Skip to content


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

    • gordy slater permalink

      hello my name is Gordy an i need this done also but have been looking for some one to talk about it.. dont want to go get butcher up… would like to chat more…thankyou.

      • D Singh permalink

        Mr. Slater, i had my PRC done due to old scaphoid fracture which went unnoticed due many reasons. I live in Georgia, my surgeon Dr. Benjamin Puckett, is really informed and smart doctor. I am doing well, currently going thru therapy, strength i already have 50-60% back, movement you know does gets cut by removing bones. Talk to your surgeon about cutting edge of radius bone to accommodate trapezium bone, otherwise it will hinder the movement, many folks have had 2nd surgery to have that done. Keep full 6 months to be fully back to work, it requires time. I hope this helps.

    • Matthew Irie permalink

      That is very scary. I just put in to get this surgery

      • Emma permalink

        For me, it was one of the worst decisions I have ever made. 2 years on and I am facing a full hand fusion because the problem hasn’t resolved. However, everyone will react differently to this surgery, I’ve heard a lot of success stories and a few failure stories. Don’t let me put you off having the surgery as I don’t know the situation or circumstances you are in. Just know that it will take a while to recover.
        I wish you well with your decision

  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.

    • I was just diagnosed with keinbocks disease. I just had the PRC a few days ago- 1/5/16. I’m in a brace and will need A cast for the next four weeks as well. I heard that this is extremely rare… So I haven’t found anyone that has suffered the same diagnoses. They said that it was the way that my bones grew, so I will need to have my other wrist done in a few months. Post op has been really painful. I thought the pain of a broken wrist was painful but it has not been anything compared to the healing of this surgery. My surgeon is really awesome, she told me everything I needed to know. She also told me this is not a cure-all, because my keinbocks was so far along. I waited too long to have the surgery done, my husband lost his job so we were waiting for our new insurance. She said that it’s extremely wear for someone my age to have this, I’m 27. It’s really cool getting to hear from a few different perspectives on this surgery.

      • Ashley permalink

        Hey Kristen.
        I feel your pain and frustration! I was diagnosed with keinbocks at age 28 wore a cast for months hoping for circulation of blood flow which didn’t work. I had to have radial shortening which worked for only two years- enough time to have a baby. This past September I had to have the PRC- the recovery was extremely painful but less rehab and less time wearing a cast than radial shortening. I am going on four months post op and can honestly say o don’t have much pain at all. My arm and hand still looks a little deformed because I haven’t built my muscle mass up yet. I had a great report last apt and do not have to go back which is a wonderful feeling! Good luck and it will get better.

      • Tasha permalink

        I have late stage kienböcks and am 23. I am in great health otherwise and so having a very specific procedure done to try and repair the lunate bone, if possible. If not possible, (due to degeneration between bones and cartilidge) I will be waking up with a proximal row carpectomy instead. I am trying to find out if anyone who has had a PRC is aware of what the full, out of pocket expense for their procedure would have been. I am having a tough time with insurance, and am over a year due for this operation. I thought I had done all my homework and worked everything out, but turns out my insurance and the hospital made in error in assuming the surgery would be covered. I am now looking at having to pay 50% of this procedure if I cannot find another insurance that will cover this on such short notice. I am aware that costs differ greatly depending on where and whom you have your surgery with. I am going with a very experienced surgeon in Irvine, Ca and expect it to be on the higher end of the spectrum. :/ if there is anyone who might have any sort of information, I’d love to hear it. My surgery coordinator is trying to get a number for me but it may take her a little while, and a second reference always helps. I need to figure what I can do to finally have this taken care of. Thanks

      • Marguerite maldonado permalink

        I also have keinbocks in my lunate bone, my doctor said the bone is too far gone and wants to do the PRC. I am also young, only 25. Its scary. How could this happen so young? :/

      • I too have Keinbocks, diagnosed for 6 years and have had a PRC today (22/6/16). My surgeon suggested this as it makes get but me another 10 years when I’ll. E within the category for a wrist replacement. He didn’t want me to have the fusion as once it’s done there’s no other possibilities. I’m 44 years old.
        The pain has just kicked in full force 12 hours post surgery. I had a nerve block to reduce post operative pain.
        I was told by my surgeon that it is highly unlikely to affect my left wrist.
        My fingers are black and wrist is immobilised.
        I am hoping to eradicate the pain felt previously but reading this I’m not hopeful is.
        The only blessing is that because of our healthcare system in the UK, I have not had to pay for this.
        Fingers crossed for a speedy recovery.

      • Lisa permalink

        I just had surgery yesterday im in so much pain is this normal n for how long

      • Gina Leffert Paige permalink

        I just had a PRC for Kienbocks as well. My surgery was 23 days ago. She removed all but 3 bones in my wrist. How r u doing now?

