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Any potters with PRC wrist surgery out there?


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First let me say its been years since I have posted here and never on this new format-I have been potters council member for many years. My studio goes threw about 10 tons a year of porcelain
I'm a production potter who has just had wrist surgery and am down to only one hand for awhile.the procedure is called proximal row carpectomy-where your lower 3 bones in wrist are removed.-
its my right hand which is my dominant one.
The surgery was done by one of the top hand surgeons on the west coast at ucsf
I did get another opinion as well before going ahead with this.
Sorry about the typing/caps/etc/as its one hand type job.
My question is any potters out there who have had this done???
and if so hows the wrist working now and how long where you out?
I'm on pain meds for 3 weeks so i'm bit fuzzy.
Seems I injured my wrist 25-30 years ago and it just caught up with me the past year
Mark Cortright
www.liscomhillpottery.com

 

PS an update 3 years after surgery-if you found this on Google searching for PRC info I suggest calling me and talking to me about this procedure and the rehab-you can find my phone # thru the web address for my pottery business just below this line

If I had someone to talk to before the surgery that would have helped . A few have called already.I'm now on the 3 year mark after surgery.

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I have never heard of that but please keep us posted on your recovery. It sounds terrible. I had both hands operated for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome almost 30 years ago.

The recovery was slower than it is now. I am having pain in my thumbs for the last few years and wrists, shoulders...old age coming!

Marcia

 

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Mark let us know how you get a long with your surgery I have carpal tunnel and a ganglia cyst in my right wrist but haven't had it fixed. I tried to have the cyst removed but when I woke up from surgery nothing had happened, they said it was to deep and involved to many bones, but that was 40 years ago. Good Luck Denice

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I have never heard of that but please keep us posted on your recovery. It sounds terrible. I had both hands operated for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome almost 30 years ago.

The recovery was slower than it is now. I am having pain in my thumbs for the last few years and wrists, shoulders...old age coming!

Marcia

 

 

 

I had carpal trouble about 15 years ago, and after reading several letters in Ceramics monthly, and in other journals, started taking B-6. It seemed to relieve the problem so I kept it up, and still have had no problems. A few years back a major study was run that debunked the use of B-6, so evidently it doesn't work, but I haven't stopped taking it. There have been several folks with the CT surgery in my area, and there has been mixed results. I have also known of one case with the surgery where some bones were removed, and the persons recovery took a long time. My son had to have wrist fused after a bike/auto accident. It really messed him up, and later the fusing separated, causing lots of pain. Tough in his line of work as he is a chef.

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I wish you well in your recovery, mark! It must be/have been incredibly painful/bothersome and affecting your quality of life for you/your doctor to make the decision to undergo surgery.

 

I wouldn't compare the two surgeries, but since "carpal" has been mantioned in this conversation I wanted to add that I had the surgery on my left (primary) hand 3 years ago which went well....though it >does< take a bit of time to heal/etc. (diagnosed as "severe" and I was in surgery 3 days after the diagnosis)

 

The pain/inconvienence for a month or so was definitely worth losing the symptoms of numbness/tingling and my entire arm "going to sleep" each night.

 

hang tough, mark.

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I have never heard of that but please keep us posted on your recovery. It sounds terrible. I had both hands operated for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome almost 30 years ago.

The recovery was slower than it is now. I am having pain in my thumbs for the last few years and wrists, shoulders...old age coming!

Marcia

 

 

 

I had carpal trouble about 15 years ago, and after reading several letters in Ceramics monthly, and in other journals, started taking B-6. It seemed to relieve the problem so I kept it up, and still have had no problems. A few years back a major study was run that debunked the use of B-6, so evidently it doesn't work, but I haven't stopped taking it. There have been several folks with the CT surgery in my area, and there has been mixed results. I have also known of one case with the surgery where some bones were removed, and the persons recovery took a long time. My son had to have wrist fused after a bike/auto accident. It really messed him up, and later the fusing separated, causing lots of pain. Tough in his line of work as he is a chef.

 

 

Not meaning to sideline the topic, but rather add a little more info to the 'wrist injury' aspect with my carpal tunnel experience.

 

Three years after moving here (Sweden) from the USA I began having problems with both wrists and self diagnosed Carpal Tunnel Syndrome as the malady. Coming from the US, I had known numerous people that had this and it seemed surgery was generally always the solution. So that was my thinking, though being a woodcarver, I have a fear of knives being used on me in carving techniques ....unsure.gif

 

Upon seeing a doctor, he confirmed my suspicions but seemed puzzled when I asked what were my options. I mentioned surgery and he just laughed and said, 'we don't do that over here as it isn't reliable.' His only option it seems was to make an appointment for me to see a Physical Therapist.

