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Old 11-19-2008, 04:39 PM   #1
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allseeingmeli HB User
ulnar shortening osteotomy complication

i had the surgery two weeks ago, and just yesterday was switched from a splint that went up past my elbow to a hard cast that only goes halfway up my forearm (yay elbow motion is back!). I now have the ability to twist my arm, and supination (turning the palm up) feels fine, albeit still tight and a little sore. But pronation (turning the palm down) past a certain point feels really strange and painful. There's a resistance, which if I push past it causes a further involuntary motion to a certain point in the same direction. I'm wondering if the heads of the ulna and radius are rolling on each other, and whether this is a normal sensation during recovery from this procedure.

Has anyone here experieced complications with this surgery in general, or this problem in particular?

 
Old 05-06-2009, 06:36 AM   #2
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Re: ulnar shortening osteotomy complication

Hi, I had an ulna shortening osteotomy of the left forearm last summer and all went well. Had the same surgery done on my right ulna 3 months ago and am scheduled to go back for a bone graft on May 14 due to non-union, from hardware failure and overuse too soon. It takes weeks to months to get full rotation back without discomfort and resistance. My advise, go slow and do what physical therapy says, not a moment sooner. I have pictures of the x-rays that I can't seem to pist here but will gladly email them. The left arm plate is coming out also on May 14 and 100% of arm use and strength should return once that heals. Never heard of a 5'2" female having ulna bones that are too long!! Bad luck maybe. Has anyone ever had a bone graft done in a nonunion situation? They are taking the graft from the distal end of the radius and may or may not re-plate, depending on what technique the doctor uses. I am very stressed about it, to say the least!

 
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:04 PM   #3
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Re: ulnar shortening osteotomy complication

I'm seeing a consultant on Wednesday to get a second opinion about whether or not I need an ulnar shortening op on my left wrist. I had a scapoid/lunate ligament reconstruction surgery 3 years ago and my surgeon is relucant to go back in to do more surgery although he is concerned I have a problem with my tfcc and positive ulnar deviation. I'm a little nervous about having more surgery and am wondering what people who have had this surgery think, will it work and will it help the pain I'm currently suffering?

 
Old 05-22-2009, 09:16 AM   #4
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Re: ulnar shortening osteotomy complication

My surgery was delayed due to a tooth abscess and the dr didn't want any infection in the body, so it is now set for May 26th. The surgery worked for my left wrist pain, also from tfcc tear and positive variant. The right arm was done as well February 5th of this year and is not healing at all so I go back Tuesday to repeat the surgery and do a bone graft. I think it did not heal because of smoking and was using it too much too soon, along with what he dr called "hardware failure". They are also removing the plate from the left arm while they have me under anesthesia. The axillary block did not take last time, hence the need for general anesthesia. From what I have been told, after the plate is out of the left arm, it should quickly get back to 100% strength. Overall I am very pleased with the outcome of the first (left) arm. Just take it slow and follow their orders exactly as given. Good luck with yours and keep the thread updated!

 
Old 05-25-2009, 12:20 PM   #5
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Re: ulnar shortening osteotomy complication

Good luck with your operation, hopefully this time you'll heal better. After spending a weekend with my nieces and nephews I'm in a lot of pain so can't wait to see the doctor on Wednesday.

 
Old 05-27-2009, 02:34 PM   #6
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Re: ulnar shortening osteotomy complication

Saw doc earlier, he wants to try another steroid injection in tendon (1st time in that tendon but 4th injection in 6 months) to see if that helps, so more waiting and more uncertainty on their part and more pain for me, fun, maybe it will work and I'll avoid an op. Hope you are recovering well from your op.

 
Old 06-05-2009, 08:49 AM   #7
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Re: ulnar shortening osteotomy complication

For those of you that have had the ulnar shortening procedure done, can you please tell me a little about the recovery process? I've heard some are in an above the elbow cast for about 2 weeks and then a short cast for at least 4 more weeks. Yet somewhere else I read there was no casting, just removable splints.

