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My Cause

About 8 to 10 years ago I think I fell and hurt my wrist. It was sore for about a month or two but like many other injuries I guess I got used to it in the pain went away for a while. If I worked my wrist the pain would come back so I purchased a carpal tunnel brace and I use it to sleep at night. Unfortunately, I was busy traveling throughout the United States at that time and was out-of-town approximately 200 days per year. I did not think it was such a serious injury and did not deal with it at the time. Additionally, my business was under financial distress so even if I did go to the hospital I do not think I would have agreed to be in a cast for 3 to 4 months at that time.

Over the last 10 years, my wrist would sometimes lock in a position  when I would pick things up like my dog. It was an awkward feeling but I would simply take my left hand and unlock my right hand and that was the end of it. Until May 18, 2013 when I was changing a spark plug-in my Vespa GTV that required my hand to twist and turn around the engine and torque to spark plug. I fractured my lunate bone that morning in my hand swelled up and I could not move my wrist up or down.

I went to the hospital that day because normally I was able to unlock my hand with my left hand but this was just not happening this time. I went to the Cornwall Hospital and the x-rayed my hand and told me I had to wait 3 to 4 hours to see a surgeon who is in surgery at the moment. The surgeon was from Ottawa and was planning to open a new office in Cornwall in 3 to 4 months. He reviewed my x-rays with me and told me that this was a chronic issue and that I have had it for a while. I agreed with the fact that I’ve had this problem for a while however I told him I never had swelling or was unable to move my hand like I can’t now. He explained that I needed to have the lunate bone removed because it was dead from a lack of blood flow over the last 10 years. He then gave me his name on a prescription paper and told me to call him in three months when he opens his office in Cornwall and he would operate. He also told me to see physiotherapy for the pain if need be.

The swelling did not go down the next day even though I was icing my hand regularly. So I made an appointment with the physiotherapist who at first told me the swelling will not go down because I’m not using my hand since I have it in a carpal tunnel brace. The physiotherapist examined my hand and took measurements and gave me some exercises to do while he requested my x-rays from the hospital. Three days later when he received the x-rays he told me to stop moving my hand because the x-rays explained that they lunate bone was fractured. Both he and I could not believe the advice that I received from that surgeon.

So at that point I decided to take matters into my own hands. I searched the Internet for specialists on hand surgery and found the hand clinic in Toronto Western Hospital that works under the guidance of Dr. Steven McCabe and is also a teaching hospital with the University (http://www.uoftplasticsurgery.ca/main.php?p=1807&s=4).

I went to my doctor and she wrote a letter of referral to Dr. Steven McCabe’s office. I received a phone call in an appointment within two days. Toronto is about a 4 to 5 hour drive from Cornwall, but that did not matter to me. When I arrived at the hand clinic, I was seen immediately, x-rayed and consulted with. I met three surgeons who all agreed that I needed a proximal row carpectomy.

We made an appointment for two weeks after the visit because I needed time get my life in order be able to function without my right hand.

2 Comments
  1. 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 anesthetice 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.

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