      • Dawn permalink

        Hi I have Kienbocks too, diagnosed at 16, and was in a splint for months. I was told it was gone but it was mismanaged for 24 years (don’t ask), I’ve lost more than 75% of the range of motion in my right wrist and fingers as is, with muscle atrophy that cannot be corrected and my doctor has advised me to get PRC to relieve pain. I’m 40 years and mom to 2 small kids and carer for my in laws. I’m wondering how long I should expect to be immobilized after surgery, and how much of an impact this will have with daily tasks.

      • If you follow my recovery I would say that I was worse than most. But I seem to be fully functional within expectations and I never take pain meds.

      • Bill Winfrwy permalink

        Hello. I am a 58 year old man and I have been diagnosed with kienbocks. I am scheduled for surgery on 20 January 2017. They are going to do a partial row carpectomy. MRI shows that my lunate bone had died and split in half. I am wearing a splint but still having excruciating pain in my wrist. I work as a custodian at a school here in Colorado, and fear that I will loose my job over this surgery. My doctor says I may only have a third of range of motion that I have now. If I cannot complete my job without restrictions I feel I may loose.
        I cannot find much online about this disease either. Funny, I thought I just had a sprained wrist somehow. It has taken two months to go from a slight pain to one I can hardly stand. Gonna go for it. Wish me luck.

      • Ken stone permalink

        I have also been diagnosed with keinbocks. First diagnosis was in 2001 pain and minimal range of motion since 1994 . So 23 years I’ve been fighting this pain . I was in autobody for 17. Lots of wrist movement required in this field with all the sanding. A lot of Advil and heat was used on those nights. Lack of insurance is why I put it off for so long. Well I am now 40 yrs old and age says no more, I can’t deal any longer . Knowing I’ve had this for so long I figured fusion was my only option. But hand specialist says PRC is appropriate. So I’m excited there, after expecting the worst. I now work underground as a machine operator in a Trona mine. Just worried on long recovery is going to be. And do I need to worry about my other wrist as well. Does keinbocks go “hand in hand”? Or is it possible to only get it in one. And wanted to mention I was also told how rare this was at my age in the first diagnoses. Sorry to ramble just excited to so personal info on this. Most people look at me like I’m inventing this disease.

    • Dave permalink

      I’m having PRC done to my right wrist in just a few days. I saw two doctors who only wanted to do a bone fusion which seemed so dramatic and limiting to me. This most recent doctor offered me PRC as an option. For me, I felt like at least with the PRC there is the option of doing a total wrist replacement down the road if needed that the fusion would not give me. From everything I’ve read and heard, once you do the fusion there is just no going back. I’m only 52 and lead an active life. It just seemed like a no-brainer to me. I feel like my situation sucks either way but the PRC seemed less final than the fusion. I too spend a large portion of my current job at the computer. My question to you is–How long after the initial procedure were you able to type? I don’t want to go on disability and don’t want to take any more time off from work than necessary. I realize that my wrist will be immobile for several months, but what about my fingers?

  8. Debbie permalink

    Hi Tasha, I’ve had a PRC back in 2008 but it wasn’t due to Kienbocks but I’m wondering if there is a possibility you could be covered under your parents health care. I believe you can be covered under their insurance until you are 26 years old. I’m just not sure about the ruling if you have your own insurance but if you have to pay for your own insurance you might be able to be covered under your parents. This also applies to married children. You may have already checked this out but food for thought. Sorry about you having to go thru this at such a young age. Debbie

  9. Tasha permalink

    Debbie, I do appreciate the advice, and it is good to hear from someone who has already been through this procedure. However, you are mistaken in assuming that this is an option for me. One of my parents lives abroad and while the other lives in the states, he does not have insurance, nor have I ever been able to depend on him for anything as he is not a reliable or a responsible individual. Even if he had insurance, it does not necessarily mean that they would cover the specific doctor and operation that I need. I have insurance that would most likely cover a carpectomy with another surgeon within my network.. But I am looking to have a different operation done, with a surgeon that is unfortunately out of network.

    It is a little bit complicated, in that I am seeing this particular doctor to do an unusual procedure (a vascularized bone graft to the lunate) but there is a chance that during surgery, they may be unable to repair the lunate and instead have to perform a PRC. This is the case for why I am seeking any information possible regarding expenses, so that if I am unable to find reasonable coverage with another plan at this time, I can at least have a possible idea of what to expect in costs, in regards to a PRC. If you have any idea, it would be a great deal of help as far as peace of mind goes.

    I wish there were more information available for these sorts of things! Thanks to anyone who has advice or an idea of what to expect, no matter how broad your guess may be.

