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If you have had a proximal row carpectomy, hand surgery or if you are about to have surgery on your hand please feel free to leave a comment, questions or highlights of your experience here on this page. I’m not a Doctor so I cannot answer medical questions other than to pass on the information that I have read or have experienced through my surgery. If you are a surgeon, doctor or physiotherapist and have comments, please feel free to post them on our NEW Forum (click here).

So leave a comment, tell us your story and if you are surgeon please let us know about some of the latest techniques available for both the surgery and methods to expedite the recovery.

141 Comments
  1. wixona13 permalink

    I created a SLAC/PRC/4CF group on Facebook for discussion
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/336136613745275

  2. Heather permalink

    Hello everybody! My name is Heather, I am now 49. I ruptured my scapholunate ligament in 2018, it was a chronic wear & tear injury (am NORMALLY very physically active). Had SL reconstruction surgery 5 months after the rupture, which ended up failing. Arthritis all up into my carpals, bone on bone with no cartilage left, & severe debilitating pain. Was offered all 3 options by diff surgeons (I got a few opinions). A 4-corner arthrodesis vs. PRC vs. full fusion. I ended up getting the PRC because it allegedly had the quickest healing, and I would not have to worry about retained hardware; plus it was appealing to salvage some range of motion since I still have to work (I am a Nurse Anesthetist, this is my intubating hand). Surgery was >2 months ago and I am now in more pain and experiencing more debility than pre-PRC. Can anyone tell me what I can expect here?! I am feeling major regret, maybe I should have gone with full fusion. Definitely cannot live the rest of my life like this. I cannot even pull the trigger on a spray bottle. Still cannot hold a plate or bowl of food. Definitely cannot open jars, or pull the cap off of a magic marker. My surgeon says “there is no normal” but there has to be an acceptable time frame when you start to consider that the surgery is a failure. I am reading the comments and it is comforting to know I am not alone but this is truly a devastating injury. Thanks for any insights.

    • Paul L permalink

      Heather, I had the same injury and the same results with my first surgery. After five year of shots for the pain because I refuse any of the other option surgeries. However I did have a 4 corner nervectomy. I think that’s what it’s called. It helped with the pain tremendously. I still have the
      Arthritis and if I over use my hand it still hurt but not like before. It may be something for you to look into. Best of luck

      • Heather permalink

        Thank you Paul! Unfortunately I think that option is off the table now, since I have had the carpectomy. I’m now missing some of the bones that would have been fused (in the 4-corner procedure). If this fails then I am looking at a full fusion. Just wish I had a better idea of a time frame, for how long I would be in this much pain. Thank you so much for responding.

    • Dave Bayer permalink

      Heather – I had a PRC 3 1/2 years ago. I still have shooting / debilitating pain on a daily basis. Very much regret having the surgery. The doctors all treat me like a pill shopper. Difficult even trying to discuss my situation with medical personnel. The last “orthopedic specialist” grabbed my hand and jammed both of her thumbs into where the bones were removed and asked if it hurts. After seeing 6 different doctors for my situation I have given up. Had I to do it all over again I would have just lived with the pain I had then.

      • Larry Simpson permalink

        It must depend on the skill of the surgeon. I had PRC 6 years ago. I have absolutely no pain. I can throw a baseball, lift weights, remove stuck lids, etc. I will say, however, it took me almost a year after the surgery to get to this point. Following surgery, I would practice every day trying to pick up a pencil.

      • Heather permalink

        Larry that is amazing, so happy for you. Might also have to do with the extent of the damage I would imagine? At the risk of sounding like a drama queen, there is no effing way I can live the rest of my life like this. The pain is just unbelievable with pretty much anything I do with this hand. I was better off before the operation.

      • Larry Simpson permalink

        I was feeling pain from bone on bone arthritis. I was embarrassed when I would try to throw a baseball or football with my grandchildren. I guess I was fortunate.

      • Heather permalink

        Yes- that was my pain too, which led me to have the PRC. I had horrible, painful crepitus. The slightest movement would cause my bones to grind and crunch together. Just submitted an inquiry to a different surgeon. I need to get on with my life, I need to go back to work. The current situation is unacceptable, and I need to know if there is an end in sight. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. Happy that you can play ball with the grandkids. 🙂

      • Heather permalink

        Shit. Thank you Dave. I am so sorry to hear this, how awful. Have you been offered a fusion? In addition to basically not being able to use my hand, I am having a lot of pain on the pinky side that goes up my arm.

