Re: Ulnar shortening
Yes I've noticed that these forums are filled with horror stories. I had my surgery on 12 Dec 2011 so I'm now 6.5 weeks in. The surgery was on my right arm (I'm right handed).
The surgery itself was not half as scary as it sounds. For the first week I was in a plaster cast - below the elbow (although some surgeons favour the full cast mine saw no reason to use it). The worst part was having to keep the arm raised all the time for the first 5 days - tricky, I hooked the foam support sling onto a floor lamp (top tip from a nurse at the hospital) to give it some support - in the hospital they use a drip stand. The pain was really manageable, just take all the drugs exactly as they tell you - don't wait till it hurts just take them after the right number of hours. The worst part is the constipation the opiate based drugs they give you cause! I took the pain meds for three days then reduced them down, as it didn't hurt during the day I just took some before bed as you need to keep the arm raised at night for at least two weeks which puts a lot of pressure on your shoulder. If you don't have it raised enough then it swells and that's when it hurts....
After a week I was put into a removable thermoplastic splint. Which I still have to wear. I started physio 5.5 weeks in and at the moment we are trying to regain flexibility. Bending is good but pronation and supination (turning palm downwards and upwards) is very difficult - although completely normal at this stage.
I've had a great experience so far. My advice is not to push too hard too soon - I didn't use my hand at all for three weeks then only lightly since then (ie holding down a piece of bread with a flat hand so doesn't move while buttering it) not holding or gripping as that will cause issues with the tendons and ligaments of the wrist/hand which will undoubtedly have been damaged by the abutment of the ulnar onto the carpel bones. I have grade III ligament damage so it's not like it's perfect in there.
I work in an office so came back after the christmas break (three weeks after surgery) and just just use my left hand on the computer but if you need to use your hand at work I'd listen to your physiotherapist for advice.
So far I'd definitely say it was worth it, there have been times that I've been in more pain before surgery than after it.....and now even during physio I'm virtually pain free.
If you want to ask me any questions as you go through stuff let me know.