  10. Debbie permalink

    Hi Tasha, I am sorry I came across as assuming your parents would have health insurance for you. I was trying to think of an option that might be helpful but unfortunately that is not the case. I completely understand that you want to try everything possible before having the PRC. I was 49 when I had my PRC and that was due to an injury. I can’t imagine being 23 and facing losing partial hand function. I have had a good outcome with my surgery but it was a very long recovery process. It was actually 15 month post op before I felt relief. A good support system is a great thing to have but you seem to be to be a very intelligent and driven to do the best for yourself. Health insurance should not be this difficult and we should be able to all receive health care with any doctor! I wish you the best of luck with your procedure and I really hope they can get the procedure covered under your insurance so that your out of pocket expense is minimalized.

  11. Emma permalink

    Hi everyone. I had a PRC on my left wrist 18 months ago when I was 17. Unfortunately, the capitate didn’t rest in place properly and has developed very severe arthritis. I only found this out after getting a second opinion as my surgeons who did the surgery told me that everything had settled in place fine and didn’t really understand why I am still having severe pain in the wrist joint. Because of this problem, I have to have a total wrist fusion meaning I will never be able to move my hand/wrist again. I can’t believe this is happening and I’m only 19! It is a lot to get my head around, but I would love to hear if other people who have had this revision surgery are better off now having had it?

    • Mike permalink

      Sorry to hear you’re having these issues so young. I’m in the exact same situation. However, I’m in my 40’s. I ruptured my scapho-lunate ligament on my left hand in 2002 and on my right hand in 2005. Two separate incidents. Had multiple reconstructive surgeries on both. The last one on my left was done in 2003 with the hopes of getting ten years out of it before total fusion. Had a PRC in April 2015 with the hopes of extending it a few more years, but the cartilage has warn away completely. Much quicker than they thought it would. The pain is extreme 24/7. Looked into a total wrist replacement speaking with the creator of this surgical procedure who is out of Houston, TX. Unfortunately, my surgeon and I were not aware that you can’t have a wrist replacement following a PRC. Only option is a total fusion. So that’s where I’m heading. Took me months to come to grips with fusing my wrist, but compared to wear it’s at now following the PRC the motion won’t be much different and the pain is suppose to be 100% gone. I’m currently at 20 degrees ROM and zero strength. Very difficult to even turn a door nob. Met with several surgeons throughout Southern CA and they all said the same thing-with a total fusion once it’s healed the pain is gone.

      Looking to go to Houston later this year or early next year for a wrist replacement on my right hand. Both wrists are extremely painful 24/7 and limit my capabilities tremendously. Just trying to deal with each wrist one at a time.

    • HI Emma I got PRC in November 23 2015 how did it feel after your surgery because I feel pain in the thumb area and on the pinky area of the wrist and I’ve seen the x-rays and showed it to my therapist and he mention it’s rubbing, perhaps that’s why I’m feeling the pain. Now I’ve asked my doctor about it and he says everything is looking ok, but I feel it’s not any answers would help what should I ask to my doctor

    • Emma how did it feel after it wasn’t set properly, I’m on workers comp and I recently got surgery November 2015 and I’m about 2 months op and my wrist still hurts I’ve done 1 month of therapy already and it hurts on the thumb side and pinky side now I’ve mention this to my therapist and showed them some x-rays and they say it’s rubbing bone on bone and that could be why I’m feeling pain now I think I should see another specialist any help

      • I had that on thumb for the first year and almost 2. It is gone now.

      • Emma permalink

        Hi Leo, my wrist is extremely painful and unstable, and I can hardly move it now because the bones haven’t settled properly. However, I only found this out about 18 months after the surgery after visiting another specialist for a second opinion as my previous surgeons didn’t point out this fact and couldn’t explain why I was still experiencing so much pain. Because of this complication, the next step for me is a total wrist fusion which I will have to live with for the rest of my life (i’m only 19). My worst pain is on the thumb side which has been partially diagnosed as DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis, but neither of the surgeons have decided to treat me for it. I have been left with a big decision and no help as to how to control the pain.

  12. Emma permalink

    So much surgery! It also turns out that I have a torn scapholunate ligament and centrally torn tfcc on my right with severe arthritis and ulnar impaction syndrome. All of this probably occurred through overuse from hardly being able to use my left wrist. However, when I have the fusion, I will have to rely more on the right which is going to damage it even more. I am just afraid that the same thing will happen to the right as it did to the left :/ I’m right handed and a student at uni and I am already struggling with note taking and concentration during lectures due to the pain. I just hope these problems won’t affect any more of my uni life!

    • Mike permalink

      From someone who has gone through this with both wrists….my suggestion to you is if you’re left wrist has some mobility and you can live with the current pain for another six months then fix the right wrist first. Let it heal completely and then fuse your left. If you’re right isn’t completely torn it ultimately will so I’d definitely address that first if you can.