    • Gerald permalink

      I’m basically in the same boat you are in terms of pain but maybe a little bit better off since it’s been a year and a half. After 5-6 months my improvement stopped. I went to another doctor for a 2nd opinion. He offered me the choice of shots or a fusion type of surgery. I tried 1 shot and it didn’t do a bit of good. There’s no way I’m going for the fusion surgery. Because of this botched surgery my working days are over. Thankfully I’m near retirement age.

      • J Boise permalink

        I had partial fusion with denervation on 1 wrist 2 years ago. Limited motion, but good. Partial fusion, 2 bone removal, bone graft, denervations. Still working as a cashier & doing fine. Adjusted to limited motion. Semi retired at 63.

    • Gerald permalink

      I just re-read about the condition you had – ruptured scapholunate ligament. I had pretty much the same thing. As the 2nd doctor that I went to told me there are a good number of reasons why a person would have a PRC done and the condition that you had a PRC done for has a lot to do with recovery time and, most importantly, how much you will recover. The doctor that did the surgery didn’t tell me this and pushed me toward the PRC option which I now regret.

      • Heather permalink

        Thank you Gerard & J Boise. I am approaching 3 months. Pain has gotten better (surgeon gave me a couple of injections) but still NOT where I want to be. Still have pain on ulnar/ pinky side of hand, as well as throughout the wrist. Surgeon said I had “post-op inflammation” since I was swollen for so long. I am going to see another surgeon. I would forego range of motion if it means taking care of this daily pain and debility. What was the point of salvaging some motion if I can’t use my hand! Thank you all for your comments.

      • J Boise permalink

        I will say the pisotriquetral joint(ulnar side, pinky finger,) can be a bitch to get under control. Also, ain, pin denervations helped tremendously for good permanent pain control.Remember though, although they fused the wrist you can still get arthritis in any area remaining. I have it uncomfortably at times in the index finger base. I understand the frustration you must be feeling.

      • Heather permalink

        Thanks for your comment J Boise. I had a nerve cut for both surgeries (?). The 2nd surgeon suggested that he might need to go in and dissect some more (posterior osseous nerve). I would have to look at my consent to see what was cut for my first operation (SL ligament recon). I am a Nurse Anesthetist, I need my left hand to mask and intubate. I had no idea what a devastating injury this is. 😦

      • J Boise permalink

        I really didnt injure my wrist that i can remember. Arthritis & many cortisone shots destroyed both wrists. My right fusion took a bit to come back from, but no more constant pain is worth it. Left wrist a work in progress. You really learn to adjust movements to compensate for lack of wrist mobility. Hang in there & keep fighting! They have polycarbon(?) wrist joint replacements these days.
        How far we’ve come!

      • Heather permalink

        Thanks J Boise! I had the ligament rupture, plus resulting carpal arthritis. 😦 The 2nd surgeon told me that I am not a candidate for joint replacement because I am too active. I am really thinking the same thing, I will sacrifice this nearly constant pain for lack of mobility. Seeing another surgeon next week for a consult. You keep fighting too!! Am glad to hear you are satisfied with your fusion.

  3. Joyce Brown permalink

    Was googling “partial row carpectomy” and this site came up. Just to let you know there IS an alternative to fusion or PRC. Six years ago at age 64, after years of what I thought was arthritis pain, I was diagnosed with Keinbock’s (AVN of the lunate). Since I work with my hands (weaver, textile designer) and play with my hands (piano, guitar) I sought treatment other than the options above, all that was available locally. I went out-of-state for a lunate arthroplasty with a pyrocarbon replacement, and could not be happier. Recovery was uncomplicated, I have no pain or deformity, enjoy full function (except I should no longer attempt push-ups or walking on my hands, not a problem for me).
    When my local hand doctor proposed the fusion or PRC, though at the time I knew diddly about wrist surgery, the first words I said were “I’m not doing that.” I went home and got online, learned about arthroplasty, found my surgeon (there are only a few in the country that can do this), and never looked back. I invite anyone considering PRC to PLEASE explore your options; my local doctor, one of the best in the state, did not offer arthroplasty because he knew little about it and had never performed one.

