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I started this blog because I needed a proximal row carpectomy and I could not find any further information other than how the operation is performed and statistical results of the operation. I had many questions that were left unanswered. For example, how much pain will I have during the operation, after the operation and how long will it take to heal? When could I start using my hand and more importantly my fingers? Would I be able to ride my motorcycle again? And if yes how soon?

I searched blogs, Bing and Google and could not find any answers to these questions. Of course I could find out what was involved in the operation and during operation including all those gory videos intended for surgeons and horror movie fans. So I decided to start a blog to log events and I urge anyone else who has had a proximal row carpectomy to add their comments or ask their questions to this blog so that it may help others. Additionally please share your experiences as well!

There may be some grammar errors since I’m using Dragon Naturally Speaking software to dictate the entries rather than typing. I hope to catch most of them.

  1. I had a PRC in 2012 and am going in next month for a 3 year follow up. I’m a potter who throws pottery for a living for past 40+ years. I did rehab well and gained back 110#s of grip strength. My rage of motion is less than it was. My scaphiod bone was toast and I am babying my wrist as to hammering and other trama-only saving its abuse in my clay work.I no longer wedge clay but have a machine for that. I use about 10 tons a tear so I have to take care of wrist-I’m 62. My surgeon Lisa Latanza at UCSF is one of the best in this field.I am hoping not to have a failing wrist and resorting to full fusion. I need some range of motion for clay work.I did rehab very seriously and came back well in 5 months.I did learn some tips and you are welcome to contact me at Liscom Hill Pottery .com if you are considering this surgery.I would get a second opinion for sure as this is not for the weak of heart.The pain is gone but my wrist feels tired a lot and will never be what it once was.For me doing 110% rehab was the key factor
    Mark Cortright

  2. bob davis permalink

    Mark, Dr. Latanza did my wrist also. Right on about the rehab. Glad you are doing well.

  3. Emma permalink

    I had a PRC on my left hand (non-dominant) nearly a year ago and I’m only 18! I can safely say that I have not benefitted from this surgery. The pain is a lot worse that before I had the surgery, I have hardly any movement because of the pain. The reason for me having to have this surgery is that my scaphoid was dead and wasting away due to the lack of blood supply. This was caused by the non-union of an earlier stress fracture of the scaphoid. From this surgery I developed CRPS (chronic regional pain syndrome) which is no fun at all! I have been discharged from hand therapy as there was nothing else they could do for me and my surgeon refuses to refer me to a pain clinic to try and help me cope with the pain. It looks like the only other option is a full wrist fusion which my surgeons are not willing to do. So technically I am stuck in no-mans land at the moment.

    On top of all that, I was sent to have an MRI on my right wrist as I started to develop pain in that one. It turns out I have significantly torn my TFCC (the whole central portion) and my scapholunate ligament. I am experiencing increasing levels of pain as well as weakness, so my situation is not ideal. Also, my surgeons refuse to intervene surgically on the right one as they think I am still too young, but it is my understanding that the longer you leave these types of injuries, the worse they get and the harder it is to repair them.

    Has anyone else experienced these types of injuries? If so, I would love to hear how you have overcome them

  4. amber permalink

    Hi again Emma, I am sure you have followed my story. Well I have given in and I am getting a full hand fusion the end of October. I am surprised your doctors are refusing to do this for you. It is the only solution for me now after the PRC which did not turn out well for me. I thought I could live with the intense pain of bone grinding against bone and no cartilage but it just isn’t the pain, it is the lack of strength and that is as bad for me or worse. I just bought a kayak and I don’t have the strength to lift it into my truck bed. For the pain I have to wear my splint 24/7 and it drives me nuts. So I thought what is the difference wearing a splint which is as much movement as a full hand fusion or just biting the bullet and getting a full hand fusion. I fought this idea and I lost, the way I m living is terrible so I don’t think things can get worse. I can only bend my right wrist maybe 1/2 inch if that as it is now.

    Go get another opinion. I have seen four hand surgeons throughout the entire state of Oregon, they all agree at this point the full hand fusion is the only option for me. As I have mentioned before I was in contact with a young BMX enthusiast and he had the same thing, a PRC that went bad and then a full hand fusion, he fought it too but now a few years post fusion he is doing great, regained strength and no pain.

    I will update after my fusion surgery.
    best of luck to everyone,

  5. Can ANYONE tell me the approx. cost of a proximal row carpectomy?

    • bob davis permalink

      With good insurance I paid $950.00 at UCSF

  6. Kaus permalink

    I am expecting to get PRC soon. This is the only blog that has been helpful. Thank you so much!!!

  7. Pam Blanton-Jones permalink

    My rehab was horrifying ….very painful. I didn’t. Think I would get better. After 2 months, I finally began to have less pain with movement of my wrist. It will get better.

    Hello, I’m a 57 yr old female and my first PRC was on my non dominant hand -left . A year later, I had to have same procedure on right hand. My left hand required 2 surgeries….1st time the full PRC then had to go back in and shave down the bones on the side of my thumb – an impingement had developed. The surgery on my right hand included the shaving of the bones on the side of my thumb, thus eliminating a need for second surgery. I should mention , I never had any kind of trauma on either of my hands. My jobs always required A considerable amount of time on the computer and utilizing calculators. I also handled files and of course lots of paperwork which put stress on my hands/wrist. I also have hobbies of sewing, crochet and jewelry making and in years past I did hair quite a bit.

    I am now 15 years post PRC surgeries. Every now and then after doing household chores or a craft such as sewing or crocheting my wrist will flareup and the pain will last for approximately 4-5 days. I should add that the pain is excruciating . When I do have a flareup, my biggest fear is that I will have to have a fusion in both wrists. However, overall the PRC on both wrist has proven to relieve the excruciating pain I endured prior to the surgeries on both wrists. The only explanation for my circumstances that the doctor could give is that I have Kienbock’s disease, since I had no prior trauma to my wrists. I feel so lucky 😕 I used to love bowling…but not anymore.

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