 

A few days later, I met the PT (herself a ceramist) and she gave me two soft velcroed wrist binding/braces, which looked almost identical to what I've seen some professional bowlers use on occasion. These I was to wear while sleeping and some part of the day for a couple of weeks. Additionally she showed me a number of finger-hand-wrist-arm movement exercises that I was to do for ten minutes four or five times/day. Then after the CTS subsided, I was to continue doing these exercises two or three times per day plus was advised that when doing repetitive hand movements... like in carving, construction or working clay... to take rest stops for at least fifteen minutes every couple of hours followed by the exercises.

 

My CTS problems ended within two weeks of my meeting with the therapist and after nine years I can say that I have not been bothered since, even though I admit being somewhat lackadaisical about sticking absolutely to the exercise regiment. I try to though, really!

 

Certainly saved me lots of money (from surgery plus related costs), lost recuperation time and the trauma from being the new medium for a carving with knives! laugh.gif Now if I can just keep that 'old age' that's creeping on, at bay for a couple more decades, I'll feel I have won out over the CTS.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm out of cast past few days after a two day trip to UCSF in San Francisco doing rehab exercises 4-5 times a day with ice and heat-they are painful-surgeon said pain is my only limiting factor

Teaching my fingers/hand to move agin will be a very slow process-The tendons are very sore and now that 3 bones are gone its a bit sore as well

Its all up to me now with rehab-I'm going to occupational hand therapist twice a week now.Now the work begins-clay seems a long way off still

Thank my stars I did tons of work before surgery to feed my outlets next few months.

Mark

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  • 1 month later...

Physical Therapy is coming right along- (its a no pain no gain deal) I can write again with a pen and starting to hold a steering wheel (truck)

I can open most doorknobs now. I can hold a spoon but hand/wrist is still very weak as tendons are still not happy-swelling is way down-I spared you all from nasty surgery photo

I can dig thru pottery boxs for galleries now ( todays chore)

I am thinking about throwing a few small bowls in next few week to help with wrist strengthening

Looks like another month or two I'll be almost good as new.

I wish I had something simple like carpel tunnel which is a east fix ( my friends say who had it fixed)

.Mark

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I wish I had something simple like carpel tunnel which is a east fix ( my friends say who had it fixed)

.Mark

 

 

 

I've had surgery on both wrists for carpal tunnel and it was a breeze compared to what your problem sounds like; I was fishing after a couple of days and back at work (carpenter) in about ten.

 

Best wishes for your continuing recovery.

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Physical Therapy is coming right along- (its a no pain no gain deal) I can write again with a pen and starting to hold a steering wheel (truck)

I can open most doorknobs now. I can hold a spoon but hand/wrist is still very weak as tendons are still not happy-swelling is way down-I spared you all from nasty surgery photo

I can dig thru pottery boxs for galleries now ( todays chore)

I am thinking about throwing a few small bowls in next few week to help with wrist strengthening

Looks like another month or two I'll be almost good as new.

I wish I had something simple like carpel tunnel which is a east fix ( my friends say who had it fixed)

.Mark

 

 

 

I just saw this thread! Wow sounds like quite the ordeal. I wish you all the best with your recovery. T

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Hi,

I had the same procedure about a year ago and I am now immobilized in a thermoplastic splint which has been removed while the therapy. My wrist Edema and pain were controlled by appropriate techniques such as edema massage, TENS, NMES, fluidotherapy, or cryotherapy.

---) My wrist is now in a good condition as I also used to get the therapy by an expert surgeon of brustverkleinerung situated nearby and gentle A.R.O.M of my wrist was initiated. R.O.M was progressing very steadily and according to my pain tolerance.

Lastly I wanted to say that the return to full duty work depends on the type of job or tasks you are planning to do.

Thanks

Andrya

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  • 10 months later...

Well it’s been one year almost to the day since I joined this forum.

 

I was looking for any potters who had had my type of wrist surgery a PRC

 

Where the first three bones in wrist are cut out and thejoint is what it is.

 

Well yesterday I drove to San Francisco to see my surgeon and get fresh x-rays.

 

She is one of the top west coast wrist and elbow jointsurgeons.

