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Old 01-26-2019, 06:46 AM
Location: Wonderland
43,183 posts, read 34,620,377 times
Reputation: 60777


Originally Posted by Readabook View Post
Hi Kathryn- I have been searching all over for tfcc surgery info and I was wondering if you got better or ended up having surgery- I think that is in the cards for me.... How are you?
Hey, good to hear from you!

I DID NOT HAVE SURGERY AND I FEEL LIKE I DODGED A BULLET. Thanks for asking because I should have updated this thread already!

I had two TFCC tears - one with some blood flow and a decent chance of healing, and the other is a central tear, no blood flow, no chance basically of ever healing.

I ended up getting a cortisone shot, then wearing a cast for about five weeks, then wearing a splint for months, months I tell you. They started me on PT but quit it within a few weeks because it seemed to irritate things. I developed several cysts that looked like BBs under my skin in several places around my wrist and under my thumb. At one point I developed DuQuervain's Syndrome, which is basically an inflammation of the thumb tendons and WOW was it ever painful - enough to make me cry a few times, which is saying something. Honestly, for a few months there, probably about 5 months total, I was wondering if I was ever going to recover from this. And then my RIGHT wrist also started hurting, in exactly the same way, so though I didn't get an MRI and all that jazz on it, I immediately put it in a splint as well. Wasn't I lovely? LOL But I seemed to catch the right wrist thing a lot earlier than I did the left wrist. I immediately recognized the type of pain and I knew what to do first.

I switched hand specialists. The first one was headed full bore toward surgery. I got a second opinion. This doctor, who is also a hand specialist, told me that the wrist is so persnickety, once you go in there, you can cause more drama - there's so little room to maneuver and so many bones, tendons, ligaments, nerves, blood vessels, cartilage, etc. He recommended a more conservative, longer term approach of splinting, icing, and taking anti-inflammatory meds twice a day every day whether I felt like doing it or not.

Apparently this slowly worked. I had wrapped my head around a long recovery time anyway, because that is one thing everyone agreed on - that recovery can take up to a year. Right now I'm ten months out and about 80 percent recovered. Both doctors did tell me that I probably will never be 100 percent again because of that inoperable and unhealable central tear.

There is a test you can do at home with a non digital scale. You put it on a hard surface and get down on your knees and press down on the scale. Average, normal weight pressing is somewhere between 80 and 120 lbs (usually 80 for women and upward for men). When I started this, I was at only FIVE POUNDS for my left hand. Now I am up to about 45.

ROM exercises are also good but be careful and do not overdo these. In this case, pain is NOT gain. Do not "push through the pain."

Doctor #1 wanted to give me another cortisone shot but Doctor #2 said let's try anti inflammatory meds first, and those were very effective, along with regular icing, mostly in the evenings. I used Meloxicam but it did sort of upset my stomach, so I switched to Advil Extra Strength, which was absolutely as effective with no side effects. My husband takes Meloxicam occasionally with no side effects though.

In my opinion, cortisone shots can be very effective for swelling but they are potentially VERY problematic for tendons, so I chose to try to avoid those. I mean, I got one but I wasn't about to go in every few months and get a cortisone shot.

Tell me what your situation is! And good luck by the way.
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Old Today, 05:23 PM
3 posts, read 62 times
Reputation: 10
Hello back! I just checked this and maybe you just responded- perfect timing as I see doc tomorrow. I also have seen several hand surgeons, first scared me to death with all she was going to do.Second shrugged, third is very deberate. I had a second MRI arthrogram last week which showed partial thickness tearing of the peripheral TFCC styloid strut, meniscal homologue and ulnar extrinsic ligaments. THis doc is very conservative and not pushing surgery- will see what she says tomorrow. I am so over this gnawing pain- it has been 5 mos. I fell on outstretched hand. SO stupid.
I have had two cortisone shots. Wore a splint for a bit and tried wrist widget, which does not fit me well.
And like you- other wrist acting up, other elbow acting up. I feel like I am falling apart. But your story is SO encouraging. I'll let you know what I do. Maybe I hang on thru summer...I did want to see a hand OT as I am so deconditioned- But exercising on my own hurts.. I have done then scale test- I am about 45 lbs with each wrist- my wrist kills after doing it!
Were you by any chance also on the FB page for ulnar pain? A woman there also mentioned getting de Guervains I think... I am getting crazy tennis elbow...
Ok- stay tuned- but your news is so encouraging. ox
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Old Today, 05:24 PM
3 posts, read 62 times
Reputation: 10
and can I ask what brace helped you the most?
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