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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.

405 Comments
  1. Kim permalink

    My husband has alot of “crunching” and popping. He is 2 months out. Has anyone else experienced this? Is it normal? Do you think he could be overdoing it?

    • Samuel Stewart Antley permalink

      Kim, that was normal for my PRC. I could shake my arm and the wrist would rattle at two months. Things are lose and trying to find there new place. have to give it time. As for doing to much I’m not sure. One side says take it easy and let everything tighten up. The other side says keep it limber from the start to keep your range of motion. Be interested to see what others think. I was a farmer at the time. So as soon as the cast was off I had to get back to work. Kind of did my own PT and I am very happy with my PRC.

      Good luck.

      • Kim permalink

        Samuel, Thank you very much for your input, I really appreciate it. Any little bit helps. He is a class A CDL driver. Going back to work soon. .

      • Sam Antley permalink

        Your welcome Kim. It will take time but the joint will work. Funny recovery because nothing is broken or damaged your just trying to make a new joint work for you. That is after you recover from the damage and trauma of the surgery obviously. Your husband is a driver. That’s funny after the wife’s passing I’ve stopped farming and been working toward getting my CDL and start driving. Let me know if he needs some help, maybe a ride along intern.

        Take care
        Sam

  2. Wendy A Belt permalink

    I just had my 2nd PRC 2 days ago. This was the left wrist. Had right wrist done 2017. Done by 2 different physicians. First one, did not use nerve block or complete immobilization . Had 2 different casts,waited 2 weeks to remove dressing, then casted for 2 weeks and again another 2 weeks ,with different hand position. Therapy 6 weeks. All good. 2nd one had nerve block and I think this created more pain. Splinter for 2 weeks right surgery then will have 2 weeks of cast. Lot more swelling this time around. Hope this one goes as well as the first one.

    • Samuel Antley permalink

      Best wishes Wendy. Hope it all goes as well as the first.I had the nerve block I think. Is that the shot behind the shoulder that the whole re is dead for two days? I have nothing to compare it to, but all came out ok.

    • Samuel Stewart Antley permalink

      How is the wrist doing Wendy?

  3. Fred Smith permalink

    Thank you for your help and your input. I really appreciate it because I was unable to find this information anywhere else.

    • Give it time. Everyone heals at their own rate and this procedure is known to be brutal on many people (me included). I’m ok now.

  4. Fred Smith permalink

    Well it’s been 5 weeks, I am still in alot pain, have significant swelling and poor ROM. Would like to know how much longer this will be like this.

    • Fred my swelling lasted 3 months with my PRC 6 years ago. I started doing the PT about 5 weeks out and slowly it all got better. It took about 5 months until I could throw pottery again. I’m a potter.
      5 weeks is not much time for a PRC to get better. Be patient and do your PT as much as you can.
      The pt will improve rom.
      Mark

    • DA DON YOU KNOW permalink

      Fred , I have been casted for 6 weeks to start of… When i got the cast out my hand was 0 ROM, but not a painful hand while static. I started phisyo therapy to win again some kind of mobility and add flesh on it cause it was very skinny. For the first 3-4 months it swelled up a little bit, hurt somewhere, then somewhere else. I was pretty mad,bones need to settle to find theyre place in there, but continue and continue to train and sleep good. Eventually the body made the adjustment in about 5 months Im doing gym exercises, pressure how much i want in a correct angles and now 7,5 months, wrist is not a problem anymore. It’s a long process and it will never be the same as far as concerning ROM. This depends from case to case, for example Ive got some calcifications because i waited 3 months surgery and another 1,5 months casted and my flexion move is 0, but i still have some Extension about 65 grades plus little bit of lateral deviations. Final ROM is obtained in about 6 months, after that idont belive in miracles, it will just function better with time, movement of the bones will stop grinding each other, they settle finally.

      • Fred Smith permalink

        Thank you for your help and your input. I really appreciate it, I was unable to find this information anywhere else.