      • Emma permalink

        I would love for my surgeons to fix the right one first but they refuse to do it because apparently the left is quite unstable (risk of dislocation). To be honest I don’t think I can cope with the pain in my left wrist for much longer, it is very depressing. The ligaments in the left are completely torn but they just keep failing to address it!
        For example, the last time I saw my original surgeons they initially said ‘we need to do arthroscopy on the right’. They sent me for an X-ray and when I came back they said they definitely didn’t want to do anything and there was nothing else they could offer to help me.

      • Mike permalink

        Just make sure you’re getting multiple opinions. Don’t worry about offending the surgeons by asking for your records to have others look at it. Doesn’t mean you’re not going with them, but given the seriousness you want multiple opinions. Once you have the fusion and it heals you should feel much better. Best of luck with everything.

      • Amber applegate permalink

        Hi Emma,
        If you have been following my story here, you know I am bi lateral Kienbachs. I had PRC two years ago and suffered from the results of that for almost two years. I had a Radial Shortening Osteotomy on left Hand one year ago and that surgery was a great success. I thought I could live with the pain in my right hand since the PRC, but not only was the pain so unbearable but I lost so much ROM, to the point a fusion would not impede me any more than what I was experiencing. I bit the bullet last October and had my right dominate fused. OMG! I never even took a pain med after the surgery! It was such a relief to be pain free. I wore a splint after the half cast was removed at twelve days post op for a month. I cannot tell you how much better my life is now! I never even think about my fused hand, not only was it instant relief, but I am finally getting my strength back. I stack firewood, lift heavy objects, I can do it all! My handwriting is the only thing that seems a bit difficult but that is so minor!. For someone that fought fusion so strongly, all I can say is I wish I had gotten more information on a fusion and avoided two years of pain, frustration and ending up getting what I should have gotten in the first place. I can’t wait to finally be able to lift my kayak up on its trailer all by myself! I m very pleased. Best of luck to you!

      • Emma permalink

        Hi Amber,
        Yes I have been following your story 🙂 Wow! What a great outcome to the total fusion! It is great to hear you are doing so well! I guess there wouldn’t be much difference in terms of movement as I don’t have much now, and to hear that you are now pain free is really encouraging to me. Thank you for replying!

  13. Emma permalink

    Thank you I will make sure. Best of luck to you too 🙂

    • Elaine hugo permalink

      I need help! I am a female aged 57. I fell a year ago and fractured the scaphoid on non dominant side. I went to an orthopedic surgeon and he put me in a splint type cast for 12 weeks. He assumed the pain I still felt was due to arthritis which I have everywhere. Anyway I fell this December and did the same think he has seen by CAT Scan that blood supply was cut off and bottom half of scaphoid is dead. He says he needs to do a PRC OR scaphoid excision with 4 corner fusion. Which is best for me. I broke my ankle ten years ago and it would never heal despite having a bone stimulating machine and a graft from my hip. The metal plate started working its way through the skin so they had to take all the metal out. After 8 surgeries they had to fuse it

  14. Elaine Hugo permalink

    U can reach me at
    I am 57yr old female I fractured scaphoid a year ago. Orthopedic surgeon figured it had healed after 8 weeks. I fell in December and fractured it again and it was determined I had osteo necrosis of the bottom half of the scaphoid. This surgeon says I should have a Proximal row carpectomy or scaphoid excision with 4 corner fusion. I have previously fractured ankle and it never would fuse even with graft. I have arthritis throughout and fibromyalgia. Surgeon wants me to make this decision. What do I do? Please help

  15. Jeff reed permalink

    Hi everyone! My name is Jeff I’m 53 years old, I had sergury last week on my left hand , prc. It has been 7 days, and the pain level has been 100 out of 90! Does anyone know how long before I get some relief? The Percocet lasts about 11/2 hours 😁 Any tricks anyone can give me would be appreciated!

    • Amber applegate permalink

      You won’t like my answer but here you go…after my PRC, I was in horrible pain for almost two years. I had a full fusion last October and instant relief! My pain was completely gone and now I m regaining strength. I never took one pain pill after my fusion, it was such a relief. I wish you the best.

  16. Jeff reed permalink

    Can anyone give me a head up on how long the pain will last?

    • Dinah McClintock permalink


      I was in a terrible accident on Memorial Day, 2015, and one of the results was the need for a PRC (on my right/very dominant hand). According to my husband, even though my wrist was not the most severe of my injuries, he has never seen me (or anyone else) in as much pain as I experienced right afterwards. My wrist surgeries were last summer (2015), and while my wrist still hurts on a regular basis, the excruciating pain went away a couple of months after the second surgery, and I am slowly regaining much of the functionality in my right hand.

