pain.  I use my left wrist less and less as it is.  Hell, it even hurts to put deodorant on.  I am a 58-year woman.  I am a paralegal and do a lot of typing, but as the doctor has mentioned and I've read on this site, typing should not be a problem.  I am planning on 6 weeks off work -- does that sound reasonble?  I only took a week off after my surgery in December and, while I'm not certain of it, I wonder if I attempted too much, too soon and ended up causing some of the problems I am experiencing now.  Anyway, I am planning surgery for just after the 4th of July.  I had been planning on having air conditioning installed this summer anyway, but will have it installed sooner rather than later:-)  Having been born and raised in Seattle and still living here, I cannot tolerate temps in the mid-80's and higher -- my northern blood must be too thick or something.  Thanks Phil for starting this community and to everybody who posts to it.  I will become a regular, I am sure.  
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Hi Mate. Iv had Kienbock's for about 13 years and can move it around fine and do everything as normal. it hurts a little here and there but it dont bother me. The little bone has now crumbled and i really cant tell. The wrist does have a little amount of arthritis but its very minor. In the past 13 years i have used the wrist very hard, doing weight training and allsorts. When would you recommend me to get a total wrist fusion. I cant really do weights anymore which i really want to do hence the reason i would like the wrist fused.
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modeldat, I also cannot lift weights anymore because my total fusion won't permit the weight on my hand or wrist without causing pain. There's plenty of things I can't do anymore.  I am only an airline mechanic and there's no way I could tell you when you should get a fusion nor would I recommend to you or anyone to get a fusion.  I'm sorry I had to put it that way but going through the whole fusion process is traumatic and life changing it has to be a last resort.  If your only having mild pain and can live with it by all means don't jump to have a surgery because there's no guarantee the fusion will do what you expect (to be pain free).  You have to make the decision to make changes what you can do and what you should not do that can cause more pain and damage to your wrist.  Keep us informed to you progress. regards Phill
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I had my scaphoid bone removed and a 4 corner fusion June 4th 2013. Stitches are removed and wearing a splint. my question is Is it normal that my fingers and knuckles are still very swollen. ice provides temp relief but my fingers feel tingly and impossible to bend.
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Hi, this is completely normal, my hand and fingers were so swollen for at least 3 weeks. If you click on my name Phill614 off to the side you can view my pics.  I have 1 that's 3 days post op.  good luck and a small bit of advice "don't use your hand for anything except the finger exercises that the doctor probably is having you do.  Don't chance of messing up the fusion.  Good Luck  Phill
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Hi, this is completely normal, my hand and fingers were so swollen for at least 3 weeks. If you click on my name Phill614 off to the side you can view my pics.  I have 1 that's 3 days post op.  good luck and a small bit of advice "don't use your hand for anything except the finger exercises that the doctor probably is having you do.  Don't chance of messing up the fusion.  Good Luck  Phill
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i had a total wrist fusion 15 days ago last few days my knuckles and back of hand have become extremely painful and the cast around back of hand quite tight the swelling had gone down loads but now feels up again is this normal for it hurt more each day as i didnt have this amount of pain to start with post op i know its bin a while since your op but u seem to be the only person i can find online with good info thank you for any reply
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Good morning Jay, Total Wrist Fusion was the most painful for me upwards of 3 weeks. If you look at my pics I have 1 that was 3 days post op, I made a special appointment because of the pain.  What I found that helped the most for me was IBprofine 800's 3 times a day as it was prescribed to ME, the hard core pain killers didn't help me much.  When I kept my hand elevated as much as possible it helped reduce the swelling and pain, and don't forget about the ice seemed to be a life saver for me.  Really for the next couple months you've got to kick back and let that fusion heal, don't think at some point that once the pain subsided that its ok to start doing things because you'll only screw up the doctors work and put yourself in further pain.  Jay I'm a couple months away from it being 4 year from my surgery, yes I still have very mild pain, yes there's still somethings I can't do but I have moved on with my life and I'm trying to make the best of the situation.  Jay keep this post updated on your progress because this is how other will be helped.  regards  Phill  