  5. Steve permalink

    I have been in an insane amount of pain for a few years and need a double PRC. Been putting it off for a long time. Love motorcycling. I want to know what the Drs won’t tell me from people who have had it done. Post pain and recovery and PT etc. Motorcycling? Dreading this. Do not have dates on calendar for surgery. I want details. Just searched for and found this blog tonight. HELP ! – Steve

    • Samuel Antley permalink

      Steve,
      On the road right now with the motorcycle. Will comment more when I get settled in. Your the only one that knows when you had enough and are ready. Best thing I ever did besides marriage to my late wife.
      Good luck more soon.
      Sam

      • Samuel Antley permalink

        Steve the pain is crazy. No one can understand that hasn’t had the problem. Your not alone. I can make simple, hope Don will back me up. First, if the bones are removed they can’t hurt anymore – period. Going to be other battles to fight and different pains for sure. The PRC can work.Before the PRC I could not ride the bike without pain and the hand quickly became numb. Now I am visiting my Dad, a seven hour motorcycle ride. Spent yesterday nailing siding on the back of his house. Today painted with a 4″ brush most of the day, all no pain. I’m right handed right PRC. I’ll ride back day after tomorrow. Second, If it doesn’t work you can always fuse it and still ride. It is a hard life decision but people are here to tell you a PRC has changed their life. Ask us questions.

    • DA DON YOU KNOW permalink

      Always backing you up, man.
      first days it’s harder. you need to pay attention. If you strentghten the recovery process with a healthy lifestyle, it will get stronger in no time, especially if you have a decent muscles in the forearm and palm.
      so training it daily it will rebuild a new wrist, a new joint. It wont be the same, but it s workable, as long as youre not doing boxing or so. Im 26 and I was in deppresion cause i was scared , i wont be able to do sports again. Now after 7,5 months, im doing 70 % of what I was doing, including Pushups-pullups. Riding a bike is no problem,guess motorcyle is ok. Daily activities is absolutely no problem. Honestly it has no limit. Plus if you need it, you kinda need it, theres not many options. Don’t worry, it ll be fine, just train it !

      • Samuel Antley permalink

        Thx Don, well said. You speak so differently than you first did. Someone new to this and thinking they are the only one this happened to is rough. Also after seeing some YouTubes it’s down right flipping terrifying. Good luck Steve. Fuss and cuss here and we will do what we can to help.

  6. DA DON YOU KNOW permalink

    This site is crazy. New post is up in the page, replys go down the primary message you are replying to.

    Sam, I think the technique differs from doctor to doctor to pacient problem. Incisions can be maked in front of the wrist, in the back also and combined. Depends on the situation there and by the doc preference.

    Also the post op immobilisation technique differs..I had a half cast half bandage and for 2 weeks I had to change the surgery bandage inside at 3 days. After that 2 weeks, he pulled the surgery stiches and casted fully my fist without fingers. Another month passed.

    For paul dobbin, man I just catch bottles or jars from the bottom instead of the lateral side. It gives me a stronger grip and no pain angle.

    Now Sam, I understand your situations, damn. It s nice of you thinking about me and how I manage. Haha well you should try to take care of your hands man and eat healthy. What are the options to your arthosis or arthritis?
    No showing off, show me the pic. Ill show you soon my progress.
    You were right, it s really funny that after a while you start to love your prc and get along with it.
    But I have to admit, it s a hella experience and challange.

  7. DA DON YOU KNOW permalink

    Hi there friends again, esspecially Sam. I can do over 10 push ups and 2 pullups correct form. Im doing weigths at gym , my force grew a lot and i have no problem puttin pressure.
    Actually i did so much train i fuckin exhausted my back muscles. And still wrist no problem.
    It was to be expected, i mean long time not used my left and i unbalanced my back muscles. So overall it s nothing can stop a prc, just pay attention to work simetrically. Until spring i think ill manage to do 7 pullups then things get to normal. I dont even pay attention anymore at my wrist…
    Actually i have one intersting question. Did you prc affected your body? It unbalanced it? Or you never felt that problems.

    • Sam permalink

      Great News Don! You Rock man. Think about you when I’m doing things with the wrist and wonder how your making out. Not sure how this website works. I have trouble following commits and finding things we wrote. Do you commit to the E-mail or go to the site and commit? Anyway, Glad to hear your success. You should go back and read your commits about ” a salvage surgery ” and all the problems you were having and me trying to tell you it works sometimes and how I Love my PRC . Its funny now but totally understandable.