      I wear a brace on my wrist when I ride my bicycle or swim, work in the yard, or if I think I am going to be lifting things or doing any kind of “work” with my hand, and I think it helps. You can buy all kinds of braces at most drugstores now, and I would advise trying out several to see which one works the best. I stopped taking Percocet because I had been taking it for several months (and several surgeries, in addition to my wrist), and I took so much ibuprofen that it began to irritate my stomach so I don’t use that, either (and Tylenol doesn’t do much), but a good brace and ice seem to really help.

      My husband and I enjoy triathlons and train with a wonderful group of people, and I am determined not to get my wrist fused because I do not want to give that up… and so far, a year and some change later, even when it hurts it’s not so bad 🙂

  17. Debbie permalink

    Regarding the pain, I believe that everyone has their own pain threshold so it’s difficult to compare pain levels with other people to know how long it will last. When I had a proximal row carpectomy on my dominant hand (right), in August 2014, I remember being uncomfortable, but not in excruciating pain as some of you have described. I only took pain pills for 2 days after surgery. I used a paddle board in the ocean with a plastic bag over my cast only a few weeks after my surgery. What bothered me the most was wearing a cast in the middle of August. I had to have it changed 3 times because it was too tight and made my whole arm ache! My surgeon was compassionate, patient, and caring and met with me several times to help me decide whether it was better to have PRC or a four corner fusion. The PRC is the best decision I have ever made! Although I cannot fully bend my wrist (cannot do a regular pushup) I still exercise regularly and my hand/arm work just fine. If I am doing something really physical, I will wear a wrist brace to avoid injuring it further, but it is strong and I have still have some mobility. I can open jars, do push-ups on my finger tips or knuckles, type, ski, kayak,do self-defense, etc. Bottom line: give it time to heal properly and you will probably be much happier with your results. A positive attitude also helps! Good luck! (Btw- 55 year old female)

    • Paul permalink

      I had no pain during surgery. Took half a Oxicodone that made me sick. Swelling was uncomfortable for a week, but not bad. Will eventually get a total fusion, but for now I’m
      getting on with life but much weaker in my dominant right hand. (15 months post surgery)

  18. Tina quirk permalink

    I was in a car accident where the airbag blasted my hand and tore my SL ligament and frayed cartridge . I had surgery for that and am still in pain and my range of motion is suffering. I have a lot of pain at the base of my thumb and the wrist . My doctor is throwing around the prc surgery . Any advice ?

  19. Paul Dobbin permalink

    Don’t take the PRC as a casual fix, it’s a major last resort thing. Find a hand specialist and consider all available alternatives. I had a PRC suggested but loss of strength and immobility caused me to opt for the 4 corner fusion, now I’. going to get a total fusion, which I should have done in the first place. Inactivity & permanent loss of strength is not a good option for young active people.

  20. Bob Davis permalink

    I’m 62,I am 1 year out from a PRC . Range of motion is 90% and as strong as before. Took a lot of work but worth it. Don’t even think about it, bowling and motorcycle Riding is no problem . Hard for me to look past the now when I first got it fixed. Good luck

  21. I am 56 and am doing quite well after my PRC. Please see the 1 year afterwards video at

  22. Shawn permalink

    Make sure your consulting with a hand specialist, not just an ordinary orthopedic . I ruptured my SL ligament on both hands in separate incidents. First one was on the left hand 14 years ago and the right hand 11 years ago. I’ve had multiple repair attempts on each one. I saw four highly reputable hand specialists throughout So Cal at the time and they were all in favor of repair v. PRC v. Partial fusion. Age is a factor. I was 32 at the time. I had good success on the repairs of both hands for about 8-10 years. I had a PRC on the left in April 2015 which failed quickly due to lack of cartilage. I’m now facing total fusion. For my right hand, I’m hoping to be a candidate next year for a total wrist replacement. I’m still considered young for a replacement, but can’t have both hands fused.

    Again, depending on age I would first look at a repair. If not possible, then look at a Partial fusion v. PRC (again, depending on age). You can always go to the last resort at any time, which is total fusion. One thing to note that I learned too late, once you get a PRC you are no longer a candidate for a wrist replacement.

    Every case is different. You just need to make sure you see an experienced hand specialist. A repair is not an easy surgery which makes going to a specialist very important. If you do get a repair make sure to request they use an ice machine and put the pad on in the OR under the final wrapping. I’ve had them done both with and without this and it makes a HUGE difference during the first two weeks of recovery.