 

So here’s the report on my wrist-I have exceeded her expectations in movement/mobility and grip. The surgery was done January 3rd2012 on my right wrist –I now have 100 lbs grip-left hand is 140 on grip for a comparison-I’m right handed. She has never seen this much grip after a PRC-so I got a A+.

 

My mobility is 60% of other wrist, which is also an A+-

 

So I’m to baby this wrist the rest of my life as far as jarring/beating/hammering, prying but throwing pots has done wonders for recovery.

 

As far as over working it I have done it three times this fall and it takes about 3 weeks for the tendonitis to heal-Hey I’m a pottert during x-mass season so work goes on then with rest it gets better-no worries.

 

I feel it’s about 85% of what it used to be so I’m happy as one can be about this limitation. So that’s the update- full time pottery is possible after a PRC surgery.

 

During this year I got to know many new friends here and have shared some stuff along the way. I have talked to some of you via the phone as well as mailing some stuff out to others and mentored via skype. All this from one question asked a year ago-it’s a small world my friends.

 

Mark

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Thanks for the update about your surgery and rehab afterwards. It's great that you're doing so well. Congratulations on the good grade from the doctor!

 

Even though I mostly lurk on these forums, I always enjoy reading your posts, so I hope we will continue to hear from you.

 

Susan

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  • 1 month later...

First let me say its been years since I have posted here and never on this new format-I have been potters council member for many years. My studio goes threw about 10 tons a year of porcelain

I'm a production potter who has just had wrist surgery and am down to only one hand for awhile.the procedure is called proximal row carpectomy-where your lower 3 bones in wrist are removed.-

its my right hand which is my dominant one.

The surgery was done by one of the top hand surgeons on the west coast at ucsf

I did get another opinion as well before going ahead with this.

Sorry about the typing/caps/etc/as its one hand type job.

My question is any potters out there who have had this done???

and if so hows the wrist working now and how long where you out?

I'm on pain meds for 3 weeks so i'm bit fuzzy.

Seems I injured my wrist 25-30 years ago and it just caught up with me the past year

Mark Cortright

liscom hill pottery

 

 

well I didn't have that but i did have to have a bone graft on my left scaphoid (non dominant hand after fracturing it playing football and they tried to heal it without surgery at first but 8 months later they realized that i t wont work so surgery was the only option for me if i ever wanted close to the original moment I had. The surgery was a success and took 6 weeks to heal. While i couldn't do anything big i was able to do bowls with one hand still and other small things. However i don't have fully motion back and i will probably develop arthritis later in life i do have most of what i had back, though sometimes it hurts if i try to bend it in certain ways.

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  • 7 years later...

Well this was my 1st post on this site back in Jan.2012

I was hoping to find a potter with this issue I could get advice from-seems I have given advice to many since then.

since then I have recovered well -it took about 6 months to get to be able to throw small stuff again

Wrist is working  now but not pain free. It was for about 6-7 years now it's slowly getting less happy.

This surgery was 3 bones taken out of right wrist.

Now my left thumb is slowing failing-I had a sterriod shot in the joint 2 years ago with great results

It was good for over 1 year, zero issues now it drifed into a bad place. My wife has the same issue in the same left thumb.

Last Wednesday we made a 13 hour roadd trip down and back to a top hand surgeon -same lady that gave us steriod shots a few yaers ago.

After a full work up with 3 xray views each of our thumbs she gave us the news both of our thumbs are bone on bone with no margins between them. My wifes in worse on one side mine is worse on the other side-mine has some narly bone spurs- and is a bit worse off -she outlined the 3 surgical procedures for this condition-they all remove the trapezium bone

None sound great but all sound like they make you pain free. We are for now going with the steriod shots when needed for pain-hopefuuy this will buy us some more years before the knife. The recovery is a solid 3-4 months

I centrer pushing up on part of my palm which is under the thumb and is super painful and she said that I could still push on that part of palm after the surgery.

Basically the 3 types (all remove that bone) are the anchovy surgery--more old school where they take part of a wrist tendion and roll it up like a spit ball and pack it into the missing bone space. I knew about this back in 2012 when They thought my thumb was toast before figuring out my wrist was toast.

I will not have this done-I know of issues down the road with that technique that are not good when the tendon wears out

the other two are similar -one is they take part of a tendion and hook it between your index finger and thumb and use stainless screws to attach it. This can work well but you can reject the foreign objects as I know someone who then had to have the screws taken out.

the 3rd  is the same as the second but instead the screws are a  slowly desolvable material that bone filles in as it goes away and that is her technique. Shje has 5 years of doing it behind here-not as long as I would like. 

