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PRC – An Explanation

PRC – proximal row carpectomy is a surgical procedure that removes a row of small bones in the wrist. In reality, the surgeons change a complex joint in the wrist to a simple yet workable hinge. One good part about a PRC as compared to other wrist surgeries is that it has the least amount of recovery time. I have created a small video that explains the procedure as I understand it to be. There are many reasons why a PRC is performed and I am certain that everyone is unique. In my case my lunate bone had not received blood circulation for a very long time and had cracked while I was changing a spark plug on my Vespa GTV 300. There is no other option but a PRC or a complete wrist fusion. Have you had a PRC? If yes, please take 10-seconds and complete our survey so others may know the statistical outcome. (Click Here).

 

 

X-Rays:

 

 

CT Scan – 4 Months After Surgery:

 

Video 1 of 2

 

Video 2 of 2
 

 

 

More to Come…

165 Comments
  1. hello everyone. i am very happy i found this page. i am a 23 year old college student who recently had PRC due to Kienbock’s. reading every ones replies i know the recovery time is a long process but i was wondering if anyone can still lift weights? (even years after recovery?) working out is a second way of life for me and never being able to do it again might just ruin mine. i knew going into surgery i would never be able to do certain movements after and not be as strong but im really worried(even if it is very light lifting). if anyone could can help out or give some advice that’d be great..

    • Maria permalink

      Hi Nick,

      I recently found a facebook page called Kienbocks Disease. Check it out, it has been really helpful to me 🙂 Good luck!

    • Bill permalink

      I lift weights but I wear a brace on my wrist.
      More reps less weight

    • Chris permalink

      Quick Hx – broke my wrist boxing and playing football years ago which resulted in wrist instability and requires multiple surgeries. Had an unsuccessful bone graft done and then a PRC. The PRC helped with pain but the recovery time was long and painful. Eventually returned to being able to about 70 % strength in my hand and probably 60-70% range of motion. However, eventually pain returned over the course of several years and the wrist became unstable. This resulted in a complete fusion of the wrist. If I had a chance to do it again, I would opt for the fusion. I was scared to death of not being able to move my hand but I really don’t even think about it. It’s a non issue 98% of the time outside of typing moving things into a shelf. Pain is near zero unless I over use my hand, then I use a brace till it recovers. One thing to note is that my job requires some heavy lifting and I still weight train. I do not take it easy on my hand and if your job and lifestyle are more casual, a PRC may work for you. If I had to do it again, I would skip the PRC and opt for the fusion.

    • sir i had PRC 4 months ago hwo long take time can i do waight lifiting and hwo much i well be normal like before …?

    • Larry permalink

      I am 73 years old, had the PRC a little over two years ago. I still work full time at a local high school and in the evenings, I am the high school wrestling coach. I still lift weights and I am able to demonstrate the wrestling techniques with my wrestlers. I do not try to see how much I can bench or anything like that. I usually do not use more than about 75 pounds for lifting that requires wrist strength. I keep a tricep bar with 75 pounds on it in my class room. We do an exercise called 7-7-7 with the bar on a regular basis. It provides a good break from the math and physics, and keeps me in shape. It took me almost a full two years before I could handle this sort of thing without any pain.

    • Penny permalink

      it will be a year in May 2017 and I still have a lot of pain and no strength and trouble writing name
      have been very dissapointed with results

  2. Paul Dobbin permalink

    I too opted for the 4 corner fusion 11 months ago. Arthritis set in and it hurt like before the operation. A month ago I had orthroscopic surgery to scrape the bone.
    Now I want the full wrist fusion with a steel rod. This business of having to baby it is not acceptable. Just like the doctor said, the PRC and 4 corner fusion are for light use only,

  3. Dew permalink

    I had a PRC a little over a year ago. I had a bad wrist fracture I can do most things or I have adjusted. I used to do a lot of bicycling, but now it’s difficult. My range of motion is very limited. The pain is better then before the surgery. Its harder to get off the floor with my wrist. I use more my elbows. My injury was from a fall – workers compensation. My wrist has been a lot weaker ex: opening a bottle of pop. Its a life adjustment. I have huge fears I may fall again and bend wrist beyond my range of motion. I would think it would,be very painful.

    • I had that same fear for the first couple of years. I have since fallen a few times and somehow my body managed to avoid injuring my wrist. I still ride my motorcycle and now I am training for Style Canoeing and love it. It is hard on my wrist by I recover daily and need to pain meds at all.

    • Larry permalink

      Dew, I had trouble twisting lids off of jars, and I had limited strength and range of motion in my wrist for about 18 months. It has been two years now, and everything is back to normal. I think it just takes time for the body to recover and make new adjustments.

  4. anthony darbyshire permalink

    i to had a prc 2 years ago, once i adjusted ive found it to be ok, better than living with the pain but feel that i may now need it in my left wrist. has anyone ever had this operation in both wrists?

  5. Garth permalink

    I had a prc about 7 months ago. I’m lifting weights..As the one poster said I too am lifting less weight with more reps. I had an awesome surgeon and physio guy. They said two years until one can fully judge the results. Range of motion in flexion is a problem but I’m almost up to about a 50 degree angle. I hope to improve this further. I’m in law enforcement and the surgeon thinks I wll be able to eventually continue my work. BTW I broke my scapoid about 15 years ago, and again 12 years ago…it was not treated.
    Dr. Morhart in Edmonton is a genius!