  23. D Singh permalink

    I just went thru a PRC on my right hand, almost 02 months now, i had scaphoid fracture due to an old injury, didn’t pay much attention then, and the fracture did not heal well. Long story short i had arthritis within the fracture and it was spreading. My doctor suggested PRC or 4 corner fusion, however 4 corner fusion as 2nd option. During surgery he noticed my bones were in really good condition and PRC was a good idea, however my Radius had be chopped on the sharp edge below the thumb to accommodate Trapizium bone. After surgery i had bandage for about 20 days, once stitches and bandage removed i was given splint which i wear on and off, at night always during the day sometimes. Therapy started two weeks ago, i already have 6 sessions done, it has though made huge difference to the hand and wrist. My PT (Physical Therapist) measured strength in the hand, i had only 15lbs, i do feel currently i have more than that, though still i have about 02 months of healing and therapy to go. The first thing as most of know that the movement is not the same, strength might be. My PT has recommended Cica tape, which i am going to try next week. Good luck.

  24. Dave J permalink

    I’m Dave, age 57 and had a CRP in Nov. 2010 and am pleased with the success and great reduction of pain.
    Dr. Kutz of the Kleinert Kutz Hand Surgery team in Louisville did the surgery.
    The first 4 days post surgery were some of the worst days of my life with the pain from having those bones removed. But I got thru it!
    I did the therapy to the letter of Dr. Kutz’ law and have had good success with 80% range of motion, 95% strength back, and only have lasting pain for an hour or so when hammering or beating hard for a long time.
    I have eliminated all sugars and anything carbonated from my life (some fresh fruit in moderation) and have very little arthritis inflammation. I squeeze hand exercisers most every day and stay active as much as possible. I ride dirt bikes, 4 wheelers, lift weights and most of what I used to do before with occasional mild pain when I overdo it. I can’t do pushups without handles, but I am much better off now.
    My scafoid was mostly eaten up with arthritis and the others in the row were getting there from what I thought was just a sprained wrist. I had aggravating pain even during the night.
    I highly recommend the Kleinert Kutz team in Louisville because of their great success for many years. Dr. Kleinert has passed away and Dr. Kutz is not far from retirement but they have left many years of training within their team.
    PRC for me is not perfect, just much better.
    I recommend 2nd opinions and lots of research on the hand specialist Dr. performing the surgery. There is no turning back and recovery is something I work on regularly over 5 years later. Learn your limits and live within them.

    Best Regards and God Bless!

    • Matthew Irie permalink

      So this is a very painful procedure then? Matt

      • Matthew, I’m sorry to say, PRC can be very painful… but you wouldn’t need it if you were pain free. I am 21 years post PRC performed by the best in the world, Dr. Charles Malone. He has long since retired but trained many excellent Dr’s to do the procedure. I had many years relatively pain free, with very good function. I am unfortunately starting to develop pain and movement issues, but that seems to be the norm with people who undergoe PRC young. I was 17. The recommended age is 35 -50, they have the best long term outcomes. Make sure your surgeon has performed this operation many many times. Good luck

  25. Pam permalink

    I’m a 57 yr old female…..I’m post PRC on left hand (non dominant) 13 yrs and, 11 yrs right hand. The pain prior to the surgeries was excursiating….I had severe pain just in attempting to move my wrist. I became totally unable to continue my job which was 75 % computer work.

    My physical therapy was very painful in the beginning. I felt as though it wouldn’t get better, but, it did. And, eventually, I was able to resume somewhat normal activities with use of my braces. However, due to my work restraints, I was medically retired from my job.

    I also was diagnosed with Kienbock’s . The diagnoses came after I had the surgeries. I also have joint replacements in both big toes; due to collapse of the joints. I also had shoulder impingement surgery and I’m current keeping a needed 2nd shoulder surgery at bay…unfortunately with pain pills. I can no longer receive cortisone shots – as they are damaging to my the bones.

    Back to the PRC… I was told it was a salvage surgery and, if it did not work, a total fusion would be my last resort. I did not favor the fusion because of the limited flexibility it gives. I’m glad to hear some of the claims that are contrary to loss of movement as a result of a total fusion. Thus far, my wrist are, I’d say, 75% ….. There are some things that I cannot do based on pain factor. E.g. Bowling, prolonged computer usage, handling heavy objects- pots , pans etc. , have difficulty opening certain jars etc. when my wrist flare up, and they do occasionally; for no apparent reason, I have to totally shut down to only essential activities.

    Bottom line, everyone is different. My hope is that we all are able to continue with the least amount of pain and discomfort based on this ailment. And, hopefully a cure will be discovered in the near future.

    wishing all a speedy recovery…..

  26. Matthew Irie permalink

    I am getting this done it is either this or 4 corner fusion. I am kind of nervous cause I heard 4
    corner due to less pain longer healing time. I am only 28 I heard it is better going with the 4 corner,
    but the Dr said it puts way more stress on your carpals with the fusion and it develops arthritis really quick.