      As far as the body being balanced, I can’t tell you. I have also broke the other scaphoid at a different time. ( play hard and live life to the fullest )That one healed OK but the arthritis is real bad. Totally different than a PRC. I baby that wrist now and do things with the PRC. Another reason I still take the meds.

      I can’t find it now but I took a photo a while back holding a Cinder block brick flat in the palm of the PRC wrist. Can get close to full deflection with the weight. Didn’t post it because at the time I thought it would just be showing off and might hurt or upset you more than you already were. But now games on, push it. If I can’t find it I’ll make another.

      Good luck to All
      Sam

  8. Fred Smith permalink

    I tried to lift a full milk jug 2 days after surgery felt a “pulling apart feeling”
    Not too smart? I’ll keep you posted.

    • Mark Cortright permalink

      After surgery -baby that hand/wrist for the rest of your life-no hammering

      • Paul Dobbin permalink

        No hammering, no post whole digging, no torque wrench, no tug of war and watch out for aggressive hand shakes. And I opted for the tougher 4 corner fusion instead of the PRC.to
        have more use of it. All promises, 4 years ago. But i can drive with 4 speed floor shift and live pretty well until I’m confronted with a bottle of peanut butter or other vacuum sealed jars.

    • Sam permalink

      I could shake mine and you could here the bones Randle. Like after a woman has a baby you will have to let things tighten back up. You are still in a cast right? How do you pick up a jug in a cast?

      Also, I can hammer quite well with the PRC. Just not all day anymore.

    • DA DON YOU KNOW permalink

      It s ok, but chill out for a period, elevate it bla bla. R I C E. Surgeon was moving my hand in all diretions 2nd after the surgery, it felt horrible but i made it. Yes you have to protect it for the rest of your life…but you can get back to your activities like i did in about 7 months.
      After 2 weeks i was holding about 0.3 kg. Then re train the hand in your new confortable angles.(less mobility affects force).
      You can even do pushups, hammering is quite easy just not with the biggest hammer :)).

      • Sam permalink

        I don’t understand. Went back and looked. I had a long row of metal staples on the back of my hand and it all wrapped up after surgery. I remember two weeks before I even seen the wrist. I even teared up after the stitches were taken out and they move it to made the little splint. Hurt like a son of a bitch. After that was when I was able to start working it. Are you guys saying you were at the stage two days after surgery?

  9. DonMarius1 permalink

    Hello Sam & Paul.
    I’ve visited my surgeon 2day. He evaluated my hand, he said is very good and I need to start puttin pressure in it. I was afraid a little bit before cause I did not know if it’s ok from a medical point of view.
    But he said to start doing whatever I like, push ups, pull ups, skating.. that to not limit me at all.
    (by possibilities of course)
    If i dont do pressure enough, that wrist will start osteophorosis process.
    So basically puttin pressure in it gives the body signals to strengthen the bones in there.
    He is very talented surgeon…showed me lately PRC he s been doing, and they all got 70% percent mobility maybe more but their wrist were not that messed up like mine. (simple kienbocks, but the wrist was clean…get the point)

    About skating he said he does not know what will happend if I fall, but he believs at big impact in danger is the ending of the radius, thats where the pressure will go and my wrist will be intact)
    I dont have a full extension, but im pretty almost there. lets say about 60%-65%
    and for a perfect push up i need at least 75%-85%. Im only 5 months, i belive in 1 year ill be able to do normal push ups. but will have not a big flexion,
    My pain is minimal to 0 now, even after lifting. Today I went to gym and worked out adapted exercises and normal ones pretyy good. Got good pumpin today.

    Ill train hard theese months and ill build training videos constant. Cya )DON

    • Samuel Antley permalink

      That is great news Don!. Sounds like an early Christmas present.

