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    Old 03-21-2014, 09:06 PM   #1
    kathy14
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    fractured wrist

    I fractured my wrist in June of 2013. Had closed reduction and cast. When I went to the orthopedic Dr. he said I had a bad break and was borderline of needing surgery. He explained my options and I asked him what would be best and he said if it was his wrist he would cast and watch and see. So that is what I did. Went for check ups and had several xrays. I told him at every visit that it was still painful and asked him if that was normal and all he would say was you had a bad break and was close to needing surgery. Went to pt which was also painful, when I told them it was painful they said their job is to get range of motion. After a dozen or so visits I was released to go back to work with restrictions. My duties require lifting, cleaning and handling animals so pt seemed ridiculous at that point. My wrist remains painful especially during and after normal use. I am almost 9 mos into recovery and now Dr. said my radius shortened and I have ulner embunkment and explained the ulnar would need shortened and I needed to see hand specialist. Well I seen the hand specialist and he diagnosed misalignment of the radius and said to get rid of the pain he will have to rebrake the bone realign it and plate and screw it. My concern is the two different diagnosis. I am confident of the specialist but I wonder why the OD did not notice the misalignment in the beginning. I'm a little worried about surgery and wonder if I should just live with the pain that I have. I guess I'm hoping someone will say" have the surgery, you will not regret it". Any advice?

     
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    Old 03-23-2014, 08:09 PM   #2
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    Re: fractured wrist

    I can't speak directly to your fracture, but I did have an ulnar osteotomy for ulnar impaction syndrome. Basically, the ulnar bone was longer than the radial bone. I had issues with ulnar/tfcc pain because of on-going inflammation that occurred with the impaction. Healing form the ulnar osteotomy was similar to surgical repair of a break. In my case, they removed 4 mm of ulnar bone and plated it back up with 7 screws. I was in a plaster cast for 2 weeks, then spent 4 weeks in fiberglass casts. I did end up having the plate removed 9 months later, but I'm doing very well now.

    I've read that it is fairly common for a bone to be a bit shorter after a break. It could be that the doctor is correct about both your radial and ulnar issues. If you are really concerned, I vote to get another opinion from a different hand specialist. I did and was glad I had when I was going through this.

    Hope things work out well for you.
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    Old 07-15-2014, 08:48 AM   #3
    kathy14
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    Re: fractured wrist

    Well here I am over 1 yr after initial injury and still have the same pain and symptoms after my surgery on 4/11/14 that was supposed to correct the malunion and ease the pain. My last visit to od I asked how long I would still be in pain and all he said was it takes a year to heal. That is what the first od said. I definitely wish I would have had a second opinion from another hand specialist. I am going through pt right now so I am hoping something changes soon. I will probably have to give up my job because I feel that I will not be able to perform the duties required of the position. I do have a question though, here are the symptoms, pain mostly on the ulnar side that can radiation through the hand. Really kind of hard to pin point exactly. At rest mostly aches but if I deviate towards the pinky or the thumb it causes sharp pain. There is clunking or clicking when the wrist is rotated which was there before the surgery. I been trying to investigate it and it almost sounds like a tfcc tear. If it is I'm pretty sure it is to late to correct. Early in the first pt I asked the therapist if there was any other soft tissue damage would it have shown up and he said not on reg. xray and they did not see anything with the pt that would make them think otherwise. Sorry so long, anyway any suggestions would be appreciated. I really wished I would have had the surgery at first instead of closed reduction and cast. This may have been avoided. Thank you for any help.

     
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    Old 07-18-2014, 08:12 PM   #4
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    Re: fractured wrist

    Try researching a UT Split-tear. It was discovered in 2008 by Dr. Berger at Mayo Clinic. It is an often missed diagnosis because a lot of doctors aren't familiar with it.

    Did you have an MRI? That should have detected if you had a TFCC tear.
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    Old 07-19-2014, 08:20 AM   #5
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    Re: fractured wrist

    Thank you for the info. I will check into that. I regret not insisting on a MRI from the beginning. When I expressed that it was still hurting, not just stiffness, he just kept saying you had a bad break. With having the plate put in I understand that I can not get a MRI now. Do you know if there's any other imaging or test that would tell if something else is going on? From the initial injury it was very painful but I was hoping it would get better with time. Here is my concern, if there is ligament or cartalidge damage, is it too late to do anything about it. I'm getting pretty depressed about this. I try to do simple things and it causes pain. I've always been pretty active and used to doing manual labor so this is getting me down. Had PT last Wed. This is Sat. and hurting quite a bit. I go to OD that did the surgery next week and I know I really have to get the point across that somethings wrong. I probably have been too passive about treatment thinking they know what their doing. I think this is a case where they were treating the xray and not the patient. Thanks for your time.