  27. Matthew Irie permalink

    Did my comment post?

  28. Kelly Seward permalink

    I had my PRC in November of 2014. Unfortunately it is normal. Make sure to stay on top of your pain meds. Ice ice ice, and keep it elevated!! It gets better, so hang in there.

  29. Janelle permalink

    I am about to have a PRC.
    I have had Kienbock’s disease from best guess, start of symptoms, for about four years now.
    I finally went to a hand specialist, and was diagnosed after I was in pain everyday. I could no longer open doors, cook, or put a seatbelt on without experiencing insane pain when I made the movements associated with these movements.
    First surgery last winter, he put a screw in my capitate bone above the lunate
    packed bone graft in the lunate and attached a blood vessel.
    It’s not shown to have done much of anything. I had therapy for a few months, and felt better!
    Then the capitate bone showed it was not taking to the screw.
    He could mess with he screw, but I thjbk at some point the next surgery in inevitable, and how many times do you do this!
    So, now te screw comes out, and hey do a PRC.
    I am now nervous,.
    It is hard when it’s not a common issues, so there’s not much to compare on as far as outcome statistics that are available.
    I spend 7 months using a bone stimulator, ultrasound, that was a bust too.
    They show they help more with fractures and specific bone injuries .
    I read the info and felt that I could relate.

  30. Anthony permalink

    Hi my name is anthony im 26, a carpenter…i have recently been diagnosed with keinbocks disease stage 4 in my right wrist and i am awaiting a low proximal row carpectomy…alls i have heard about it is that its not the ideal op to have and i dont really want a fusion was just wondering if anyone knew of another procedure as i cant find much info and my surgeon has only given me the 2 options

  31. Amber applegate permalink

    You are young and there are a lot of people on this list that have had PRC and are doing quite well. I also had stage 4 Kienbachs with the lunate imploded. I also had no cartilage and arthritis. I was dead set against fusion so traveled three hundred miles to get the PRC. I was in pain for two years post surgery. Swelling for over a year post op and lost great amount of strength. I thought I could tough out the pain but the loss of strength and severe pain was too much. After two years post PRC I got the fusion. I m so much better, it was instant relief. I don’t even notice my dominate hand is fused, I can’t bend my wrist but I have learned to live with it for the trade off of no more pain, gained strength, I can now lift my kayak onto its trailer, I ve taken up skeet shooting, I m doing everything I did before all of this happened. Some things a little differently but I am sooooo happy I got the fusion. If you still have cartilage and no significant arthritis do your research and perhaps get the PRC now and if when you get older or have more problems, do not be afraid of getting the fusion. I was like a rabid dog at the thought of a fusion. How I wish I had been better informed by the first hand surgeon as to what my situation was and the prognosis for my future because I would have had the fusion at the get go. BTW, I have Kienbachs in both hands, had a radial shortening Osteotomy in my left hand after seeing my fourth hand surgeon and he felt there was still some blood supply to the lunate so did the Osteotomy on left hand. I was sixty five when I had the PRC. That was three years ago. Your youth is on your side unless you have arthritis already. Don’t be shy to get other opinions but only from certified hand surgeons. I saw four of them.

    Best of luck and give us a follow up.
    Amber…back to living life!

  32. Paul permalink

    Amber, I avoided the PRC and got a 4 corner fusion, next step this winter is total Fusion.
    At two years post 4 corner fusion, I now wish I had done it first like the doctor recommended.
    Arthritus is in the joint and the strength loos is a bother for my active 70 year old body.

  33. Amber Applegate permalink

    I researched every possibility on my situation ( including thoughts of hacking my hand off with my wood splitting axe!) The four corner fusion I asked for after the PRC, but before the fusion. Because of having the PRC and removal of the three bones a four corner fusion was not in the cards for me. Wrists replacement is not perfected and none of my surgeons would consider it. Considering how stubborn I was about the fusion I want to let others know it ain’t as bad as you think. I hike in the rugged Oregon mountains around me, I have taken a few bad falls hiking on ice but with two plates and fourteen screws in my wrists, the beat goes on! No problem kayaking six miles with my wrists. When you stay active having strength and living pain free is for me of utmost importance. I plan to live my life until I croak, not just exist. You will be so happy you got the fusion. Give us a follow up after your surgery, Paul and best of luck to you and Anthony and the rest of us special rare peeps!

