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1027575 tn?1390964018
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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1027575 tn?1390964018
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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1027575 tn?1390964018
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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5097257 tn?1379643219
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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1027575 tn?1390964018
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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1027575 tn?1390964018
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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1027575 tn?1390964018
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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1027575 tn?1390964018
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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1027575 tn?1390964018
I returned back to Aircraft maintenance after 4 months to the day.
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1027575 tn?1390964018
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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1027575 tn?1390964018
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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1027575 tn?1390964018
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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1027575 tn?1390964018
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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1027575 tn?1390964018
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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1027575 tn?1390964018
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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7353995 tn?1390918201
i had my surgery in July soft cast for 2 weeks, Hard cast for 8 Weeks, then a brace from now on for 6 months healing is going well. i have the same pain when i try to turn my wrist palm up started physio last week they said it is normal as you haven't used this motion in quite some time will be tight but will go away. as for the crunching not sure. Did you have a proximal row carpectomy at the same time. also what type of plate did they use I have heard from surgeon some are better then others
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1027575 tn?1390964018
Drew what was the outcome after going back to the doctor? Sorry I didn't reply earlier, for some reason this site isn't sending me email alerts for this thread
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1027575 tn?1390964018
Hi Sue, thanks for checking out this Total Wrist Fusion (TWF) thread.  Sue I can say without any hesitation if it wasn't for the TWF I would still be in unbearable pain, Nov. 3rd was 5 years since my surgery.  Is everything perfect with my wrist? absolutely not but I'm able to deal with everyday life better that I did before. Do I still have pain? Yes but NOTHING like what I had to bare before the TWF. Sue, If you read all the way through this thread you'll see a lot of people had a lot of question and concerns just like you.  I'm left handed and had my left hand fused, I've been able to continue my career as a aircraft mechanic which requires using my hands, sure there's a few thing I can't do but I do my very best without making excuses. Sure I went through a period of poor me and i had to get over it.  Sue I have several wooded acres that I work nearly everyday when not at my paying job. I operate chainsaws, brush cutters, weed eaters you name it I try to get it done. Do I have any regrets having my wrist fused? NO not one bit. Sue, I can say if you smoke it can hamper the fusion process and cause the fusion not to take (so I was told), I quit smoking before a short time before my fusion.  I did nothing during the days, weeks and months during my recovery that I wasn't suppose to that could cause a problem with the healing.  If the doctor said don't do certain things I didn't until I got the all clear.  If you reply back to this thread with some more specific questions I'll do my best to answer them.  There are plenty of people on this thread that could also answer questions you might have. When you ask your questions on this thread you could get answers back from anyone that has participated in this thread.  Good luck and hope to hear how your doing.   Phill  
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11519779 tn?1418959694
on Dec 15 2014 I had my fusion done and it not been bad so far I stay on top of my pain pills every 4 hours I also did not do the pain block had the tube in for draining the blood dr took it out the next day been sleeping alot my room mate that I live with ended up in the hosp on tues so have had every lit help and getting things and I am lefted handed at this  
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Hello, Brian here. I'm going to have a total wrist fusion on1/21/15. Back in June I had a scapholunate ligament tear off my scaphoid and had tfcc debrievment. I am not the best speller so bare with me. I opted for the total fusion because I developed bad arthritis in my wrist in a matter of months and don't want to go threw 4-8 surgeries. So a few days ago I decided that I didn't want to risk a parcel fusion not working and since I can barley move my wrist any way. Phill thanks for starting this thread and I will do my best to post my progress in hopes all goes well and maybe save someone else from going threw a bunch of operations. Brian.  
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Sounds like we are married to the same man! I am little over month, plate and 8 screws. I awoke after surgery screaming in pain, nerve block and Demerol helped!  I am off heavy pain pills now , Aleve is my friend at night!
My little finger is swollen and painful! When stitches were removed I was told not to lift anything heavier than a teacup which I thought strange because I couldn't lift a napkin, my socks seem too heavy . first thing I learned was put your bad arm in first. And elastic is your friend I am most grateful this was not in my dominant hand, yes I can turn the key in car, can,t open or close the door though!
Best of luck,
We,ll be zipping before we know it

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1027575 tn?1390964018
Good morning Ladywolfe, it's been 2 1/2 months now since your total wrist fusion, how has it been?  Are you able to use your hand yet? If you have the time please let the group know your progress and anything that you felt could be helpful to the next person that may have to have a Total Wrist Fusion.
