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Old 03-09-2013, 09:11 AM   #14
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 11
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Re: Ulnar Shortening Surgery... how long is recovery?


This week has been a little busier than usual...I'm back to work and I had a visit with both the surgeon and the physical therapist the day before my return to work. I had an x-ray to check if the bones are joining...and they are (yay!). I was a little concerned that they wouldn't because I've read that overuse could inhibit healing, and I started PT only 2 weeks after surgery. I can bend my wrist fully forward, almost fully backward (about 50 degrees). On a good day I can fully pronate, and supinate. However, my joints are really flexible, so although I can turn fully palm up and palm down, I can't over-rotate the way I can with my other hand. There is also still some resistance when I go palm up, so on my stiff days I can only go about 10-20 degrees shy of full supination.

My physical therapist thinks I'm doing so well that I'm only going once per week now. Now that my bone is joining I will begin working on strength in PT next week.

The doc said that I don't have to wear the splint anymore, but I still wear it when I'm at work and on the go. I tend to get careless and jam/bend/wack it when I'm not focused on being careful...and it HURTS! The bright purple and pink splint reminds me to be says "Hey...remember me? Your broken arm? Please be gentle!" Around the house I don't wear it, and I slept without it on for the first time last night. It was kinda liberating I don't go back for another follow-up till next year, unless I have any problems before then. He prefers his patients keep the plate in at least a year before having it removed.

The only complaint that I really have is that it seems to be tender and sore, like all of the time. I guess that's to be expected since I'm using my hand/arm more and without the splint. I still don't use it much at work. I took your advice and got a wireless mouse so that I can use my left hand mostly. I tried typing with my right hand a little Friday and my arm and wrist were aching and stinging pretty badly by lunch time. By that evening it was pretty swollen and irritated so I iced it pretty good, took some Advil PMs and called it a night.

I guess this is as good as it's gonna get for a while... until it heals completely. I'm just glad to be back to taking care of myself (unassisted) again. I'm glad that I can do my daughter's hair again (she has a LOT of hair), and I'm really glad to be back to work!