      I know you are the exercise king and all but I know one thing that has helped me the most with the flexing. It’s simple, Sit on your hands. Yes, whenever I can I will sit with my hands palm open and facing down under my thighs. This lets me either pull up with the shoulders or put weight on with the legs. Rocking side to side lets you compare to the other wrist. It also helps a lot when you are not looking at the wrist and just feeling what it is telling you. I find more discomfort in the forearm than in the wrist. Our forearms never get stretched all the way because of the range of motion in the wrist. Stretching this way lets you get to the true limit of the wrist not the forearm. I just keep reminding myself that there are no more bones in the wrist that can hurt anymore.

      Good Luck
      Sam

      • DonMarius1 permalink

        Hell yea, my depression dissapeard right away and I feel more alive now.
        I hope everybody gets to feel this way.
        I get it Sam.
        I m no king, just an animal with desire to move his body:))
        Thanks for advice, ill do that. And you also got a mind for kinetic moves.

        P.S. I talked in my college about my case and because im the last year, ill build up a license on “Recovery after carpectomy”. There’s nu such information in Romania. All goes well.
        Cya in the next videos. And stay blessed friends.

  10. Samuel Antley permalink

    Don’t change the english, it was great!

  11. Samuel Antley permalink

    Don, please don’t apologize for being negative, you have every right to be negative, depressed and pissed off. Believe me; I lost my wife to ALS-FTD. It will be two years on New Year ’s Day. It is very similar feelings to lose some use of a hand and not be able to do thing you love and need to do. I was 21 when I broke my wrist. My right wrist. I think I saw yours was the left, so it could be worse, unless you are left handed. For a while I lost the ability to even write with a pen. Finished college with my left hand and that was before computers. Let’s not even talk about properly wiping your ass with your other hand. So you have some things to be thankful for. Overall I think you’re doing a damn good job with the arm. Keep it up.

    Without the wife I’m shutting down the farm and scrapping the barns out. Yesterday I loaded 4,280 pounds of scrap steel on to a trailer in 5 hours. Sold it and they weighed the trailer. My phone app said I carried it over 6 miles. It was gates for the pins so I carried one in each hand out of the barn and to the trailer. That would be carrying 2,140 pounds (one Ton) for three miles with a PRC wrist! 20 months after surgery and no pain at all. Everyone is different but a PRC will work sometimes so don’t dismiss it. Just two years ago I did not even swing my arm when I walked because in hurt just to swing the empty hand. I am very happy with the PRC. However I understand what everyone is going thru I have been there.

    I looked for that motorcycle brace and could not fine mine. If you google “Motocross wrist brace” you should find something. Mine could be adjusted so if you have say 20 deg movement you set it at 15 deg and it would not let the wrist move past that. It had a cable system in it that let you move at normal speed but the speed of a fall it stopped all movement. Never fell hard on the wrist to test it but the peace of mind is worth everything. The brace was expensive but something like that might work for you.

    One more thing. You know all the body parts so what keeps you from doing a pullup? I don’t think there would be bone contact in the pull direction. Is it grip strength? Why do we lose grip strength when the muscles are in the forearm? I understand the pushup with bone contact and wrist angle but not a pullup.

    P.S. hope we are not Hi-Jacking this forum, not seeing much other traffic. If it is a problem or you want it for other commits I can post my email address.

    • DonMarius1 permalink

      Im sorry for you. And I understand what you’re saying. And it’s kinda ugly either way.

      No hijacking my friend. It’s better to talk here. When i got into this problem, ive readed every post on this blog and everything on google & youtube and it prepared me. For sure , combining depression and pause from activity with the pain and thoughts, you get a limited mind for a while.
      My thinking was the same, what can stop me from doing pull ups, since theres no bone contact?
      ( this exercise is one of the best ever, thats why i want to do it)
      Well it came to my mind that, if you are having a little mobility wrist, and in my case its a non flexion wrist, its harder to make a strong grip, and by flexing the wrist, you get a better grip on the bar.

      So its more natural for me to hang with the fingers, instead of really taking a good grip on it. If i force my flexion it hurts. or simply find a thick or thin bar. and lock the correct position. ( no tricks available ) I was doing like gimnasts and that felt so fuckin good.

      Anyway theese is just details and i cant cry like a baby. Ill be where i want to be for sure and thanks for keeping up with the posts and sharing information. And providing good thoughts!
      You understand how it feels…

      When my scafoid broke, i needed 2 years of strenghtening to do 10 -15 perfect pullups series. But it never healed right. So im also thinking now, (@man, it needs time@).

