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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.

107 Comments
  1. Emma permalink

    Is anyone regretting their decision to have this surgery or does anyone think that they were better off before the surgery. Of those of you who do, how do you cope with the fact that, basically, you have to live with half a wrist?

  2. amber permalink

    Hi Emma, I think that I may speak for most on this forum but I will direct my reply to just myself. I hate this surgery. I hate the pain I am having and the loss of use of my dominate hand. I hate not being able to open simple things, dropping things, not able to get the dog leash snapped on during my agility lessons, not being able to sign my signature like I once could, so many simple things we all took for granted and now has become such an effort. But………… for me and I would think most on here we did not have a choice! when your bone is dead and imploded in your hand you simply cannot ignore it and carry on.

    I will tell you what I wish the doctors would do is to TALK TO US! I am a researcher. I want to know as much as my sponge brain can soak in. I want to know what the surgery is all about, I want to know the downfalls of any procedure, I want to know why a doctor wants to do an “exploratory” surgery after seeing the MRI and XRAYS. Had the first surgeon spent more than his ten minutes with me perhaps he would have been the one to do the operation in the first place.

    When I go up to OHSU in a couple of weeks, my hand surgeon will answer all of my questions to my satisfaction and when I go to a second and third opinion they all will have to give me answers on so many things now that I have suffered through one PRC and face yet another PRC or 4CF or surgery to repair my torn ligament.
    I am sure we all on this forum realize just how important our hands are now that we have lost so much ROM and other problems with them.

    We just didn’t have a choice in the matter is the bottom line.

    • Emma permalink

      I agree with you, the doctors never talk to us. I was left to research for myself and I was only 17, so I think it was a bit too much for me to take in at the time. I wish you luck with your next appointment and I hope you get all the answers that you deserve! Please let us know how you get on.

  3. Kelly permalink

    I had my first post op doctors appointment yesterday. It went great. They did xrays. The bones have shifted down to where they need to be. I’m doing better than my doctor expected, being 25 days post op. I have very little to no pain, 25 days out. Maybe I’m an exception…

    Amber, he said the shooting sensations going to my pointer finger will go away with time. In my case, it’s the nerves and stuff healing and coming back to life. They have been fewer and further between. He didn’t say anything about the 4CF surgery, other than it was not an option for me with stage IV Kienbock’s.

  4. Jennifer Allen permalink

    How long is the recovery time and are you in a cast afterwards? I’m scheduled for this procedure in 3 weeks.

  5. Najat permalink

    Went back on Wednesday for my 1 month and getting my full cast off. They took it off and I am now in a half arm removable cast/splint, still no brace. I was advised to only take it off to bathe and for a couple hours a day for small exercises. I am stiff, swollen and in moderate pain when the splint is off. My thumb seems to feel “disconnected” somewhat, hardly any movement at all since it has been completely immobilized since surgery on November 4th. I go back in 10 days for my next checkup, I am very pleased with my level of care I’m getting from my doctor and staff.

  6. edgard paniz permalink

    Hi Guys i had the surgery 23 years ago, i have no regrets, i get some managable pain when wheather is cold but nothing compare with the pain before surgery. before had a weak wrist due to a never healed scaphoid fracture.

  7. Megan B permalink

    Hi everybody I am scheduled for a PRC for Friday. I also have torn ligaments and excessive fluid build up. I was wondering how long did the procedure take and after your post op visit were you then casted? Hoping for some input please and thanks to all!!

    • amber permalink

      Oh Megan, I was never put into a cast after my PRC. I can’t imagine being casted with the enormous swelling I had, it looked like elephantiasis. Seriously I couldn’t believe this “THING” was my hand it was so hideously swollen and painful! oooooh, ouch! can’t stand thinking about it.

  8. amber permalink

    Hi Megan, best of luck on Friday. I am interested in the torn ligaments. Can you share what the doctor is going to do about that? Will the surgeon do the PRC first then the ligaments? is this in the same hand or what? I really am curious as I think I have a torn ligament in my right hand that I had a PRC done on almost two years ago. I also am pretty sure I have Kienbachs in my left hand as well. Both hands are extremely painful and I can’t figure out how the surgeon will deal with this, which hand will he operate on first? I am in huge despair over this. I hated my PRC procedure, it was a horrid recovery, long and painful and my hand is still so compromised. Months of grueling physical therapy, people that have not had this done do not realize how difficult it is to only have one hand to use for everything and in my case my non dominate hand to boot. I plan to ask my hand surgeon next Tuesday when I see him about alternatives to the PRC which I think the only alternative may be a 4CF. I am inclined to go this route if it will be possible after removing the three proximal row bones.