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ty for ur reply ,i would love to stick my whole hand in ice but can only get as far as knuckles cos of plaster for at leas 4 more weeks "sigh" and no after the pain pre op i dont intend to do anything to ruin this fusion, same as u pain killers dont help and i was prescribed naproxin 500mg twice a day...had my stitches out at 8 days cos the half plaster they put on to start was loose so they had to remove that cos swelling went down quite quickly and thought may as well remove stitches then full cast, just wanted to check the pain does get worse after couple weeks puts my mind at rest ty
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Jay, I was setting an ice pack over the cast in the area that was having the most pain, after awhile i could start feeling it though the cast. I bought a pack that was 6-8" long and maybe 4-6 inches wide, not to thick but something thing that will fold over the area.  wrap it in a t shirt just not something to thick, I used an ace wrap to hold it in place. good luck  Phill
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I had a total wrist fusion 6 days ago.  November 2012 I fell broke both bones in my arm and shattered several bones in my wrist.  First surgery internal and external fixators. Removed after 3 months. Bones in my wrist began collapsing. 2nd surgery removed external fixator and several screws.  Done a bone graft to keep bones from collapsing.  Kpin attempted to stabilize wrist.  3rd surgery removed plate and screws no hardware left.  Extreme pain in my wrist at any attempt to use. Dr informed me I had no joints left. It was bone on bone

My bone graft for fusion was taken from my hip.  Makes it difficult to walk.  My hand did not swell as bad as it did on the first or second surgeries.  Ice helps tremendously with swelling and throbbing.  Hopefully this works.  Will keep all updated
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Hi Blondie, damn you've been through a lot. My bone graph also came from the hip, it felt like I had a really bad charlie horse that lasted 2 weeks.  Do not attempt to use your hand for ANYTHING, let the fusion take hold.  The bone graph is like setting a broken bone, the graph is placed between spaces of bones and by it be imobilized the bone and graph become one.  Take care and please keep everyone updated. and thanks for sharing.  Phill
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Im now at 5.5 weeks post op for my total fusion the severe pain i was experiencing after a couple weeks is now a lot better my hand looks like i have a really bad skin issue all peeling off lol but i know thats from the swelling i had so not worried index finger is the stiffest in the mornings but ok once i get it going. Im counting down the last 5 days to getting my cast removed im itching like a mad woman gotta love the old knitting needle, i have been really careful not to use my hand for anything except the exercises so all good in that respect just hoping the x-rays are positive i know theres a long way to go 1 step at a time, good luck to everyone else just had recent surgery
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Thanks for sharing, keep everyone updated on your progress and anything that you encounter along the way that may help others please post on this thread.  This Nov. 3rd will be 4 years since my Total Wrist Fusion and when I started this thread.  During this time I gained about 40 lbs and became very inactive, i kinda got cought up in the poor me.  Last month I started working with light weights, walking 3-6 miles a day, eating better (no junk food) and basically exercising. I've lost about 20 lbs and feel better, I think i've worked my out of a really long funk.  Still receiving email updates from this thread from people like you telling there story and what they went through will continue to help others.  Good luck  Phill
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Great news Phil, Congratulations! Keep up the Great work and the fitness quest. I have posted a few pictures to my page for everyone to see, more to come. My fused wrist is 8 months healed in October. I have resumed playing golf and using the hand as much as possible, after the 8 month checkup, hopefully will resume gym workouts. Other than "tennis Elbow" symptoms,, everything seems to be as expected. Unfortunately, my other wrist is clicking and painful now, mainly from overuse so we will see where that goes.
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finally my cast is off yay...xrays look great consultant very pleased told me i had been a good girl lol...nice to be able to wash properly...pain is ok just quite stiff, using a stress ball to keep the fingers supple seems to help a lot, scar area still tender but to be expected..have started using the bio oil for the scar but to be honest i would rather be pretty much pain free with a big scar than the pain i was in and no scar its a small price to pay,,,so overall doing weel have last check up in 4 weeks so hopefully all well and the driving can begin again :) good luck to all either just had or due to have surgery..and ty phil for starting this forum 4 years ago x
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2 1/2 weeks post op. Got all of my staples and stitches out. Arm incision healed nicely. My hip incision isn't completely healed. Feels so much better without staples though.  I now have a cast. Other than pain of just having surgery, my wrist feels much better.  I will be in my cast at least 8 weeks doctor says all looks very good.  This is the first positive news he's given me in nearly a year!  My fingers are very stiff and sore but I have been moving them.  Sometimes I have shooting pain down my fingers. I expect this to improve though!  Happy healing to all!