     
    Old 12-17-2014, 08:02 AM   #6
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    Unhappy Re: fractured wrist/radial osteotomy/tfcc/cts

    Well, not sure where to go from here. I had radial osteotomy surgery 4/11/14. I was not very happy with the results. Still had the same pain and loss of rom that I had since the original injury, in addition to developing cts. The doctor said the only option was to do arthroscopic surgery and see what was going on. He finally suspected tfcc tear and he would do cts release at the same time. I questioned him on being able to repair a old injury to the tfcc and he said yes. I also asked, would he be able to repair anything else he might find , again he said yes. I had the surgery on 11/6/14. Was placed in a long arm splint. Went in for follow up at 4 days post op. The doctor said the tfc was torn and repaired with stitch. He was satisfied that he found a reason for the pain. I went in at 14 days post op and was still in a quite a bit of pain. The pain med had ran out a couple of days prior to apt. So he renewed script. They put me in another removable splint that I can take off to shower. It hurt to have it off to shower so I just covered it for a couple of weeks. I have weaned off pain meds, I will take one when it really bothers me but I don't want to have to keep taking them. I am almost 6 weeks post op and I am worried that the surgery wasn't worth it. I still feel the same pain just extending the fingers. I go back to the doctor next week. I hope he has some answers for me but he's not much for giving any details. I do know I am not going to have any other surgery. I think I should be thankful for the little use I do have of my hand. I don't want to risk losing that. I just find it very hard not to be able to do the simplest task. When I get to feeling sorry for myself and depressed I remember it could be worse. I've been reading post on people that have had similar surgeries. Some doing well and some not so much. Just want to wish them luck in their recovery. It helps to be able to express my feelings. Even if no one responds.

     
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    Old 01-05-2015, 08:37 AM   #7
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    Re: fractured wrist/radial osteotomy/tfcc/cts

    Hello Kathy
    I know the feelings of depression which crept in to my mind as i made a step by step recovery from 2 calcaneus fractures not needing surgery (luckily) and a broken left distal radius bone in my left wrist. I'm now walking around following all the exercises that my physio has prescribed and taken his advice about focusing on the positive steps forward "no matter how small they may be to you". I did go onto Citalopram 10mgm dose anti-dressants and they have perked me up . I'm now in for a wrist manipulation on the 20th January so hopefully after 2 days of soreness i will be feeling nearer to 100 % again. Please Remember Kathy , keep taking any positives , no matter how small "your not alone"and please keep posting because "Your not on your own".

     
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    Old 01-20-2015, 01:34 PM   #8
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    Re: fractured wrist/radial osteotomy/tfcc/cts

    Golddream19, how did the manipulation procedure go? Hope your feeling better. What exactly is that and under what condition is it used for? I'm getting desperate. I tried to stay positive but it has been 1 1/2 years and it's really disappointing not being able to do every day task let alone any heavy work which I was used to doing. I go to the Doctor tomorrow and I hope to get some answers. I think I'm going to have to find another Doctor. He doesn't seem to realize how disabling this is and always seems to be in a rush. I just feel something has been missed. After the initial injury the pain continued longer than it should have which in hind sight I think that was a sign something was wrong. Even though I told the Dr that at every follow up appointment he continued to say "you had a bad break" . Then by going to a hand specialist I thought surely he'll know what's going on. Here I am 2 surgeries later and having the same symptoms as before. Sorry to go on but I don't think anyone I'm close to wants to hear about my wrist anymore.

     
    Old 01-20-2015, 02:15 PM   #9
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    Re: fractured wrist

    Hello Kathy
    I saw my wrist specialist about 6-8 weeks ago ,The problem was , I could bend my wrist downwards but not upwards (Basically the jesus prayer exercise was impossible for me). The specialist advised that I be admitted for a day appointment to have my wrist manipulated.

    This happened today and it went very well .One minute I was going into the Anaesthetic room having a great chat with the nurses. I looked away cos I hate needles and the next minute I am awake in the recovery room.

    I must admit the wrist is sort of really sore now and the other negative was when the physio arrived in the ward 5 hours after the operation and tried to repeat the 60 degree movement that the specialist managed whilst I was under anaesthetic. It really hurt and she seemed concerned. She advised me it was probably down to the soreness and advised me to contact my physio about further physio work and she explained she would fax him the details of my time having the wrist manipulated. Now I suppose its just wait and see time. I return to see the wrist specialist in 4-6 weeks time to let him see the hopefully successful end results.

     
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    Old 01-22-2015, 09:24 AM   #10
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    Re: fractured wrist

    Definitely don't just live with the pain! Maybe getting a 3rd opinion and seeing who that doctor agrees with would help you make a decision about who is correct. Take something for the pain while you get this all straightened out. My doctor gave me a pain cream that worked well for me. I'm not sure what all was in it, but I know it had a pain killer and anti-inflammatories in it. It worked well for me.

