I was diagnosed with bilateral cubital tunel syndrome, moderately severe by my neurologist, when she did my nerve conduction study said she had never seen a case so bad. I already had some muscle wasting so she referred me to a surgeon quickly and on Aug. 29th I had my first surgery, it was a simple decompression of the left ulnar nerve. The surgeon told me that the best results I would get would be to stop the progression of the muscle wasting but that he did not expect me to get back or recover any of the function I had lost from the severity for this so far. This kind of *****, but I’m hoping I’ll be able to regain some of what I lost, plus I am younger (24) and he hasn’t had very many patients my age so maybe that will help me.
Anyways, what I am concerned about now is my recovery, my surgeon said I do not need PT, but I’m wondering if I would benefit from it. I mean I think especially since I’m so young this need to heal the best it can because it needs to hold up for quite some time. Plus, I really need to get my left arm functioning again so I can have my second surgery on my right arm because with having to use my right arm for everything at the moment it’s deteriorating FAST.
Yesterday I had my stitches removed and now I’m okay to go without my sling (but it still hurts me too much to not be in the sling, at least while being up and around). My next follow up appointment is in 2 weeks and he wants me to be able to move my fingers, hold them straight out( very difficult at this time), rotate my wrist (pretty good at this), straighten my arm (can almost get it straight currently) and bend it to touch my hand to my shoulder (very hard, not even close).
I’m wondering if I should seek out PT on my own, press the surgeon for a PT referral or if PT really isn’t needed? So would PT benefit me now or later in the recovery?
I also believe you should still see a PT for strength, range of motion, and functional rehab. PT will not only make the process more comfortable but aid in the speed of recovery. Not to mention from a knowledge standpoint a PT will know what you can and cannot do whereas you yourself are left wondering those things.
I would definitely recommend you to get a PT referral from your surgeon and if he doesn't want to give you one, you can always go back to your primary care doctor to give you to wirte you a referral. The PT will be able to help you with your motion and strength that will eventually improve your hand function especially since you are very young and active.
I actually don't need a referral because I live in a direct access state, meaning I don't need a dr referral to see a physical therapist. What im not sure of is if the physical therapy is needed because my surgeon seems to think it's not needed.
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