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Thanks for sharing Blondie, I can't emphasize enough to be careful and let everything heal before using your hand. The only thing the doctor wanted me to do is constantly move my fingers because rehab is so much harder if your fingers are stiff.  Please keep everyone informed and anything along the way you find that might help someone else.  Phill
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Great News, I used cocoa butter several times a dayand my scar is almost non existent. Good luck and keep updating!
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8 weeks post op!  Got my cast off today. Wrist feels much better. X-ray show fusion is progressing nicely. I still have a lot of numbness on the top of my hand. Otherwise I don't have near as much pain in my wrist
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That's great news Blondie, has the doctor got you set up in physical therapy yet? I believe I also had lots of numbness mostly along the huge scar line and now it's mostly gone or I just don't pay attention to it. Thanks for sharing Blondie and continue to let us know about your progress.  Phill
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Today has been 4 years 5 days since I had my Total Wrist fusion and I when started this Thread to hopefully help others be a little more informed with what they might expect.  There isn't a day that goes by that i'm not reminded some limitations that I have from the fusion but I have learned to deal with them and move on. I can do "most" everything I did before the having my wrist destroyed then having it fused.  At times in the cold weather the wrist aches but it doesn't last to long.  My middle knuckle sticks up higher then the rest because of the angle the wirst was fused, I tend to bump it once in awhile which can be painful. At times I can still make excuses why I can't do something becasue of the wrist but It's probably because of a bad day and I'm going through A poor me attitude. As I've stated before in previous entries I'm an Aircraft mechanic for an airline and still perform all my duties with no limitations. I found my left arm became weaker because I babied it because of the fusion and could see the muscle was smaller than the other arm so now work out with weights up to 175 lbs for now and don't really plan to go heavier. I also found it was really easy to become inactive and lazy for some time after the fusion because in my mind I was making excuses why I couldn't do a lot of things when actually I could. I feel more confident as time goes on and try to stay out of the poor me attitude.  Right now I feel good, my health is good, and life is good. If your thinking of having a Total Wrist Fusion make sure you do your research, find the best doctor you can and follow his instruction after your surgery.  If your a smoker that can be an issue with your fusion talk to your doctor about that.  If "anyone" has any questions I can maybe answer please post, if your been through fusion and have something to add that may help someone else again please post.  Take care  Phill
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Thanks for the continual updates Phil and congratulations on your progress! No doubt, your thread has given many, including me, insight, inspiration and hope throughout our operations and the healing process. Thank you and keep positive!
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11 weeks post op for me, Im starting back to work week monday so all good there, I still have a lot of numbness to the back of my hand and a bump half way down my scar feels boney its numb unless I bang it lol, my index finger doesnt bend as much as the others but a stress ball is helping, I wasnt given the option for physio apart from being told to keep the hand active I have a small swelling that come up then go down at the base of my thumb near to the wrist, my consultant doesnt seem concerned at this point but wants to see me again in 3 months, even though 3 months of work seems like forever I keep getting reminded that Its still a short time for the healing process and can take around 12 months, the wrist is pain free so I can handle the numbness just waiting to see how it will go in work, good luck with everyones recovery but so far Im glad I had this done.
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I am not doing therapy yet. My doctor ask if I wanted to do therapy since my index finger and thumb are very limited in range of motion. Had a bad experience with pt before.  They pushed a little to hard and caused my plate to pop loose. My doctor knows I will work hard to get as much as I can without pushing to hard. I do have I
One spot that is not healing as quickly as the rest of the fusion so nothing to heavy for a while.
