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08/21/2007 11:20 PM

Severe Pain after TFCC repair Wrist Surgery

Grumpy
Grumpy  
Posts: 36
Member

Sorry this is so long but I am at my wits end and would like advice/opinions on what I should do...

I had arthroscopic surgery 3-1/2 weeks ago to repair the TFCC in my left wrist. About 3 days after my surgery I started having extremely severe pains in my wrist/hand that would come and be extremely severe for a short period of time and then go away. I also was experiencing poping and other pain (which I felt was normal). When I went for my post op at 1 week, they removed all of the padding, bandages and such and then put me in a cast. I continued to have these severe pains and called the Dr on 3 seperate occasions over the next 2 weeks. Did not get a response.

This past Friday I decided to stop by the Dr's office to inquire. They said they had called and left me a message that the pain and poping was not normal and that they may have to put me in a full cast up past my elbow. The Dr was in surgery on Friday so they had me come in on Monday which was 10 days early for my next post op.

They removed the cast. The Dr checked ROM and then proceeded to "feel" around. Starting at the outside of the wrist, caused mild discomfort, continuing to work to inside of wrist, hit a spot that I vocalized....he asked what I was laughing about and I told him that was very uncomfortable, he continued to feel and apply pressure and the pain caused tears to start flowing. He continued until I was in such excrutiation pain that I was sobbing. Now with all that I have been through over the past 9 years, I have a pretty high pain tolerance so this was very out of the ordinary.

He asked why I was sobbing and I told him that the pain was excrutiating. He said that it looked good and there didn't appear to be any signs of infection and that it had been just over 3 weeks so it is healed enough to start therapy. He would not answer or really even acknowledge the pain that he had caused.

The nurse was doing the dictation on the computer and asked if they were going to do a half arm or full arm cast and he said they were going to splint. I wasn't supposed to be casted in the first place but they did because I was having pains and poping that I shouldn't have. She asked about RX for V10 (I assume Vicodine 10) and he said "she doesn't need pain meds anymore). I was so upset at that point that I popped off with I couldn't take another RX from him for pain anyway because of the Fentanyl patch and Vicodin that I take from my Pain Mgt Dr.

Nurse asked when he wanted to see me back and he said "Oh, in about a year should be good". She asked him 2 other times and got the same response. I left without a follow up appt and was told at the check-out desk that they would request authorization for therapy and then I would come back after I completed therapy.

If the pains that I am having were pains that I had before the Surgery or if I had had the same pains when I had the ligament repaired in my right wrist, that would be one thing. But these severe pains will come and stay for a short time, having me almost in tears and then go away. I also have pains that wax and wain throughout the day that are more of a nuisence...sometimes can get pretty uncomfortable but nothing I can't deal with.

I am frustrated but more importantly, I am concerned because I have always been told severe pain is the bodies way of telling you something is wrong.

Has anyone ever had TFCC tear repair surgery and if so, did you experience anything like this?

Oh, ya it is Worker's Comp so I can't just go to another Dr.

Thank you for reading my book and for any advise/comments that you might give.

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09/17/2007 10:10 PM
bsvhouse
Posts: 3
New Member

Hi,

I thought I had written this! I am going through the exact same things you are experiencing. Had surgery to repair a torn TFCC in February and everything is going downhill. I was told to wait for approximately 6 months, and now my wrist is worse than ever. I might have some good days where the pain is very light, but I have many days where my wrist is rendered useless. Just like you, I have to go back to this same doctor (which I dread because I think he is taking the fact I am not "cured" personally). Mine is also a workers comp case. I started to just let it be, because, to be honest with you, I will not have surgery again on this wrist and wish I hadn't to begin with. I also had two shoulder surgeries (different doctor, same group) and I would call the second shoulder surgery a success. It is not perfect, but soooo much better and that's okay.

I really considered leaving this wrist injury alone, but now I'm concerned if I might have a broken bone, another tear, or whatever. I don't think I want to live like this if there is another alternative. I can't even open a can!

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09/28/2007 11:29 AM
wrist
 
Posts: 2
New Member

I too have had a wrist injury and surgeries to reattach and clean out the debris. I am 15 months out from initial injury and 7 months from reattachment surgery, and started P.T. but was taken off due to increased pain with everyday use. I have had multiple mri's and going for another bone scan. please have them double check to make sure that you are not having further deterioration or developed arthritis from the intial injury as they have a tendancy to be very painful as well as the initial injury. There is one more possible procedure that can be performed. and it is shortening of the ulnar bone and putting a plate in place so that the bone is not pushing on the cartlidge and causing more deterioration of the tfcc, but that would have to be dicussed with you physician. it is a risky procedure in that if it dosen't work to control the pain it could cause more pain. Hopefully you will be blessed and they will be able to rid you of the pain. By the way i am right handed and the injury is to my right had and i think that has something to do with it.
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09/28/2007 11:41 AM
wrist
 
Posts: 2
New Member

dear grumpy, You say this is workers comp and you cannot go to another dr. but technically you can. You have to go thru your ins. co. for workers comp. Or the case nurse assigned to you. You should feel comfortable with your treatment and dr in order to heal better. Find out who your W.C. insurance carrier is and go thru them first. I also know that you are not wanting to start all over again but, this is your life wer talking about. You are entitled to a second opinion with any medical care. Good luck and God bless.
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09/28/2007 12:02 PM
Grumpy
Grumpy  
Posts: 36
Member

This is the doctor that I was sent to for a second opinion and I did the formal paperwork to change him to be my treating physician.