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1027575 tn?1390964018
Hi everyone, back in Nov. 2014 I posted that it's been 5 years since my TWF, well that was wrong it's been 7 years (going by the first day I started this thread).  I'm grateful so many people has found the thread useful and hope many more do.  If anyone has questions I can answer i'll do my best.  Hope to hear back from others that have their TWF and how they've been able to move on with their life with this in my opinion a very traumatic event.  Also it is important that we hear back from those that are going through the healing from a resent TWF.   Phill
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Hi, I'm 43 & I have RA, I had an ankle replacement a year and a half ago and it's completely changed my life!
Shortly after my recovery from my ankle op, I started to get severe pain in my hands, both of my wrists I understand have started to fuse themselves, I have no wrist movement and have adapted to this. I guess you get used to living with pain, anyway, I was given the option of a referral for wrist replacements, which I understand have a lifespan which I hope to outlive or fusion which I was advised would take away the pain and last for life, my decision was to opt for fusion as I have to go through this twice. I am due my first surgery on the 27/03.
I wanted to say thanks to everyone that has posted on here, for taking the time to write about their experiences, it helps someone like me understand a little about what recovery etc is going to be like.
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1027575 tn?1390964018
Good morning Millmooo, I'm sorry to hear of the severe pain you're having to endure. I too have an ankle that is on the border of being fused or to go through and ankle replacement, but for now I'm living and dealing with with minor pain at times.  Now to the wrists, If you want to know what it's like to have a fused wrist I'd say get a bowling brace or some kind of brace that's not to bulky which has a slight angle to it which the doctor will fuse like that.  Ware it for a few days and get to know what will be things will really tough to do, for instance wiping your bottom, yes that right it may sound gross or sick but let me tell you with my Total Wrist Fusion (TWF) I cannot do that with my fused wrist/hand, I must use the other hand because it bends.  I'm not suggesting the wrist replacement I just want you to think about what you cannot do with 2 fused wrist. I cannot imagine both of my wrists being fused but I suppose if there really was no other choice that's what I would do, and learn to live life the best I could as you already know by your ankle joint replacement.  Millmooo please keep this Total Wrist Fusion blog updated so others will now what your going through and what suggestions you may for them. Thanks for you post. regards  Phill
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I have rheumatoid arthritis and a couple months ago I ruptured a tendon in my right thumb and was referred by my rheumatologist to a hand surgeon. For more than a year now I have been having a lot of pain in my wrists. The more work I did the more they hurt. Before seeing the hand surgeon I did some research regarding wrist replacement and wrist fusion. Because of the RA my wrists had basically fused on their own and I had little movement, but a lot of pain. When I saw the surgeon we discussed my life style and we decided on the fusion. Because the left wrist was always more painful than the right one, we decided to do the left wrist first, leaving the right wrist and ruptured tendon for a later date. On June 19th I had my left wrist fused. We hit the hospital at 5:30 a.m. and were done and out of there before noon. I have a metal strap in my arm that runs from the top of the wrist down to the hand joint at the middle finger. The doctor used osteoamp to fill in the areas between the bones after he ground off what cartilage was still left. My arm was splinted and 1 1/2 weeks later I got the splint off, the stitches out and started physical therapy. It has now been over 9 weeks since the surgery and I have happy with the results. It has been slow, but steady. My main complaint is the slow pace of the recovery of the rotation of the lower arm. I can lift a lot of weight and have gone back to my weight exercising, but some of it is difficult because I can only rotate my arm about 2/3 of the way around. I cannot move it palm up. My therapist has said that will return because the surgery I had done will not affect the rotation of the arm. He says I just need to keep twisting the wrist with my other hand to stretch the membrane that has shrunk.
Have you or anyone else had this problem? If so can you recommend a solution for me.
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Hi my name is Doug or you can call me Fud.  I am considering a TWF, I am located in Northern Michigan and looking for any input on where or who I should consider performing the procedure.  I have a messed up wrist and it appears after reading many of the post related to wrist fusions that there may be different plates to consider and such.  I don,t know if any ortho will have the options which appear to be out there.  Freaked out!  Any input or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.  Thank you in advance for any consideration.  Doug
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Thank you so much for starting this so many years ago. I have read and referred to it often over the past several years. I am a 44-yr old female with a long and blessed life rich with sports and activities. I started swimming and ballet at 4, piano in first grade, then tennis, golf, basketball, volleyball throughout my childhood and added flag football and rugby in college. For the last 14 years I have taught high school science, which of course involves lots of writing, typing, grading,etc. there is also a family history of arthritis, but it never came to mind until I turned 40!