    • Larry permalink

      I lift weights too, Garth. I am a high school wrestling coach. It took me almost 18 months before I could make a tight fist and have total range of motion. Now, a little over two years later, the wrist functions 100% like my other wrist.

    • DEANNA SWEENEY permalink

      Garth how long were you out of work? I am also in law enforcement and have not yet gotten the surgery. They are not sure yet how to proceed, since they have never seen anything like it. I somehow shaved the cartilage off the lunate bone. So right now the choices are the PRC or the fusion. I dont think fusion is an option at this point due to my career and also my hobbies.

  6. Paul permalink

    Hi everyone my name is Paul I had a PCR in both left and right wrist I’m doing very well in my left wrist but something crazy happened to my right wrist one of the bones grew back and I am having it removed on December 6 it is very rare but it happens my sergon was totally shocked he had only heard of this in books and now it’s in his face I don’t know what to think of it but I have to deal with it wish me luck next week

  7. George permalink

    I am one week after my PRC. It still has a lot of pain. I am going back to work this week and am wondering if anyone else was able to function in a non physical job.

    • When? Like a week after, No I stayed home.

    • Larry permalink

      George, I did not experience much pain at all. The one exception was when I would sleep at night. I had a bad habit of laying my head on the wrist. It would hurt in the morning. I solved that by placing the pillow between my wrist and my head. I had my surgery over two years ago, and if I sleep wrong, to this day, I will experience some pain in the morning. Otherwise, I never have any pain.

    • Kayla Ingle permalink

      I’m having the PRC February 16 2017 and I plan on returning to work a week after as I cannot afford to be home longer than that. How was it for you George?

      • Marty LAgan permalink

        I scheduled surgery for wednesday with the plans of returning to work the following Monday. Didn’t work out. Couldn’t tolerate the pain without meds. I sit in front of a computer all day. Returned the following Monday but had trouble then. It has been almost 2 months. Still a lot of pain, but tolerable. Much better than it was before surgery. Taking gabapentin for back pain which helps a lot. A 2lb weight restriction so not sure how I would return to work if doing physical labor. Good Luck!

  8. Linda Bona permalink

    Hi,
    I had a PRC on Nov. 30th. I still use a removable cast but did start PT this week
    . Does or has anyone experienced an enlarged knuckle below the index finger? Also I have what the Dr. says is scar tissue which looks like a knot on top of my wrist.Has anyone had that and if so did it go away ? My Dr doesn’t think I’ll have any more than 50% range of motion.Im ok with this as this is my second surgery I had my lunate revasculated and the ulna shortened in 2012 and only got about 50% range back then after 5 months of PT ,

    • Penny permalink

      I also have the large knot on the top side of my wrist and hurts if press on it and a large place on the bottom of wrist that hurts most of the time I don’t think it is going to go away on its own but I will not have any more surgeries this past 9 months has did in for sure

  9. Alli permalink

    I had my prc done on dec 19th and i am still in significant pain and swelling, also my hand seems to be shaped much differently than i thought. My pinkie is offset and im not sure if all of this is normal. My doctor told me i could return to work 2 weeks after surgery so i didnt plan to have more time saved to make sure i get a paycheck so i had to return 3 weeks after and cant do everything i should as a correctional officer so i may have to go on leave without pay.

    • Paul Fernandez permalink

      Hello my name is Paul I am a double proximal row carpectomy patient and just recently on December 6 have a Nother surgery to remove a bone that grow back it doesn’t seem possible that you would return to work into weeks or three weeks after this kind of surgery you should have been casted for over a month and then have to go through a lot of physic therapy I think you should seek a second opinion because something just doesn’t sound right I was off for nearly a year after each surgery and it takes quite a long time for the pain to subside my advice is that you seek a second opinion and get a cast on that hand immediately

      • Chris permalink

        I have had a PRC in addition to a complete fusion of the wrist. I highly discourage the PRC. It causes a lot of pain, extended down time and months of physical therapy. Then you have reduced range of motion, and near zero grip strength. In contrast, the fusion fixed the pain, recovery time minimal and grip strength remained. Of course you sacrifice ROM but it is an easy adjustment. I have returned to lifting weights without restriction.

      • Penny permalink

        I think I agree with you Paul

  10. tom permalink

    I’m having the PRC in 2 days. Dr Moore Wilmington, N C. I’m very impressed with him, but depressed reading these posts. I’ll be 64 a couple of days after the surgery and moved here 9 months ago, a golf community. scary the length of time for recovery. I too lift wts, and run (falling on runs obviously was the cause) and moved here to learn and play golf. a lot of this sounds like bad news.

    • Larry Simpson permalink

      I am 74. I had it done when I was 71. I lift weights and coach a high school wrestling team. It takes a while before you get the tight, strong grip back into your hand. However, now I can hardly tell any difference between both hands. It was the best decision I ever made.

  11. lb68510@aol.com permalink

    Hi,
    I had my second surgery (PRC) for Kienbock disease Nov. 30 2016. I have fairly good movement but stiffness with some pain when I bend my wrist forward when I make a fist . My question is this . I have a knot on top of my hand close to my wrist that the Doctor says is scar tissue . I also have a “dip” area in my hand I imagine where he removed the 3 bones in my hand . It looks sort of deform compared to my other hand .
    Does anyone else have this after PRC surgery ?
    Thanks,
    Linda

    • Penny permalink

      Yes Linda I have the same problems and it has been 9 months it will be a year in May 2017

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