My wrist surgeon moved last year from San Francisco to be the top person at Yale in this field. 

I have another top hand surgeon to see before any surgery in the future for a secon opinion-I can say the x-rays told me my thumb is on borrowed time.

Seems like a life with clay is hard on the hands-

Next life I may choose to be a car salesmen -just point at a few showroom models now and then. Go into small rooms and make up stories on how the deal is oh so good for you .

Maybe I need to learn how to tie a tie before I leave this life.

 

 

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Mark,

Sorry to hear about the latest chapter in your hand pain. I have been dealing with a rt thumb where the joint between distal and proximal bones is shot literally. Dr. says there is nothing in the way of cartilage in the area as it died after the surgery 6 years ago. Motion in the thumb joint is limited with only about 20 degrees of movement. it can not even be forced past that. I also have arthritis in the trapezium and metacarpal joint a the thumb. I have found that it does not limit my throwing, actually feels better after throwing. 

I am an avid bowler, and the rt hand is my preferred. I had considered quitting and then found an adjustable thumb hole system that allows me to change thumb holes to match the size of the thumb, yes it changes size depending on the weather. The thumb has bone spurs, and the last osteo surgeon told me to remove them would cause more pain, and they would eventually grow back and that they were actually keeping the joint aligned protecting me from more pain.  I won't have another surgery. 

Getting older. . .Golden Years. . . humpff! They didn't tell us they were so tarnished!

 

best,

Pres

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I don't have the same problem but I am the same age.   I had carpal tunnel surgery and flip finger surgery last  September and still haven't completely healed.  My wrist scar swells up and shoots pains into my wrist  and palm if i use it to much.   My finger is  either curled up in the morning or hurting and stiff until it is warmed up.    My husband wants me to see another hand doctor.   I am going to give it some more time to heal.  Denice  

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2 hours ago, Benzine said:

Sorry to hear that Mark.  Probably not a lot that you could have done to avoid it, other than to not do pottery for decades huh?

What caused the issue with your wife's thumb?

My guess is she has to much computer time with the state of Cal job (now retired) and has hyper mobility in all joints which can be bad later like now.

Denice finding the 1st class hand doctor is key-I have to go 6 hours into the big city (SF) to see a top notch hand surgeon.

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12 hours ago, Mark C. said:

My guess is she has to much computer time with the state of Cal job (now retired) and has hyper mobility in all joints which can be bad later like now.

Denice finding the 1st class hand doctor is key-I have to go 6 hours into the big city (SF) to see a top notch hand surgeon.

The organic multi-tool at the ends of our arms, haven't quite kept up with all the modern demands, that we put on them.

Our necks and upper backs are also paying the price...

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Been there and done that twice, Mark...This was posted back in Nov 2019. The second hand was done back in 2016 and both hands work perfectly more than 4 years later. 

I had the bone-on-bone problem with both my hands due to arthritis and decades of wear and tear in the construction business. The solution was surgery that removed the trapezius bone at the base of the thumb joint. The procedure is called "Carpometacarpal joint hematoma distraction arthroplasty". In this version of the operation, the bone is removed and your thumb is pinned to your forefinger for six weeks while your hand is kept in a cast to minimize the use of the joint. After that, the cast and pins were removed and I went through physical therapy, twice a week for about 6 weeks. Home exercises continued after the PT. I got full, unfettered use of my hand after about 6 months. When I was fully recovered from the operation on my right hand, I had the left hand done.  There is a version of this procedure where the surgeon takes part of a tendon in your forearm, splits it lengthwise and rolls it up like an anchovy and secures it in the space where the trapezius bone was. I've spoken to folks that had the "Anchovy procedure" done and had problems afterward and some who were OK with the procedure. I am totally happy with the outcomes on both hands. The problem might be finding a surgeon who does the procedure I had done. (My surgeon is in the Dignity Health system. I can pm his name if you have access,) In either case, I have regained full, pain free use of both hands. Here is an x-ray of the pinned thumb. You can see where the bone was removed in the dark space below the pins:305131994_view0002sm.jpg.2da3d0c5a9a9d9bfe8607f6bad1d2f47.jpg Good luck with your decision on how to proceed taking care of your problem. (The downside of this procedure is the amount of time you will be away from the wheel. The major upside is being able to throw pain free!)

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