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Osmossis,  for some reason I haven't been receiving any notification on this thread that I started over 4 years ago.  I'm sorry you have to go through the total wrist fusion.  I am left handed and my fusion was done to my primary hand.  Before the fusion I was heavily involved in sports, to day I play no sports and that's my choice. I don't what to chance at screwing up my other hand.  What kind of activities are you talking about? I do just about anything I want, I still lift somewhat light weights at the gym, I have learned to do push ups with a closed fist and not flat handed like I us to do. I live on over 10 acres so I operate chainsaws, weed eaters, heavy brush cutters, I do some of my own auto maintenance (I hate working on cars), Last night at work I worked on a Boeing 767-300 jet engine with another mechanic, the job was very difficult with very little space to fit your hands to connect hoses, ducts,bolts and nuts. Yes I have problems at times because I can't bend my wrist but that's ok I ask the other person if they can take care of it, but I give it  my all before I ask someone else to help out.  My fused wrist has had an impact on things I can and cannot do but do my very best not limit myself what I can do.  I have a problem using a hammer now but maybe I wouldn't if I was forced to use it everyday and teach myself to swing the hammer differently.  I've always wondered how i would roll a bowling ball down the lane, because my wrist is fused in an angle that it looks like the bowling would come easy. I used to be a 170's-180's bowler. I just have enough going on in my life that I haven't got around to bowling yet. Osmossis If you give yourself the excuse that you can't do something before giving it your every effort then your going to let this fused wrist get the best of you.  I did go through a period of "poor me" and I just sat around gaining weight and becoming very lazy but I finally go over it.  I'm enjoying life to the best of my ability without making excuses for my wrist.  Keep a positive and give it your ALL.  All I ask you is that you "do not use your wrist/hand before it's completely healed, you do not want to mess up the fusion.  the healing process should be like a broken bone healing maybe 6-10 weeks  but the doctor will then that time is. At first right after the fusion you need to practice moving and bending your fingers, my doctor said that was very important to do so but ask him.  Osmossis good luck with your fusion I hope this thread has helped you get some information to what you can expect. I you felt it was helpful it would be great if you can give updates to this same Total Wrist Fusion tread and let other know what your going through and experiences you've had that might help others.  again good luck on your fusion.  Phill
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Hi Phil,  I have been on the move so I haven't posted.  I am almost five months post op.  Things seem to be going pretty good.  The pain in my wrist is better.  My hand especially in the knuckle area is very tender.  If I bumps my hand, I immediately get a puffy spot in the area.  I have numbness in the thumb, index and middle finger.  I am not able to bend the fingers or thumb.  I am working it but I believe  that is due to the external fixator.  There was some damage from that.  I am doing my own exercises at home due to the fact that pt tends to push way to hard.  It is definitely hard getting used to the stiffness but I deal with it and go on.  Day to day activities are a chore but it is getting easier.  I don't type as well as I used to.  I am down from 65 wpm quiet a bit.  I work out some but its more the yoga style but it does the job. I don't let the fact that my wrist doesn't work like it used to get me down.  If I have difficulty doing something I will find a new way to do it.  I love to play pool.  I have played since two weeks after my first surgery.  I go back for my six month check up in March.  I will post after my visit.    
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I've posted a few new pictures to my medhelp profile page, not to brag but to show that you can move on and have fun and be productive at work after your wrist fusion.  I'm left handed and my left wrist is fused. Don't limit yourself don't make excuses. Good luck  Phill
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Hello
I am 39 and I am considering going for total fusion on my wrist.  I am a lobster, herring & halibut fisherman and I am having a hard time to make a decision on going for the surgery because I am scared of the limitations I will have if I have the surgery.  I read all your comments and I see you can do pretty much everything you want including running a chain saw, which is encouraging me more.  I had a cortisone shot three weeks ago but it's only suppose to last three months.  It helped a lot with the pain.  I am considering going after the fishing seasons are done, do you have any suggestions for me?  In my jobs I do I need a lot of grip and pulling strength, my doctor said that I will have good grip strength, how is your grip and pulling strength since your surgery?
