Saturday, October 25, 2014

Monday, February 01, 2010 kdmom, Community Member, asks

Q: wrist surgery: extensor tenosynovectomy questions

has anyone had extensor tenosynovectomy of the wrist surgery ? Scheduled for next week on my dominant hand and worried about coping with the immobilization since my other hand has very limited motion and strength :(

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Answers (2)
mom4life, Community Member
3/27/10 5:58pm

wondering how this went for you. I am scheduled for this procedure in addition to an open carpal tunnel release next week and can't find much information about what to expect. I have four small children, and would like to know how long I will need help!

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kdmom, Community Member
3/27/10 6:52pm

hi

 

My wrist surgery was "open" as it involved the extensor tendons on the back of the hand...and just in time...as the synovitis was touching the tendon...and the hand surgeon also had to do some "relocation" of the retinaculum..

 

The procedure itself was absolutely no big deal...I asked for regional anesthesia...it was a "Bier Block" that numbed the entire arm..and sedation was offered..but, having had 3 children by natural childbirth..I refused the sedation..and was able to walk out of the surgicenter 45 minutes after the procedure feeling fine :)  I had NO pain afterwards...did not even fill the Vicodin Rx..and only needed a few motrin and/or tylenol for the first few days..

 

that was the easy part...the hard part was having no use of the surgical arm at all afterwards...I had a large, very bulky postop splint/dressing for one week, then a fiberglass...which was supposed to be for 3 wks..but, when I had some skin problems at 1 wk..the surgeon switched me to an ulnar gutter hard plastic splint for 2 wks..which restricted motion as much as the cast..but, did allow me to take it off to shower ( a big deal...much easier than the plastic bag routine)

and when watching tv (no dogs or small children in my house and I had already impressed her with my compliance and caution) and to start physical therapy.

Sleeping was impossible for the 4 wks of splint/cast/hard splint...the first week requires constant elevation even when sleeping..and even after that...I could NOT find a comfortable position..and only slept about 3 hrs per night..which made me a bit cranky <G>

 

I learned there are a number of small but, important things one cannot do with just one arm:

 

1-cannot tie shoes

2-cannot put on socks

3-cannot open a bottle of water

4-cannot peel a banana

5-cannot cut a sandwich roll

 

I think you get the idea from the above list :)

 

IF your other arm is "normal"...you will find you can do a lot with that one arm.

For me, the biggest problem was that my "other" arm is not healthy...had elbow contracture release surgery on it in June and the wrist is totally gone..will need a wrist replacement soon...have only 15 degrees flexion or extension in that wrist and restricted pronation/supination also. So, basically, I had one wrist immobilized and only 25% use of the other arm :(

 

I was very, very slow with what I could do...shower, bathroom, dressing,etc

and needed help for SO much..and I am very independent and hate to need help..it was very hard !  Also, my hubby wants to help..but, is clueless around the house and does not get home from work till 7pm every night.

 

I am now 7 wks out from surgery and only wear a fabric/velcro splint (like a carpal tunnel splint) for grocery shopping, lifting stuff and sleeping. I go to physical therapy 2 times a week and have already regained most of the wrist flexion/extension and pronation/supination.  I still am not allowed to lift anything heavier than a can of Diet Coke with the surgical arm...and that is hard in the kitchen or shopping...but, being able to keyboard, fold laundry. etc is a big help 

 

I was able to drive (carefully) after the first week...surgeon understood that I just had to drive my son the 30 miles each was to his private school :)  And not being stuck in the house did help my mental health too !

 

Sorry this is so long...but, even the best docs don't seem to give this much detail about what to expect post-op :)  Please feel free to ask me any other questions you may have...and good luck !

 

nancy

Reply
kdmom, Community Member
3/27/10 6:54pm

hi

 

My wrist surgery was "open" as it involved the extensor tendons on the back of the hand...and just in time...as the synovitis was touching the tendon...and the hand surgeon also had to do some "relocation" of the retinaculum..

 

The procedure itself was absolutely no big deal...I asked for regional anesthesia...it was a "Bier Block" that numbed the entire arm..and sedation was offered..but, having had 3 children by natural childbirth..I refused the sedation..and was able to walk out of the surgicenter 45 minutes after the procedure feeling fine :)  I had NO pain afterwards...did not even fill the Vicodin Rx..and only needed a few motrin and/or tylenol for the first few days..

 

that was the easy part...the hard part was having no use of the surgical arm at all afterwards...I had a large, very bulky postop splint/dressing for one week, then a fiberglass cast..which was supposed to be for 3 wks..but, when I had some skin problems at 1 wk..the surgeon switched me to an ulnar gutter hard plastic splint for 2 wks..which restricted motion as much as the cast..but, did allow me to take it off to shower ( a big deal...much easier than the plastic bag routine)

and when watching tv (no dogs or small children in my house and I had already impressed her with my compliance and caution) and to start physical therapy.

Sleeping was impossible for the 4 wks of splint/cast/hard splint...the first week requires constant elevation even when sleeping..and even after that...I could NOT find a comfortable position..and only slept about 3 hrs per night..which made me a bit cranky <G>

 

I learned there are a number of small but, important things one cannot do with just one arm:

 

1-cannot tie shoes

2-cannot put on socks

3-cannot open a bottle of water

4-cannot peel a banana

5-cannot cut a sandwich roll

 

I think you get the idea from the above list :)

 

IF your other arm is "normal"...you will find you can do a lot with that one arm.

For me, the biggest problem was that my "other" arm is not healthy...had elbow contracture release surgery on it in June and the wrist is totally gone..will need a wrist replacement soon...have only 15 degrees flexion or extension in that wrist and restricted pronation/supination also. So, basically, I had one wrist immobilized and only 25% use of the other arm :(

 

I was very, very slow with what I could do...shower, bathroom, dressing,etc

and needed help for SO much..and I am very independent and hate to need help..it was very hard !  Also, my hubby wants to help..but, is clueless around the house and does not get home from work till 7pm every night.

 

I am now 7 wks out from surgery and only wear a fabric/velcro splint (like a carpal tunnel splint) for grocery shopping, lifting stuff and sleeping. I go to physical therapy 2 times a week and have already regained most of the wrist flexion/extension and pronation/supination.  I still am not allowed to lift anything heavier than a can of Diet Coke with the surgical arm...and that is hard in the kitchen or shopping...but, being able to keyboard, fold laundry. etc is a big help 

 

I was able to drive (carefully) after the first week...surgeon understood that I just had to drive my son the 30 miles each was to his private school :)  And not being stuck in the house did help my mental health too !

 

Sorry this is so long...but, even the best docs don't seem to give this much detail about what to expect post-op :)  Please feel free to ask me any other questions you may have...and good luck !

 

nancy

Reply
kdmom, Community Member
3/27/10 6:55pm

hi

 

My wrist surgery was "open" as it involved the extensor tendons on the back of the hand...and just in time...as the synovitis was touching the tendon...and the hand surgeon also had to do some "relocation" of the retinaculum..

 

The procedure itself was absolutely no big deal...I asked for regional anesthesia...it was a "Bier Block" that numbed the entire arm..and sedation was offered..but, having had 3 children by natural childbirth..I refused the sedation..and was able to walk out of the surgicenter 45 minutes after the procedure feeling fine :)  I had NO pain afterwards...did not even fill the Vicodin Rx..and only needed a few motrin and/or tylenol for the first few days..

 

that was the easy part...the hard part was having no use of the surgical arm at all afterwards...I had a large, very bulky postop splint/dressing for one week, then a fiberglass cast..which was supposed to be for 3 wks..but, when I had some skin problems at 1 wk..the surgeon switched me to an ulnar gutter hard plastic splint for 2 wks..which restricted motion as much as the cast..but, did allow me to take it off to shower ( a big deal...much easier than the plastic bag routine)

and when watching tv (no dogs or small children in my house and I had already impressed her with my compliance and caution) and to start physical therapy.