The doctor recommended the surgery to me over a year ago after more than 6 weeks in an above the elbow splint. At the time I was relatively pain-free and anxious to get the use of my arm back (it is my left, and I am left-handed). I don't remember all that the doctor said back then about the recovery but I could swear he mentioned wanting to get you moving ASAP to avoid muscle atrpohy and PT, but for some reason that cast thing keeps coming back into my head.
The problem has returned, and I will be visiting the doctor again on Monday.
Thank you any information you can give me!
Lisa

 
Old 06-22-2009, 07:07 AM   #8
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Smile Re: ulnar shortening osteotomy complication

You people are scaring me. I dont know what's ahead. I fell a few months ago, and each doctors visit more of the injury shows up. It started out as a sprained wrist, then a tfcc tear, then a broken radius, and last of all possible scapoid damage. It took exrays, a cat scan, and an MRI to determine this. I am in therapy, but find it difficult to do some things; they are treating me with kid gloves due to accute pain with some motions. I have had a steriod shot, which has diminished some of the constant pain, and I even have pain free days here and there, except with sudden movements. Please, tell me, am I really hurt, or is something just stuck. I can only bend my wrist so far, it hurts to do some things (like get rid of a pantie wedgie), and using my hand to raise myself out of a chair is impossible. I wish they would just fix it, one sudden push to relieve the feeling of a need to pop my wrist. Is any of this familiar to any one? I see my doctor again today.

 
Old 06-23-2009, 06:59 AM   #9
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Re: ulnar shortening osteotomy complication

My surgery was 4 weeks ago today and I get out of the long arm splint, down to the short splint when I go to phys therpay at 11am. woowoo!!! My doctor uses the ones that have velcro so that I can take them off to shower and do light things. I have some muscle atrophy but with normal use after healing it comes back with no problem. This is my arm that did not heal the first time, so they did a bone graft. From my experience, the longer you wait to fix it, the worse it gets. My scarring is very minimal. The post-op pain was really bad (9 on a scale of 1-10) for the first few days then about a 5 for another week. I stopped using the pain meds at day 10 and just went to Aleve. Aleve twice a day along with the pain meds at first was the only thing that helped me. Elevation and ice prevent a lot of the swelling that causes the pain too. The only thing I do NOT recommend is having both arms done at once, like I did. Well, they took the plate out of the left arm since it had healed, but it still caused me a lot of pain and was not useable for a few days. Being a female, it was not something I suggest if you are modest!!! Overall, it has been a long journey for me, having to get both arms repaired but in the end it is worth it. My left arm is already back to 100% use! Hope this helps. * email address and/or contact information removed by hb-mod, moderator * Good luck to everyone here!

Last edited by hb-mod; 06-23-2009 at 08:25 AM. Reason: Please don't post contact info, such as email address, or commercial websites, per Posting Policy.

 
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Old 06-24-2009, 09:03 AM   #10
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budgiemcdo HB User
Re: ulnar shortening osteotomy complication

Hi glad you are recovering well. I definately need an operation, seeing doc in a few weeks so should be a few weeks after that, as well as the ulnar shortening, I need a tfcc repair and some work done on one of the tendons. Hopefully recovery won't be too bad, in lots of pain at moment anyway so looking forward to an end to it all!

 
Old 06-25-2009, 06:24 AM   #11
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Re: ulnar shortening osteotomy complication

The tfc tear repair isn't bad. The pain is from the osteotomy, which is bad but worth it in the end. Good luck with everything!

 
Old 07-09-2009, 08:41 AM   #12
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Re: ulnar shortening osteotomy complication

Hi, I hope your recovery is still going well and that you are being careful not to cause any further damage. My op is gonna be next Friday, the doc says I'll be in a short arm cast for 4 to 6 weeks so hopefully all will be well.

 
Old 07-10-2009, 07:43 AM   #13
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Re: ulnar shortening osteotomy complication

That sounds normal. It takes some time to get full pronation back, thanks to physical therapy. I went for a follow up last week and the doctor said that the right ulna, the one that had the bone graft, is now too short! I can either live with the pain and inability to pronate completely or have the radius shortened some. Ughhh!!! He ordered a mechanical splint to use at home, along with PT once a week, that will force pronation and hopefully stretch it so that it will function normally. Most likely I will have to get the radius shortened at some point but no time soon as I have commitments in keeping family's babies. Does anyone know how to post pictures on this forum? It's neat to see the x-rays. My doctor prints them out on paper for me to bring home.

 
Old 07-18-2009, 01:29 PM   #14
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Re: ulnar shortening osteotomy complication

Hi, had my operation yesterday, back at my parents house, came out last night, nurse and mum not too keen but I was determined. Pain pretty bad but I'm just about coping with it, should ease in next day or so.

 
Old 07-19-2009, 07:00 AM   #15
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Re: ulnar shortening osteotomy complication

Good luck with the recovery!

 
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