I didn't hink about the fact that if I saw the dr at the place where I had to go for the drug and alcohol test saw me then I was stuck with them unless I could prove just cause to change.

I saw them at first every week for the first 4 weeks and then every other week for the next 4 weeks or so. They started physical therapy and that made it worse. When I screamed when the Therapist went over an area with the ultrasound therapy wand, he stopped and said that there would be no more therapy and that he recommended them sending me to a specialist.

I requested that they send me to the dr I am seeing now but they refered me to someone else who sent me to have the MR Arthrogram (ouch!!!!) since my MRI stated there could be a tear but could not confirm. Well, they got the report and this Dr didn't even understand all the terminology in it and said he had only done one or assisted with one procedure related to this injury.

He was requesting that I be sent to a Hand/wrist specialist. He wanted to do multiple sessions of steroid injection therapy and I asked him if it would cure it...he said no. I said no thank you....he then tried to make it sound like I was refusing treatment when he was dictating his notes so first thing the next morning I informed my WC liasan at work and then subsequently told the Insurance. Can you say "Bilk the insurance carrier"!!!!

Anyway, they finally received approval for a 1 time evaluation for second opinion and I was approved to go to current Dr, which is supposed to be one of the best. He took care of my right wrist when I injured it a few years ago. He told me he could have told me what was wrong without me even having the first MRI done. His next non- urgent surgery was not for another month and a half. So I finally had surgery on 7/27/07. The original injury was 1/5/07.

The day after surgery, I felt like something was not right but was so doped up that I just let myself believe that it was just more painful than the other surgery I had had. 3 days later....I almost went to the ER the pain was so bad.

After fiasco with getting therapy approved, found out 2 wks after requested that I had to go in for an eval before they could even request approval which took another week for them to get me in and then another 2 wks to get approved. During eval the therapist said some of the pain could be from the tendons just being stiff for limited use for so long but some of the pain and the popping did not seam normal to her but that as the dr advised, I need to start therapy to see if it improves. I was supposed to have my first appt this past Monday but when I showed up they told me it was for Tuesday and I had training all day that day so now we will try to start next week.

I just came back from lunch and couldn't even pull the little paper covers off the little butter pots!!!!

It's been almost 10 months now....and it just keeps getting worse!!!!

With all that said, I am going to try the therapy and if it doesn't help or gets worse, I will demand that the dr go ahead and re-eval and if not will file formal request to change Dr again.

Being that he is as good as he is, I believe he is on the prof staff at UTSW Medical school also, I feel like it may be a case that he just doesn't want to consider the posibility that he missed something.

Sorry for the rant......thanks for listening.

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09/28/2007 04:09 PM
bsvhouse
Posts: 3
New Member

I feel your painSmile On Monday, I am going to call my worker's comp case manager and request another surgeon because as I stated in my previous post, I, too, am uncomfortable with this surgeon and feel he thinks he is above missing something. I also have all the popping when I turn my wrist and the pain is sometimes unbearable. I just cannot believe my wrist got worse after the surgery. I have a lawsuit which is close to being settled, so I don't know what rights I have. Also, my wrist is the right and I am right handed.
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09/28/2007 04:35 PM
Grumpy
Grumpy  
Posts: 36
Member

Mine is still in a half cast (cast on bottom side of arm and palm) secured with elastic wrap. I cannot bend it but where mine is popping is the bone on the outside of the arm/wrist. It did it while it was in a full cast as well. I believe it is from the movement of the muscles when I move my arm.

I will be praying that everything works out for you.

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10/15/2007 01:46 PM
coach
Posts: 1
New Member

I am having wrist arthroscopy next Thursday. Can anyone tell me what to expect (other than pain)? I have a torn TFCC and the doc told me they will do one of three things:

1. clean it out

2. repair the tfcc

3. if torn and cannot re-attach, they cut the bone down so it is shorter and then they can re-attach that way. This is the last ditch effort though.

He also said that it takes a good 6-9 months to actually start feeling better. He is a wrist surgeon but now after reading all these I am nervous. I have had 2 corisone shots that stopped working after about 4 and a half months of a supposedly 6 month shot.

Any info. about what to expect, etc would be helpful. I even want to know the worst case stuff too. Thanks!

Coach

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10/15/2007 07:24 PM
bsvhouse
Posts: 3
New Member

I just had a cortisone injection today so i can't really type (1 handed), but I don't know if given what i've been through, i'd have the surgery. on the other hand, i could get better months or years from now and be happy i did it. as per my previous posts, i had my surgery in feb. today the dr said i probably have tendonitis. hope this shot works cause i'm tired of the pain. good luck and if u have any more questions or concerns, i will try to help, but i've taken a pain pill and will try to go to sleep,
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10/29/2007 09:10 PM
Spock
Posts: 1
New Member

I had the ulna shortening osteotomy surgery almost 9 months ago due to a TFCC tear. I am worse now than before. I know it is successful for some but it didn't do anything but make things worse overall.
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