  34. Faith permalink

    I was diagnosed with Kienböcks disease. I was 19 years old when the pain started and then I slowly started losing motion that I once had in my wrist. I had no previous trauma to the wrist and it is my dominate hand. I have been living with this for 5 years now and when the pain started I started going to several other doctors who thought I was crazy and would tell me nothing is wrong. I have now finally found a Doctor who knows what is going on with me. So since it has been 5 years the bone has completely died and is breaking apart causing extreme pain. My wrist constantly popping and gets “stuck” with the shattered pieces of bones. No medication or shots help with the pain. I am debating on Surgery, my doctor has suggested the PRC. He told me that my motion of movement after surgery would be half of what I have now (I have 60% up and 30% down now). Is it true that my motion will be cut in half?? And I also am a Vet Tech and my job is very demanding, between holding large/difficult pets to lifting heavy objects/pets. Trimming large dogs nails is already very hard for me and most of the time I have to hand that job off to a coworker. I am terrified of the surgery. I love my job and I am very nervous that I will be unable to do my job as I always have. What do you think?

    • Hi Faith,

      I am going to work this week after 6 months of short term disability due to PRC on my dominant and right hand. My situation is different as i had fractured scaphoid which never healed. Plan 6 months, and find good hand therapist after surgery, my surgeon says it will take 9 months before i get 90% strength, currently i am at 70lbs squeeze strength in my right hand, and 100lbs in my left. Motion will be more than 50% depends how you do during therapy. I live in North GA and was lucky to have good surgeon and therapist (Benchmark Physical Therapy). Insurance only allowed 30 therapy visits, so i bought therapy equipment myself and am doing cupping myself over the scar and the lower arm, also i have other equipment. I am a flight attendant and i am confident that my surgery will not hinder my work. During therapy strength training of arms and upper body is very important, as due to limit in the motion we compensate for motion with elbow, so if you are strong then you will not have issue. I hope it helps.

      • Hi. Had a PRC in Nov. 2015. Total out of pocket cost including paying the anasthesia company and surgical center was approximately 10, 000 dollars. Thats about $3000 for anasthesia company, $3000 for hand surgeon, and $4000 for surgical center.

  35. I had a prc in 1988 I was only 22 at the time so it was no big deal. I will be 50 this year and it is very painful. Doctor left three bones in there and they have fused together. I have very very little range of motion

  36. Bob permalink

    I am scheduled for PRC next month along with ring trigger finger and carpal tunnel release at the same time. I am a guitar player picker of Country gospel and singer song writer. I am now wondering how much use of my wrist, fingers and hand I will have afterwards. I feel like I’m about to have my hand cut off. Trying to make final decision. Male 68 years young.

  37. 12/5/16- I had PRC, L wrist, 2 months ago d/t Kienbock’s disease. I am 46 yrs old and don’t remember ever injuring my wrist, I have been a nurse for 25+ yrs. It started aching about a yr ago, became excruciating, and we discovered it when I was in stage 3b. The first 5 weeks post-op were horrible! Although the pain is getting alot better I still cant do anything with it. Any use causes so much discomfort I just avoid it. I do start therapy in a cpl days, nervous about how thats gonna go, no pain no gain right,lol. My question/concern is will I ever get to return to work? I have heard I may have a ‘permanent’ weight restriction, at this time I cant even pick up my purse much less a chart or a patient. My current restriction is 2 lbs. Holding ANYTHING hurts. Unfortunately I haven’t read many ‘success’ stories 😦

    • Well, I guess I am a bit of a success story as I am typing this while looking outside at all the snow that fell knowing that I am about to go shovel and snow blow it away. Yes mine hurt for a long time after the surgery and I thought that life would never return to normal. But it has… You can follow my days and weeks in the log entries. There were times that I thought I would never ride again and since then I purchased a BMW F700GS and I ride it just fine. This year I started canoeing and love it. I am 57 and live a healthy fit life style. There is hope and I I hope that you will heal nicely over the next 15 months… 🙂

      • I have watched a cpl of your videos on youtube and really enjoyed them Peter. Very informative. I guess I didn’t anticipate the recovery time and fear my FMLA will run out before I am able to go back to work. Luckily I do have disability insurance but this sitting at home is for the birds, lol

  38. Gina Leffert Paige permalink

    I have Kienbocks as we’ll. I just had my PRC about 7 weeks ago. I also had radial surgery to remove the radial styloid. Just got oiy of a cast last week. I had a frozen wrist prior to surgery. My psin us better now and movement is slow but coming back.

  39. Gregory permalink

    I too have the same concerns. That’s how I found your site. Any help would b greatly appreciated.

  40. Had my prc 7 weeks ago, its been a nighmare with the pain, but really inproving now started to get good movement and the pain not quit gone but setled down, doing home physio and seeing results every day quite excited that im on the mend at last, and looking foward to starting cycling hopefully in 2 weeks happy days 🚴

  41. Hi peter was watching the 1year video of you, i am doing allmost the same as you and its only been 7 weeks, im hòping i get more bend of the wrist in the future for my cycling fingers crossed 👍

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: