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  • Ulnar Shortening Osteotomy

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    Old 07-09-2013, 10:23 AM   #1
    SidneyLou's Avatar
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    Ulnar Shortening Osteotomy

    I have just set up an appointment for a ulnar shortening osteotomy here soon and was hoping to possible get some advise as to what I should expect for my recovery.
    I had torn my cartliage about four years ago and had it fixed six months ago. For the past two months I have been in a lot of pain and we have found out that my ulnar is pressing into the cartliage and making the injury worse.
    I have had a few arthroscopic surgeries and know the recovery to expect for those but this will be my first non-arthroscopic surgery. Im believe that my pain level and recovery will be worse and longer due to the plate and screws going in and the larget incision. Also I work at a desk job and am thinking that will take longer to get back to due to the manuvering of the arm and wrist.
    I know everyone has different pain levels and speeds of healing but if there is any advise or tips as to the recovery or if you wouldn't mind sharing your experiences, I would appreciate the knowledge. Thank you

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    Old 07-09-2013, 07:13 PM   #2
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    Re: Ulnar Shortening Osteotomy

    Hi. Welcome to HealthBoards.

    I had my surgery last year. If you take a look on the Orthopedic Bone board, you will find my thread with my experiences over the last year. I had my surgery at the same time as BooBoo so you will see her story on the thread as well. There are also a couple other ulnar shortening threads as well.

    I kind of did things reverse of you. I had the ulnar shortening first, then they ended up needing to go back in to do the ulnar tfcc arthroscopic debridement about 9 months later to take care of some unresolved pain and stuff that didn't show up on the earlier MRI.

    You will be in more pain than the arthroscopic surgery. I didn't find it as bad as some other surgeries I had though. I stayed on the pain killers regularly in the beginning to keep the pain down. I also iced and iced and iced for several weeks. That really helps as well, even through the splints and casts. I just kept the ice on for a longer time.

    You will need to keep your arm elevated for at least the first 3 days. I actually did it longer to help with the swelling. It took over a month for the swelling to fully subside. I went through a couple casts during that time.

    I took off 2 weeks. They put me into a fiberglass cast at that time. I went to work the day I got that cast on. While I wasn't at full speed, I was able to do some typing in the cast when I went back to work. I just had to give my shoulder a rest periodically since I held my arm at a different angle to maneuver on the keyboard.

    Your bone should be fully healed by the 6 week mark. I started PT then after my cast came off. It took a while to regain full pronation and supination. Finding a good certified hand therapist can help tremendously though.

    As for the incision, I've now had it opened twice and still have a nice tight straight scar. It is 4 inches long though. While it isn't as noticeable now, it will never really blend in like the arthroscopic scars do.

    As for the pain after the initial surgery, I had soreness and some occasional zings, but my shoulder surgery was worse during the PT phase in terms of pain during the exercises. It was frustrating how long it took for my supination to return though. I was so excited when I was finally able to cup water in my hand again.

    Let me know if you have any other questions after you've had a chance to look at my other thread. It really does tell my surgery.

    Good luck with your surgery.
    Asthma, Allergies, Dry Eye, severe LPR/GERD, TMJD, Hearing Loss, Ulnar Impaction Syndrome, Shoulder Impingement, Ankle ligament repair, arthritis, Joint Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder

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