      Im 100% sure i can fuck up the limits , but i want also to protect it in a way and this time do the phisique therapy by the book.
      Ill look for that brace! motocross one!

      Surgeon told me to meet this week to talk about the future, and ill post if he says something intersting. He will check my hand again. And to be more positive, ill focus on the training and nutrition even more. Ill have a goood training video soon.

  12. Can I have your permission to embed this video on the explanation Page? Well done.

    • DonMarius1 permalink

      Yes, ofcourse Peter. Im building another one with exercises, with better english.

  13. DonMarius1 permalink

    check my 5months

    • Samuel Antley permalink

      That was great Don! Hope that can help someone. Let me absorb it for a few days and I will have some questions. I wanted to get out there that i understand your negative words about the PRC. However,I had put up with the wrist for almost as many years as you have been alive. The PRC was the best thing I ever did. It will work great sometimes. Just not sure if it will work for 50 years are so like you are needing.

      I had this robot looking wrist brace that I used back when I rode motocross. You could fall on that without any worries. That would get you back on the skate board. Let me dig up who makes it.
      Sam

      • DonMarius1 permalink

        Great words for you Sam.
        I am negative about the PRC a little bit cause it take away abiltities and you need to be patient.
        In someones active life that is a big stairway to climb up. It needs a lot of work. Maybe it was my muscular atrophy wich made things worse 4 me.
        But my attitude is also positive. If u need a PRC and theres no other solution.
        You should not give in, but be realistic. With a custom made brace, i may be riding again yes, and you just told me that. In skateboarding, i dont even use my hand that much, just for balance and sometimes to defend my self, but i builded that skill in the time I had a SNAC wrist.

        Ive texted my surgeon , asked him if I may be able ever to ride in competitions without worrying I get injuries in there again, if the hand may be able ever to sustain higher efforts in future without killing my hand slowly ( cuz i actually dont know how much arthosis i have in there). Things like hanging on the bar, pressure limitation etc. if the muscles can sustain lack of bones…
        He told me we should meet next months to check my hand, and he ll give me his honest limitations.

        If u search on the internet, even on this blog, theres not to many people who got back in there athleete mode. And I wish that is possible, so that i can show everyone how to do it. Ofc, theres people like you who tell me its ok. But i think you know that the PRC hand has some sensations some times that is hard to explain.
        I love yall and next ill post a video of nice exercises that i started with and some harder exercises that i do now. SO that every body can improve their conditions.

        p.s.- im sorry 4 my bad attitude, it will change and im still mad of what happend 2 me.

  14. Don Marius1 permalink

    One more thing, if we re at the squeezing informations chapter.
    Few days ago i was pulling a bar with the prc wrist harder then ive should and then used it as the day goes by as a carrying hand but a small weight, nothing much.
    Fact that did me next day an inflamation. The weak point is on the interior of the hand, not the side with the surgery incision. It s the only place i get inflamation. Base of the palm center or base of the thumb. I feel like the 2-3 bones that now , build the base of the wrist, capitat( in the center) and radial side (trapezoid,trapezium) cannot sustain enough pressure without getting some inflamation.
    As for the ulnar side, I cant say u can get much pressure in there, if we re talking about the anatomical structure.

    My inflamation get inside the articular capsula, beneath the flexor tendons. It s my case.

    Im wondering if this episode repeats, even after years after the surgery. bad Rubbing rubbing
    If I get inflamation at every major activity, it s no fun.
    I just hope, it wont take my whoole ability to do sports with it, at least not to take them at all.
    God bless.

  15. Don Marius1 permalink

    Theese pRC s are pretty fucked up. Need a lot of work honestly. I know PRC surgery very well, ive studied it before i had it. I thinked about it a lot and I feel it different like you say. The position of the thumb is also different, because shortening the hand and no radial deviation, thumb it gets stuck in an angle.
    What can I say , im workin hard and patient theese days, im now 4 months. Next months I ll show you some adapted exercises for PRC hands wich I now do. I also need to be cautios not to do them to much haha… so patiance and go healthy as much as a shaolin if yall can.

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