Thank-You
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Hi Ticoq, about 10 years ago I helped out on a Cray boat for a week in Western Australia and I know the work that's required lifting and pulling pots from where their stacked to bring them in removing the crays and piling them up again. it's a lot of work from the time the boat leaves to when it docks. Okay first of all if your getting relief from cortisone shots i'd keep getting them, if your shot only last a week or so then its probably no use keep getting shots because its no relief for pain. Is you wrist bone on bone? do you have x-rays that you can post? If you click on my name Phill614 at the top it'll bring you to my medhelp page with the pictures, there is a couple I think one shows before the wrist was fused. If you have a bowling wrist brace I would ware it around for a few days and try to do everything you can wearing it maybe even try it working without taking it off.  I think the metal in the brace is angled just like the wrist will be fused. It could give you an idea what's it like not to bend your wrist and do your everyday stuff. You should ask your doctor for what might be good in your situation. As far as I'm concerned getting a wrist fusion should be your absolute last resort.  I can't remember what my grip strength was at the end of my physical therapy but is was somewhere in the 125-145 lb pulling a grip strength tester. I actually  carry heavy weight as long as it's hanging down kinda like carrying a 6 gallon can of gas at your side, I have no problems doing that. don't get me wrong I still have issues at times but not the pain I had before. Do you smoke? if you do I'd quit at least during the fusion and healing process because my doctor said it could affect the fusion taking. How much time off you plan to take if you did get your wrist fused? I was out 3 months before returning to work without restrictions. I'm not sure if any of this help but if you have any other questions i'll be glad to answer if I can. good luck  Phill
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thanks Phill,  I don't have the X-ray to show you but my doctor showed them to me and yes I'm bone on bone and I have some ligament damage as the results of a wrist fracture that happened playing hockey about 13 years ago.  The doctor said  that I could have other surgeries, for example 4 corner fusion, removing a row of bones etc... , but those surgeries would affect my grip and pulling strength and eventually would end up having total fusion anyway, so that's my only option.  If I can have the surgery in November, I would have a good 4 months to recover. I don't smoke so that will help the healing.  In the last week I started to have some pain again but a lot less than before the cortisone shot, at least I can sleep good without a brace. I tried working with a brace but  it doesn't  stop the pain.  So now the question is when is my lifestyle  going to be better with a fused wrist with no pain then an moving wrist with pain.  During last fishing season I could still function pretty good.  The pain was sometimes bad, depending on the weather and the movements I would do.  It would hurt a lot when I was relaxing in the evening and at night.  During the day I would  have sharp pain that would last about 10 seconds when I would do certain movements.  It is getting worst year after year.
Thanks again for the advice.  
Have a good day, Gaetan
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Ticoq, your question in the previous post "So now the question is when is my lifestyle  going to be better with a fused wrist with no pain then an moving wrist with pain". My answer is when you learn to adapt to whatever comes your way without making excuses or whining about your wrist. Yes my life is a hell of lot better without the extreme pain, I have learned to adapt to just about everything that has come my way. Sure I whine to myself at times about stuff that's wrist related but it's to me and not other people. Am I totally and completely pain free "NO" but it's not constant and the pain is only minor like having any other ache and pains that maybe weather related.  I played high intensity sports for 35 years so some of my aches and pains is from that. Ticoq, this is a major decision for you and you alone, as it was for me. I don't regret my decision one bit. I'm moving on and trying to help others as they need it.  Phill  
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My problems with my wrists started in 2006 when working on the dust carts collecting garbage I was eventually diagnosed with tfcc in both wrists in 2008 had my first op on my left wrist, Ulnar shortening then a year later to the day had my right wrist done too this helped for a while but the pain returned more across the whole of my wrist also now I have pain in my thumb and fingers on both hands my right thumb clicks and the joints swell it's very painful some of my fingers have pain only apart sorry from one finger which sometimes gets stuck a little in a bent position and also hurts , I haven't got arthritis so they say , my surgeon says he doesn't know what's wrong and to see him at the end of august because it might be worse by then and they might know then what is wrong this has been going on so long now (years ) I'm sick of being in pain and I think they are just mugging me off , has anyone out there had what I had done and went on to feel pain in the rest of wrist but more so fingers and thumbs as we'll later I  read up and they say wrist fusion is the answer but my surgeon won't here of it . Thankyou