  4. mike brewer permalink

    i am a retired 67 year old and play tennis and golf. I was experiencing sharp shooting pain with ever increasing frequency, often so severe that I would remark “Ow” out loud. After an MRI I was diagnosed with avascular necrosis of the scaffoid in my right (dominant) hand (lack of blood flow). This apparently had a traumatic origin. My surgeon recommended PRC if I could not live with the pain. He said the pain would become progressively worse over time. I got a second opinion confirming the diagnosis and recommendation. I was also told that if I waiting too long the surgery would no longer be an option.

    I had surgery in January, 2020. A nerve block injection in my neck and a general anesthetic were administered. The shooting pain never returned but the rehab process has been quite painful. I started physical therapy three weeks post-surgery to restore range of motion in the wrist, accompanied by a home exercise plan with several methods. Therapy has been tough, but “no pain no gain,” right? My therapist bends my wrist to a point of severe pain. I’m sure this has been to my benefit as I now have 30 degrees flexion and 40+ degrees extension (probably more than I had before surgery).

    I’m about to be discharged from PT. I keep doing home exercises on alternating days and experience varying degrees of soreness on the off days. I can swing my tennis racket and golf club with very little resistance now and I think I’ll be able to return to tennis very soon. The wait for golf may be a little longer.

    I think I’ve received excellent care The therapist says I should be pain free in the near future. If that is so I will rate this venture as a success. i plan to post another comment in early June, six months post-surgery. In the meantime I’m happy to respond to emails regarding my treatment and progress. Good luck to anyone contemplating a surgical remedy.

  5. Brenda Wagner permalink

    I have stage three kienbocks of the lanate I need help to find a surgeon that will take me at oshu Portland Oregon I’m in a lot of pain brendawagner55.com

  6. Paul permalink

    Has anyone had a Total Wrist Arthrodesis?? That looks like my last option. I’ve had log repair surgery and it failed. I have been dealing with the pain and not sure how much longer I can continue the cortisone shots. So if anyone has had a Total Wrist Arthrodesis. Please let me know the outcome.
    Thanks
    Paul

  7. Rick Eller permalink

    I am a 62 old male very active motorcycle rider/sailer/carperter etc. I have a 40 year old scaphoid nonunion and now seriously looking (again) at surgery options. Tired of being dominated by pain. Now, 1 surgeon recomends PRC the other a Scahpoid excison and 4 corner arthrodesis (plate). Has anyone else had conflicting recomendations? I think that considering my age and high demand wrist an 4 corner plate might be better in the long term, but my research shows that its usually performed on younger wrists.

    • Janis Boise permalink

      61 year old female. Dr was going to do caroectomy. Got in; way too much damage. Had schaphoid removal with spider plate. Best thing I have done. Tried a clean up surgery was in constant pain months later. At time of fusion Dr also did a nervectomy on 4 nerves. Totally pain free.

  8. Wow! After all I got a webpage from where I be able to really obtain helpful facts regarding my study and knowledge.

  9. Dave Bayer permalink

    13 months post surgery. Extreme amount of pain. Totally unable to use my left wrist. I was better off before the surgery. Unable to work due to the pain.

    • Karen Duffy permalink

      Yes, Dave, I hear you, but I don’t want to discourage anyone who’s just had the surgery bc everyone is different. I had A LOT of pain for a long time, but now I’m almost 3 years post surgery and it’s waning a bit. I don’t need as much pain med. My left wrist will never be the same (and I’m left handed. Keinboch’s disease is a dominant hand syndrome, after all), but that wrist was screwed up, anyway, which is why I needed the surgery in the first place. Should I get worse, a full fusion is my only option, and I’ll tell you what. No way, no how, will I have that operation unless I get desperate, and right now, as I said, I’m on the mend. A slow mend, for sure, but I’m 63. My wrist has been hurting since I was about 30 (doctors dismissed it). So to Dave and Patricia and everyone else out these–don’t despair. Take your meds. It will get better. Promise.

      • Dave Bayer permalink

        Every doctor that I have seen, and there have been many, refuse to provide any pain medication. I have been repeatedly accused of “Pill Shopping”. It is probably because I live in Florida, and the “Pill Mill” situation is quite different here. So I live in constant agony and unable to get proper sleep. I am 57 years old and had worked in commercial air conditioning as a repair technician to make my living. Can’t do that any more. So – the only options are the full wrist fusion, or an experimental “Wrist Replacement”. I would try the replacement first but as of now that procedure has a 50% failure rate. After 3 surgeries on this wrist I cannot mentally or financially handle another one at this time. Been dealing with this for over 5 years now.