Sleeping was impossible for the 4 wks of splint/cast/hard splint...the first week requires constant elevation even when sleeping..and even after that...I could NOT find a comfortable position..and only slept about 3 hrs per night..which made me a bit cranky <G>

 

I learned there are a number of small but, important things one cannot do with just one arm:

 

1-cannot tie shoes

2-cannot put on socks

3-cannot open a bottle of water

4-cannot peel a banana

5-cannot cut a sandwich roll

 

I think you get the idea from the above list :)

 

IF your other arm is "normal"...you will find you can do a lot with that one arm.

For me, the biggest problem was that my "other" arm is not healthy...had elbow contracture release surgery on it in June and the wrist is totally gone..will need a wrist replacement soon...have only 15 degrees flexion or extension in that wrist and restricted pronation/supination also. So, basically, I had one wrist immobilized and only 25% use of the other arm :(

 

I was very, very slow with what I could do...shower, bathroom, dressing,etc

and needed help for SO much..and I am very independent and hate to need help..it was very hard !  Also, my hubby wants to help..but, is clueless around the house and does not get home from work till 7pm every night.

 

I am now 7 wks out from surgery and only wear a fabric/velcro splint (like a carpal tunnel splint) for grocery shopping, lifting stuff and sleeping. I go to physical therapy 2 times a week and have already regained most of the wrist flexion/extension and pronation/supination.  I still am not allowed to lift anything heavier than a can of Diet Coke with the surgical arm...and that is hard in the kitchen or shopping...but, being able to keyboard, fold laundry. etc is a big help 

 

I was able to drive (carefully) after the first week...surgeon understood that I just had to drive my son the 30 miles each was to his private school :)  And not being stuck in the house did help my mental health too !

 

Sorry this is so long...but, even the best docs don't seem to give this much detail about what to expect post-op :)  Please feel free to ask me any other questions you may have...and good luck !

 

nancy

Reply
mom4life, Community Member
3/27/10 7:07pm

That was perfect! Exactly the kind of stuff no one will tell you! My husband has been trying to get me to admit that this is more involved than the carpal tunnel procedure originally planned!

 

I get terrified because of how quickly this has progressed. Last year I was just a normal mom, and now I feel like my body is a hundred years old. My hands are the worst of it, though, so hopefully, this will improve some with the surgery. I have another one on the horizon, but I am waiting to schedule it until I see how this goes!

 

Thank you again for this valuable information!

Christine

Reply
kdmom, Community Member
3/27/10 7:11pm

hi 

 

glad that info was helpful..wish someone had told me !

I have the greatest respect and fondness for my hand surgeon..and she explained the surgery itself very well..but about afterwards said very little...

 

how old are your children ?  getting lunchboxes ready and kids off to school is hard, esp. when you don't sleep much !  I will confess, I cried every day for the first two weeks...wasn't until I started seeing the physical therapist that I felt like there was some hope for me :)

 

please feel free to email me directly at nnfoster@gmail.com if you wish...

 

good luck

nancy

Reply
mom4life, Community Member
3/27/10 7:18pm

Thank you!

 

My kids are 10, 8, 7, and 5.

 

It's worse than that...we homeschool! Absolutely love it, but am glad I got your heads up on the long recovery...I will put together their lessons plans for at least the two weeks. Right now, my mom is supposed to keep them Tuesday (surgery day) and Wednesday, but after that, I don't have a great plan. They are helpful, but the littlest one still needs Mom for a lot. My husband works close by, but I am thinking that maybe I should plan on childcare at least a week.

 

I am fortunate that the week after, they are actually going to school for their yearly exams, but like you say, I have to deal with uniforms and lunches...eeek! I will gmail.

 

I don't know anyone who can even pronounce tenosynovitis!

C

Reply
Gustaf, Community Member
5/21/12 4:00pm
Had this surgery 3 days ago on my dominant left wrist and have not even needed to take anything for pain. Same day I was able to do everything I was unable to do without intense pain. Advised not to lift more than 1 pound with affected hand for a couple of weeks but already I am able to use my hand in every direction without pain, only soreness from the surgery. Also had carpal tunnel surgery on right wrist with similar spectacular results 2 years ago. Reply
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By kdmom, Community Member— Last Modified: 05/21/12, First Published: 02/01/10