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My problems with my wrists started in 2006 when working on the dust carts collecting garbage I was eventually diagnosed with tfcc in both wrists in 2008 had my first op on my left wrist, Ulnar shortening then a year later to the day had my right wrist done too this helped for a while but the pain returned more across the whole of my wrist also now I have pain in my thumb and fingers on both hands my right thumb clicks and the joints swell it's very painful some of my fingers have pain only apart sorry from one finger which sometimes gets stuck a little in a bent position and also hurts , I haven't got arthritis so they say , my surgeon says he doesn't know what's wrong and to see him at the end of august because it might be worse by then and they might know then what is wrong this has been going on so long now (years ) I'm sick of being in pain and I think they are just mugging me off , has anyone out there had what I had done and went on to feel pain in the rest of wrist but more so fingers and thumbs as we'll later I  read up and they say wrist fusion is the answer but my surgeon won't here of it . Thankyou
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It's been almost 7 months since total wrist fusion. My six month checkup was good. The fusion is taking well. I have one screw that is backed out. I finally got my approval for physical therapy. I have started using my hand more. It is very stiff but I have a lot of damage from the fixators. I don't think that will ever go away. I do have less pain so I can manage the stiffness. I don't lift much weight with it. My doctor has been very cautious since the fusion. I don't want to go thru this again. My knuckles are very sensitive. After working my hand I tend to have swelling across them. My arm and hand get very cold but again this is something I can live with. I will post results from PT.
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       Hi blondie are you back to work yet after six month
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Not yet. I was driving a truck moving heavy equipment. I don't have much movement back in my hand yet. I had a lot of damage from secondary sources ( external fixator) so there is a very good possibility I won't be able to do that job. I have an appointment on May 6th to see if the screw has backed out more. I am going to ask him then.
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Hey Blondie! I am the "new" Orthopedic Community Leader for MedHelp. I just wanted to wish you the best on your recovery. It sounds like you are doing great! I am new to this site and I am trying to give info where ever I can (huge back log). I can only give you my opinion, please consult your physician for anything definite (it's a legal thing). If your fusion is close enough to full recovery, I feel (I am a Orthopedic First Assistant) removing that screw shouldn't be a problem. I have removed them in the office (exam room). A little local anesthetic (I use a mixture of 1% Lidocaine and 0.5% Marcaine) and borrow a screwdriver from the OR. Takes just a few minutes. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me!

PS Do you play golf? I do not, even though I live a few miles from Myrtle Beach, SC I have a poster that is going to have the same surgery as you and his biggest worry is how it's going to effect his golf game. Any thoughts I could convey to him?

Best wishes! jd1963
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I returned back to Aircraft maintenance after 4 months to the day.
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JD welcome to the Total Wrist Fusion thread, I started this thread 4 1/2 years ago to inform others what I had to go through with my fusion and maybe give some answers that I couldn't find in other threads. I've always wondered about having screws removed and what it took to remove them.  It was my understanding the screws sat below tendons and would have to be moved to the side before a screw could be removed. Also the reason screws are usually removed is because head of the screws tends to rub against the tendons causing pain or discomfort. JD thanks for your input.  Phill
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I've added a few new pictures, just click on Phill614 and click pictures. I encourage others to post pictures to show how their coming along. Phill
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Hey Phill! I'm glad your outcome was so good! Actually, the main reason I've removed screws that were backing out is because they start to irritate the skin. I have seen them work their way so far that the nearly came through the skin. The removal is simply, a small 1/4" incision, work the screwdriver through the tissues until you seat it into the head and just screw it out. A couple of 4-0 Nylon sutures and you're done!

I have another TWF prospect that was wondering about his Golf game. Do you want to post with him? I need your approval first.

Thanks JD1963
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I would only suggest for him to try wearing a bowling wrist brace that keeps the wrist straight and then swing the golf club. I believe he'll have to change the way he swings because he'll not be able to bend the wrist. I gave up golf a couple years before my fusion because I was just lousy at golf and had plenty of other activities I preferred to do.  I personally haven't tried to swing a golf club since the fusion. My left handed clubs are in the shed waiting to be donated.  Sorry I wasn't much help with this subject. Phill
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Hi,

I told him to use a Carpal Tunnel Syndrome splint, it locks your wrist up more and it's cheaper if he has to buy it. So, would you want him to contact you?