In September 2011 I tripped and fell, catching myself of course with my hands. Soon after a little pain started in my right (dominant) wrist. The pain continued, so I finally made myself go to the doctor. He said my ulna was longer than normal and had poked a hole in the cartilage in my wrist. He did a cortisone shot (for a couple of appts), and after no relief, recommended an ulnar shortening. I had this done February 1, 2012. [This was about the time I discovered this site!] Surgery and healing were successful; however, I kept hitting the plate (&7 screws) on things, being right-handed (and forgetful) so August 17 I had the plate & screws removed. Again, success.  However, within about 6 months I started getting the pain again, but closer to the radius bone. Another trip to my dr where an X-ray showed narrowing of the joint and less and less cartilage. I tried cortisone shots but the period of relief was shorter and shorter with each one. Finally, January 7, 2015 I had a Proximal Row Carpectomy. After surgery my dr said the cartilage was completely gone and that the 3 bones practically popped out - he didn't even have to break them into smaller pieces to remove them. The hope was that the cartilage that had been above would shift downward and, though my wrist movement would be limited, that the pain would subside and my wrist would be alright. Sadly, after only about 7 months the pain returned and was worse than ever. More X-rays showed bone on bone, in my wrist and in my hand. Now our last resort - which we were trying so hard to avoid - was the only option.  On January 15 this year I had total wrist fusion (plate & 10 screws). I'm home with the post-op wrapping, keeping ice on it almost 24/7 and taking pain meds every 4 hrs. A
I wanted to mention that I'm part of quite an athletic family and over the holidays, even though I had not been using my right hand at all (and wore a  carpal tunnel brace to remind me to not use it for a couple months), I still participated in a bowling trip and a golfing event at a place called Top Golf, not on a golf course. Bowling I used my left (still broke 100!), golfing I just took my right hand off the club before impact and follow through. I still had a blast both occasions. Like you've said before, it's about your mindset and attitude.
Thank you so much, again, for starting this post so that we can have a common resource for our uncommon ailments! Hope you, and others in this community, are doing well!!
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I just had my TWF on 1/8/16. Before this surgery I had 3 previous surgeries due to an injury that caused extensive damage.  I wasn't sure about the surgery at first but decided this was the last resort to get rid of the pain.  I'm still in my cast and have been experiencing quite a bit of pain in the thumb area. Hopefully this goes away soon.  I can move my fingers pretty good and I'm able to make a fist.  I also experienced pain in the middle finger knuckle area.  That seems to be the only knuckle still swollen the most.  Thanks for your update, makes me feel more at ease post-op.

Teresa
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I had a rt TWF 1/13 & it has been the best thing. After recovery (about 6 wks), I was (& have been) pain free for the first time in 3 yrs. My wrist was shattered in a fall & after 3 surgeries, including a 7 hr one to remove all shattered bone & release nerve compression, & still having lots of pain, TWF was proposed. It sounded scary at first but it was really the only thing left to offer me. Recovery was not so easy or as fast as I had hoped (hate casts, removable or not!) but it slowly happened. Of course I'm rt-handed but adapting to using my lt was not so difficult, considering I'd had to do it with the first 3 surgeries. Now it's a 'no brainer'. I'm very happy being pain free & wish this surgery had been done much sooner.  If this surgery is suggested to you, seriously think about doing it. It might be the answer to losing your pain, as it was mine.
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Hi, I have been reading these questions/answers for a while now since I'm going in for my Total Wrist Fusion April 18, 2016. I was in a car accident in 2014 and broke my Radius and have a plate and screws in it.  I also have a non-union of my Ulna. Yep, its my dominant hand too. Long story short I have been wearing a brace since my cast came off. I have a torn tendon by my thumb area and I have a torn ligament in a "rare" odd ,area on the upper part of my wrist.  Did PT for 5 months after my surgery (after the cast came off) and the injections lasted for about 2 weeks.  Sometimes I feel that I can go on with the pain but the last few days have been really bad.  This is all "Auto" related so I feel like I am "under the gun" so to speak to have surgery.  I also have a complete tear of my rotator cuff, which also needs surgery.  I thought I would have the wrist done first than have my shoulder done in the fall.  I'm scared about everyday things like dressing, cooking, cleaning and driving. My husband is here to help me and so are the girls, but I 've been independent my whole life.  Any suggestions or helpful comments would be appreciated.  Thanks in advance, Alacat
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Oh forgot to tell you that they have to remove my plate first before they can even do my fusion. I will have a local and the bone graft will be coming from my radius.  Thanks, Alacat
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