    Silvia

     
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    Old 03-01-2015, 07:48 PM   #11
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    Re: fractured wrist

    Hi Kathy, how is your pain? Your story is so like mine it's eerie. I broke my wrist November 2013 and was told by ER docs, it was one of the worse breaks they had ever seen. It was a foosh injury. My ulnar and radius were displaced and pushed underneath my hand. my doctor dissuaded me from surgery telling me it would be the worse pain I would ever experience. I was casted for 10 weeks, with one manual reduction in the middle as the bones had shifted. I continued to deal with pain. My doctor would not even consider surgery until i had gone through a year of pain. I spent a year with a swollen hand and wrist, experiencing pain continuously. I was told my ulnar would need to be shortened. I opted for shaving the bone instead of removing a piece. This operation was completed January 29 2015. It's been a month and my pain has not subsided nor has the swelling in the wrist gone down. The only improvement has been no more swelling in my knuckle area. Doing an Internet search regarding ulnar pain lead me to your post. I find I can't turn a key, pour a milk jug or do anything strenuous with my right hand. I think when I go to pt this week I will ask about the possibility of a tear in the ligament. Please post an update. Until I read your troubles I was feeling alone in my injury. I really would like to know if you have had any successful treatments. Thanks!

     
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    Old 03-02-2015, 09:04 AM   #12
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    Re: fractured wrist

    Hi Deanna, Sorry to hear your in so much pain. Did you have open surgery or was it done with the arthroscope? The first surgery I had in April 2014 was open surgery for the malunion of the radius. It involved an osteotomy with internal fixation. It was very painful I was still using perscription pain med 2-3 weeks after surgery and even with the med I was still in pain. So I'm not surprised your still in pain. I remember having to keep it elevated above my heart and ice packs helped some. The last surgery was for suspected tfc and ct release. Which he did find a tear in the tfc and stitched it. He was satisfied that he found the tear and found something that explained the pain I was having. Well, I still have the original stabbing ulnar pain plus a tearing ripping feeling with extending or stretching out arm and hand. The Dr suspected something with the hamate bone and he ordered a ct scan but he said it checked out okay. He released me back to work on 2/9 with less than 1 pound lifting restriction and a 4 hr work day. My employer said I could do secretary duties. My previous duties before this injury was very physical work along with paper work. I went back to work but just doing typing, sorting through papers etc: it caused a lot of pain, numbness and tingling not only in my hand but up the forearm also. I only worked 4 hrs a day 3 days a week for 2 weeks but I was hurting. I returned to the Dr. or his PA on 1/23/15 and she ordered another emg and discontinued work until they get the results of the test. I asked if they had a numbing cream or something for the pain and she didn't want to perscribe neurotin because of side effects so she decided on the lidocaine patch. It really helps with the tingling feeling but I can still feel that original sharp ulnar pain if I move it the wrong way and the pain with extending. Are you still in a cast or splint? The ice will eventually get through it if you are. I still apply ice or heat depending what type of pain it is and it has been 20 mos since the injury. Is your injury with your dominant hand? What kind of ROM did you have before surgery? I have very little supination, a little more pronation, I can flex up to a point where the stabbing pain starts but I have nothing I guess it's abducting or downward. It's like it's locked. If I flex up or down and try to go ulnar that's sharp, stabbing pain that's been there since post injury. I really think I have some kind of nerve entrapment maybe around the guyan's canal or the ut split tear that was brought up earlier in a post. But I was assured that that was looked at during the arthroscopic surgery. I'm sorry I could not offer any helpful suggestions. I'm so tired of dealing with this. Hope your recovery goes well. I'll keep in touch and let you know if I find anything that may help you.

     
    Old 04-10-2015, 06:27 AM   #13
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    Re: fractured wrist

    Well I finally went for another opinion and this was the diagnoses. Ulnar abutment, lunotriquetral ligament injury, ulnar styloid nonunion and possibly repair of the tfc again. The Doctor said that this would explain all of the symptoms I am having. He would do the ulnar osteotomy and plate it, go in arthroscopicly and check everything out, would pin the ligament, excise the styloid and discussed removing the plate and screws from the radius. It really upset me that just 2 weeks prior the previous Doctor told me everything looked good structurally, that there was no other surgeries that he could do and he did not know what the problem was. (like I was wanting to go through more surgery) I really believe he thought I was lying just from his attitude the last couple of visits. I am glad to finally know that there is a reason I have not recovered but now I do not look forward to more surgery. I was kind of rushed into scheduling this surgery right away but ran into some issues while getting the prescreening test so I have to delay the surgery for now. Hopefully I can reschedule soon and be on the road to recovery. I guess I just want to say I should have gotten another opinion a long time ago. So if anyone questions your Doctor and he's not willing to explain or listen you may want to seek another opinion sooner then I did.

     
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