I am still trying to catch up, as I am fairly new here. In about 2 weeks I've answered about 170 posts.

Thanks  JD1963
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I've been available to anyone that wishes to talk about TWF that's why this thread is here and why I continue to reply to people. Yes JD he can contact me. Is he aware of this website and this thread? if not maybe copy and paste the link to this thread and email him if he's open to it. Phill
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Hey Phill,

Well, he's obviously on this website. I'm sure why he's not here. I will post him to you!

Thanks    JD1963
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Hey Phill!

I finally got a hold of the prospective TWF patient, he is looking forward to your thread!

Thanks for all your great information on this subject!  JD1963
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No I don't play golf. I tried swinging a club years before the surgery. I was horrible at it. Everyone got a big laugh. My son gave up trying to teach me!  
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I went to the doctor for a checkup!  Good news is the screw has settled. There is no shadowing under it. My fusion has healed nicely. I have done limited pt but for some reason the therapists don't seem to understand taking it easy. My doctor thinks they seem push to much. So I have another eight weeks to just try and use it. I can not pick up much weight at this point. Will see how it progresses. My index finger and thumb do not bend so making a fist with a good grip is impossible.  I am assuming the fixator caused some damage there. All in all my wrist pain is much better than before the surgery. My knuckle area is very very tender. Bumping it causes pain!  I have limitations but I just work thru trying to adjust things as I go. I have long hair. It's almost impossible to manage I just do what I can with it. I am assuming that in eight weeks I will get my release so we shall see what happens
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I have tried posting pictures but it will not let me post from iOS device. I will try it again
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Hi Blondie, for whatever reason I never got an alert to my email for your comment about posting pictures. Did you ever figure out how to download pictures? I hope your doing well and thank you for continuing to update the Total Wrist Fusion thread, This thread has been very helpful so many people because of regular update from people that are in chronic pain and need answers or people that have gone through the TWF and can give helpful answer to those in pain and what to expect.  Phill  
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Hi - unfortunately, you're not able to upload pictures from your iOS devices.  You'll have to use a computer to do so.  So sorry for the inconvenience!
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The last few weeks I've been experiencing pain in my wrist joint in the area that was fused also in my middle knuckle with pulsating pain on a regular basis. My middle knuckle is nearly twice the size and has been that way since my Fusion. I also have pain just up the forearm close to the area of the plate, i don't know if it's related but it's always there. I'm only bringing this up because I started this thread back in 09 and felt any changes going on with my wrist should be known. I still do everything I wish to do but my wrist always reminds me there's issues that will at some point that needs to be addressed. I haven't gone back to my wrist doctor yet because i'm not sure he's the doctor I want to return to and whether I'm ready to go through more surgeries. Good luck to all and if you have anything to post about your Total Wrist Fusion that will help others please do.  Oh one more thing, I've started bowling again and i'm holding a mid 170's average. The way my wrist was fused is perfect for holding my fingertip bowling ball. Take care Phill
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Hi all - I am 4 weeks post surgery from a total wrist fusion on my right wrist.  I'm right handed.  I injured it about 20 yrs ago and had 3 surgeries ending with a partial fusion at the time.  It had become painful enough all the time that a total fusion seemed to be the best course of action.  Hopefully the last course of action.  So now I am past the surgical pain and working on stretching the ligaments to form a fist.  I'm getting there.  I am back to wearing a brace almost 24 hours a day though because I have now been getting a pain right across the inside of my wrist at the base.  So right across the bottom of my hand.  I have been carefully doing my stretches to try to get my palm facing up with my arm extended and I was almost there and now I can hardly turn it.  When I try even with the brace on I hear and feel an awful cracking sound.  It is really slowing me down.  I saw my Dr at 3 weeks post surgery and I don't see him again for another 2 weeks.  Just wondering if anyone else has experienced this pain and cracking?  I'm worried I have just totally messed up the surgery and gone through all this for nothing.
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