    I had swelling in my PRC hand for over a year post op, it really sucked and still does to be honest. I did a lot of PT exercises at home with devices that my PT recommended, but I still could not get the fluid to go away.

    Please keep this list informed on the after math and how you come along with time. We all are different and I am hoping beyond hope you fare much better than I did. I am an active, healthy, female that works with my hands for a living so it was really shocking to become so incapacitated all of the sudden, now both hands are shot and I cannot come to grips with it. ( a pun and proud of it!)

    good luck!
    amber

    • Megan B permalink

      Hi Amber thanks again for the reply.. I didn’t see the full message at first. I’m not a hundred percent what the game plan with the ligaments will be but I will definitely update you. Did your doctor have any explanation as to why you had such severe swelling? This is my third operation on the wrist which unfortunately is my dominant hand. My original surgeon did the first two and I now have a new surgeon due to insurance change. My scar is rather uniques and was wondering if this was common. The reason he did the big zig zag (m on my wrist) was for better mobility in the future. Not sure if I can attach in image in here. As for the PRC it was either this or the fusion and the thought of a complete fusion just scares me half to death.. From my Mri he said the lunate was pretty much shot and that its shifted a significant amount which is also the cause for the arthritis covering the wrist .. Hopefully the third times the charm! Hope to hear back soon! One last question how long did your procedure take?? Thanks again ☺️

      • amber permalink

        Nobody could explain why the swelling was so bad except my lymph system just wasn’t working hard enough to move the fluids, my PT gave me plenty of exercises to help things along but it took forever it seemed.

        My surgeon did a beautiful cut into my wrist, I have Keloid scars on my body but the scar on my wrist is barely noticeable. I didn t have stitches and that surely helped with the scarring. He used glue which is awesome for scaring. I got kicked in the face by a horse and the doc then also used glue to repair the hole under my lip where I could stick my finger through to my teeth. Awesome stuff.

        Did your surgeon mention the option of a 4CF instead of a full fusion? I felt the same as you and refused the first hand surgeon that only wanted to fuse my hand. He did not mention a 4CF or I would have considered it. I hate the results of the PRC so much that next week when I go up to Portland to see the surgeon we will talk about doing the 4CF as opposed to the PRC. I have researched this at great length and the end results are so similar and not such a chance of getting arthritis with the 4CF.

        I wish the torn ligament was in the same hand as I can see that maybe they could do both surgeries at the same time. The thought of having to do one, wait for recovery which is months then go through another surgery on the opposite hand is beyond my thought pattern.

        As I have said before, the lunate on my right hand was totally imploded. I didn’t see the left lunate to be in this bad of shape but really I need the surgeon to read the images and tell me where I am at with Kienbachs again. If it will be possible to do the 4CF I think I am going to opt for this since to me nothing can be worse than the PRC and I will then have both procedures to compare recovery with. A full hand fusion is still out of the picture as far as I am concerned, a 4CF is a possibility.

        Good luck, stay with us for updates that I hope you will share. I will be here next week with the results and prognosis of my hands.

        amber

      • amber permalink

        forgot to answer below, the whole operation was about two hours. I insisted on a nerve block because two reasons: first off I wanted to get out of hospital asap as I had a five hour ride home. Secondly and even more important to me was I wanted to watch the entire operation. It was truly fascinating! The only problem I had with the nerve block was that my arm was dead meat for three days. That was really weird, it is like your arm is not attached to your body and just flops around if you are not careful. Very strange but I want to watch again so I will get another nerve block.

        As soon as the operation was over, I got dressed and headed back the 300 miles to home. Cool.

  9. Megan B permalink

    Thanks April! That’s crazy any specific reason why the swelling was so bad? How was overall pain acter and how long would say your recovery was.. This is my third time having surgery on this wrist a result from Keinbocks disease.. My lunate has collapsed and is pretty much shot but the total wrist fusion scared the crap out of me .. Thanks for answering :-)

  10. Megan B permalink

    Please disregard the last comment lol I didn’t get to read your full reply!!

  11. Megan B permalink

    Sooooo much pain along with numbness and pins and needles In my fingers

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  1. Day 55 – Patience is a virtue… | Proximal Row Carpectomy - PRC

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