      • Karen Duffy permalink

        So sorry about your pain. But listen—the nationwide opioid problem is affecting all of us who really need it. Family doctors, surgeons, even the doc who operated—they won’t prescribe it for long bc it doesn’t fit their “profile.“ You csn’t blame them for not wanting to get in trouble. New Jersey is no different. I also had to figure this out on my own. Not sure why my surgeon didn’t suggest it, but when I asked—Should I be going to a pain management doctor? He jumped right on it. He said yes! “That’s where you belong!” It was like he was relieved. So ask ur doc -or just find one on your own. You’ll have to send ur records, get vetted, & drug tested, but if you really need the meds as it sounds like you do, they’ll be able to tell. They might put you through paces bc they have to weed out the riff raff, but they will help you. That’s what they’re for. Promise. Let me know what happens.
        K

  10. Karen Duffy permalink

    Yes, you can loosen it even if that only helps psychologically. And you’ll get yelled at by the doctor. I was in terrible pain for quite some time and my recovery was very gradual, but I’d had the condition (Kienbach’s) for years, so that might’ve made it worse. Sorry you’re in pain.

    • Patricia permalink

      Thanks Karen. I don’t think I can loosen it without the whole thing falling off. It looks like it’s glued on. No clasps. My luck I’ll pull it loose and not get it back on. I think I’ll add some ibuprofen to my hydros see if that helps.

      • Karen Duffy permalink

        Good idea. Yes that will help. I imagine you know the bandage is not really tight–the pain just makes it feel that way. That said, I practically removed my whole bandage because it felt so tight. And as I said, the doctor yelled at me, but–too bad! Whatever it takes. Good luck

      • Patricia permalink

        LOL

  11. Patricia permalink

    I just had PRC yesterday. My hand, wrist, and finger feel like they’re about to fall off! The pain is unbearable! Meds don’t seem to help. It feels as though the bandage is too tight. Should I try to loosen it?

  12. I had it done on my right hand. Much better now., 🙂

  13. J Boise permalink

    I am set for PRC 12/21. In constant pain on ulnar side of wrist as well as top right of hand. Had previous(1/17) surgery; tfcc debridement, radial styloidectomy, carpal tunnel, removal of most of scaphoid bone, arthritis removal. Way too many shots with short lived relief. Am concerned I’ll be in the same type of pain afterward. Any advice? I am a cashier & constantly wear an EOS brace. I am left handed; this is my right hand

  14. Dave Bayer permalink

    10 months post PRC. Pain continues to worsen. You can hear my wrist grinding. Doctors refuse to provide any type of pain medication. I take 1 Aleve with breakfast and 1 with dinner. Helps somewhat. I have to be extremely careful that I do not push or pull anything with my left hand. Feels like being hit with a jackhammer. I really regret having had the PRC procedure. Will never be able to do my line of work again.

    • Larry Simpson permalink

      Time to get a lawyer. My surgery and recovery had none of that at 10 months. There was never any “grinding”. It’s been 3 or 4 years since I had my PRC, and my wrist works better than ever. The only pain I ever had was initially if I rolled over on my wrist while sleeping.

  15. Buster permalink

    Has anyone used a NASAID gel such as Voltaren ( Diclofenac diethylamine ) at the PRC site and what were your results? Any other thoughts on medication to help with wrist pain?

  16. Kyle permalink

    Hi all. I haven’t had the time to read through everyone’s comments, but I would imagine there are some mixed reviews on the PRC. Wanted to throw an encouraging word in for anyone that is staring down the barrel of this surgery. I know when I was in that position, I was looking for any positive info I could find. I am 29 currently and about 1 year and 7 months post PRC. I have raced dirtbikes since I was 5 and still do. Prior to surgery, I suffered a complete lunate dislocation that went undiagnosed/misdiagnosed for 5 weeks. My lunate died, other bones shifted, lost much of my grip strength, was having numbness from the lunate jabbing into my median nerve, and the rest is history. My wrist is nowhere near perfect (pre-injury), and I would not try to convince someone that it will be; however, it is functional. Most definitely much better than the injured version I was dealing with before. Once I accepted that I wasn’t going to have the wrist I once had, and decided I wasn’t going to let that keep me from doing what I wanted to do, I have had pretty good luck with it. Movement is decent and strength in the wrist is good. My hand/grip still gets fatigued in long/rough races. My advice is, decide what you want to do, do the physical therapy, keep working on it, and do what you can. If you have a good surgeon, a PRC isn’t the end of activity by any means, but it will be an alteration that will take some hard work and determination to deal with, but you can do it! Here is a helmet cam video of an extreme off-road race I did 1 year and 3 months post-op. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSauSNu29EU

