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  • Ulnar shortening recovery time?

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    Old 01-02-2018, 01:26 PM   #1
    Join Date: Jan 2018
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    Ulnar shortening recovery time?

    I’m a flight attendant and injured my wrist trying to help a passenger with a heavy bag. I left it too long to report it at work, so no workman’s comp.
    Well, when my doctor told that the Ulnar was too long, so what did I think he’d have to do? I said “shave the bone down?” He said yes. Unfortunately to a layman like me, I thought that was what he was going to do. I was surprised, disappointed and angry to discover that instead of slicing 3mm off the end of the bone, he cut a slice out of the bone halfway up. So I effectively have a broken arm. 2 weeks ago, I had my surgery.
    He also put in a plate and 7 screws. I also have virtually no cartilage left in the wrist, which will give me problems later in life. He was not able to save much of the TFCC.
    I cannot work for 6 weeks, either on the mountains or in the air. And next year, I have my hip replacement to look forward to...
    He also said after I had a brace fitted, I’d be ok to teach snowboarding, my other job. This comes as a huge financial blow, as I was planning to teach for the whole of January, to help pay the ‘out of pocket’ for the two operations.

    Saw the doctor a few days ago, and moving onto the next stage. The join looks great, no gaps or issues, so now the healing can check up in 4wks.
    Not supposed to lift more than 1lb while it knits. I can bend my wrist and move it from side to side when I take the brace off, but NO rotation allowed. He said I could snowboard, but if I fell or got would be really bad.

    My question is, I see the doctor again in 4 weeks, and he thinks I should be almost ready to return to work, but he doesn't know what we do on the plane. I must be able to lift 50lbs overhead, and pull/push a 300lb drink cart.
    Is my arm going to be ready for that?
    How long will it be before the bone is at full strength?


    Last edited by Administrator; 01-02-2018 at 01:41 PM.

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    Old 01-06-2018, 02:04 PM   #2
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    Re: Ulnar shortening recovery time?

    The ulnar osteotomy healing really is similar to a healing broken bone. At 6 weeks, the bone should be healed. I am not sure about the TFCC healing though.

    I was actually in a fiberglass cast at the 2 week mark so I wasn't able to do as much as you are. Maybe it will allow you to heal up faster. You might ask about seeing a hand therapist after 6 weeks. They can help you assess things and what you are capable of. Everyone is different. I had trouble with supination after the surgery because of the plate and ended up having it removed.

    It might be the hand therapist could customize a brace that would allow you on the mountain with some protection. I saw my hand therapist doing this for some snowboarders during my PT sessions.

    Wishing you well.
    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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