Update on my wrist ………….

This is Sunday and I had surgery on Wednesday morning. I’ve had arthritis in thisL wrist that has been a bother for a few year. I had tried conservative means of dealing with it, like NSAIDS and a spica splint. About a year ago I decided to find an orthopedic hand surgeon to see what else I could do.

That inquiry led me to Donald Sheridan, MD in Scottsdale. I have been seeing him for a little over a year and had 3 different episodes of cortisone injections to help with the inflammation and pain. They helped a lot in the beginning but the 3rd go round was a total bust.

This X-ray shows the arthritis over two of the carpals in my wrist. It is considered a 4.5/5 on the rating scale. You should be able to see a couple of bones there, instead you see what looks like a cotton ball.

The surgery I had is the second most common wrist surgery following carpal tunnel procedures. I had a trapeziectomy with an FCR suspension arthroplasty. Dr. Sheridan removed the trapezium (circled in red below) and built a joint out of existing tendon. Fortunately, our bodies have plenty of tendons, more than we need. He used the FCR tendon, which runs from the 2nd metacarpal (where the green arrow points) up to where it attaches to the radius. It is actually much longer than this. The end attached to the 2nd metacarpal stays attached. At the radius end, he took about 1/2 the width of that tendon, harvested it and moved it back to the space the trapezium occupied. He weaved it in and out of the other tendons in the area, stitching it as he went. It creates a suspension joint and will work just like the one it replaced. The beauty about his technique is that it doesn’t involve any pins, screws or anything artificial. The thumb and index finger will return to normal function with healing and physical therapy. I have a pin that runs from my 1st metacarpal to my second (thumb to index finger) to stabilize these bones while I heal. On December 28, this dressing comes off and the stitches come out. There are 2 incisions, one over the joint and two where the tendon was harvested. I will get a regular cast that day and it will continue to cover the pin. About 2 1/2 to 3 weeks after that, the cast comes off and the pin comes out. I will have a splint and be able to start therapy at that time. Over 4 weeks, I will gradually wean myself out of the splint. Full range of motion is usually seen by 3 months with the ability to perform all activities in 6 months. My strength will continue to improve even after 6 months have passed.

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