  17. dave Bayer permalink

    Had my PRC 6 months ago. Wish I did not do the procedure. Horrific amount of pain. The doctors refuse to prescribe medication for the pain. Accuse me of “pill shopping”. This my 3rd surgery on this wrist. The surgeon really botched the first 2 surgeries and diagnosed – but failed to tell me that the broken tendon was the root cause. I continue to have very little range of motion. Been attending rehab 3 days a week for the past 6 months. The therapist finally told me to stop doing rehab as all I was doing was wasting money.

  18. wixona13 permalink

    Are there are SLAC/SNAC Facebook groups that are non-Keinbock? I don’t see any. Someone should start one. I would but have too many irons in the fire already. Ok, maybe I will if no one else does. But I’d prefer not too! 🙂

  19. Dave Bayer permalink

    I am 55, and just had PRC 3 weeks ago. This is my 3rd surgery on this wrist. Both prior surgeries were botched by the surgeons, The pain from this surgery seems to be worse than the first two. Rehab is very painful. I am not encouraged that I will be able to perform my job as a commercial air conditioning technician. Not much wrist movement and absolutely no strength in this wrist.

  20. Tom permalink

    Hello,
    I’m exactly 2 weeks post op and i’m having difficulties straightening my fingers. They’re probably about 20 degrees from where they should be. Did anyone else have this issue. I’m doing exercises with them daily.
    Thanks in advance,
    Tom

  21. There is Keinbock Disease Friends, Keinbochs Disease, Keinboch’s Society. I like the first group the best but a lot of the members follow all three groups but Keinbock Disease Friends seems to be the most active. Most people are supportive and more than willing to share their experiences. It’s such a great resource to be able to have others that understand what you are going through. Best of luck.

  22. Larry Simpson permalink

    I am 73…had it done on my right wrist two years ago. It has taken nearly all of these two years to be able to make a very tight fist, throw a baseball or football hard and do heavy weight lifting free of pain. Now, however, my right wrist functions 100% like my left wrist. I do not have any pain. I recall using my wrist moderately within just a few months after the surgery staples were removed. Then flicking my wrist was still painful and I could not make a tight fist. It was nearly impossible to use that hand to screw tight lids off of jars. Doing curls with weights had about a 25 lb limit if I wanted to avoid pain. Now I routinely do 75 lb curls rotating that wrist with no pain at all. Have patience and gradually increase the workloads on the wrist. I would practice daily trying to form a tight fist. My doctor suggested trying to grasp a pencil tightly in the palm of my hand. Gradually I was able to do it.

  23. Karen Duffy permalink

    Good luck. I had a PRC In May 2015 when I was 60. Same as you, I was hoping to get out of pain and use my left hand again, as I am left-handed. I wish I could tell you that it helped, but I just traded one pain for another. I’ve had other surgeries in my life, but I’ll tell you what–I never had anything as painful as that operation. I am still on pain management over it. In fairness, though, my wrist/hand was in increasingly bad shape for a long time. It had progressed to Kienbach’s Disease Stage 4 before I got a proper diagnosis. Also, the doctor said there was far more arthritis than showed on the X-rays, and he would’ve done a fusion if he’d known this, so these factors no doubt contributed to the pain. I don’t know what your situation is. Maybe it’s not the same as mine and you can expect better results. I’m just telling you my experience because you asked. Good luck. Let me know how it goes. Karen

  24. There are some great groups on Facebook for information from people who have this disease and we all share our stories and offer support. Keinbock Friends seems to be the most active group.

    • Paul permalink

      Can you give me the names of the FB groups?
      I need some input on PRC surgery. I have to
      Make a decision pretty quick on which surgery to have on my wrist. I’m leaning towards the PRC.
      Thanks
      Paul

      • I’ve been away from word press for a while, sorry for the delayed response. Keinboch Disease Friends, Keinbochs Disease, and Keinboch society. I like the first one best, great support and lots of good experiences. Based on your reply, you’ve probably already had a procedure hope all went well

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