Can't make a fist, straighten hand after wrist surgery 4 weeks ago

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Would appreciate to please hear of others experiences.

Five weeks ago fell and broke my wrist. Shattered a few bones. Had a cast for a few days until surgery -4 weeks ago. They put a plate in my wrist. Then they put a short cast for about 10 days. On the 21st of July my surgeon removed my cast and put a bandage. Obviously my hand is swollen and at a position like the image i uploaded.

A few days ago i started occupational therapy and was given an orthosis. The therapist told me that my hand is at a bad position.

She told me that i need to have the orthosis and arm slong pouch on at all times.

With the orthosis on it is straighter but when i take it off i have to force it not to fall. I still can't make a fist and can't bend my thumb on its own. My hand is swollen.

Today, my wrist  and arm feel sore.

This is my dominant hand.

Is it ok that i still cant make a fist or move my thumb on its own? That my hand is bent? I am a computer programmer. How long till i will be able to type? In 3 weeks the therapist will start working on moving my wrist.


5 likes, 249 replies

249 Replies

  • Posted

    Do not despair. You are in the very very early throws of recovery. I had a fractured distal radius and ulna after a fall downstairs 11 weeks ago. 10 weeks post orif and plate and screws today . I too am struggling to get my poor wrist moving and it's getting me down .... But ... Although it's very little it is improving very slowly. I didn't realise how long this will take to get going and I'm in tears most days but I won't let it beat me. My arm looked exactly like yours when the cast came off 4 weeks post op. They wanted it off 2 weeks post op but plaster room had already put the fibre glass one on and I couldn't face them removing it again!! I stayed in it 2 weeks before it was removed. Still early than the normal 6 weeks.

    I think you just need to hang in there and what you are experiencing is perfectly normal. Have you any numbness. I have in my thumb which still has not resolved. Good luck in your recovery

    • Posted


      I am also in tears - kinda feeling sorry for myself wink.

      I can feel my fingers - my dear friend decided to take it upon himself and check if i had feelings with the help of a fork biggrin. I can't bend my thumb but no tingling feeling. My one finger since yesterday has been hurting when i try to bend it with the help of my other hand.

      Are you back at work? Driving? Typing?

    • Posted

      Hi Vicky I no it was a year ago you broke your wrist I've just broken mine and had a plate and 10 screws I can't move my fingers or thumb mine was only 3 weeks ago and still in a cast I was wondering how yours is now did it recover fully thanks 🙂

    • Posted

      It’s now 17 months since I broke my wrist and I’m sorry to say things haven’t really improved all that much. I developed CRPS and unable to supinate/pronate fully at all. Swelling and pain still a problem and a further op to remove my plate and screws as they thought this might help movement hasn’t helped much at all :-( life is not as I knew it but I’m slowly trying to come to terms with it and adapt as much as i can.  I miss a good roast as hot, heavy things I can’t get out of the oven! I’ve had to change my car for an automatic and am in the process of applying for another job as I can’t manage the one I had. Such a loss for me. Some days are worse than others but on the plus side I’m not crying every day now!! Sometimes you’ve just got to accept what life throws at you. Hope you recover much better than me and quickly x
    • Posted

      It is early days for you Flossi. I broke mine this year 13th August, I had my operation for plate and screws for a broken Radius near the wrist joint. I tried early on to do as much finger movement that cast would allow. My cast was on two weeks. It is two months since my accident. I can make a fist and touch all fingers witg my thumb. I can unscrew jars, if not too tight. I have been able to do my knitting. My wrist does ache at times. But early days yet. It takes time forall the soft tissues inside to adjust.


    • Posted

      You can still early on. As soon as you get cast off try to start moving your hand. And do everything they tell you. Finding a hand specialist for physical therapy would be beneficial. It's going to hurt. And we've all come to realize might never be the same. But it does get better from the early days. Sorry you had to join our club

    • Posted

      Vicky sorry your last surgery hasn't helped like you were hoping. I'm beginning to think the same for me. Just trying to learn to live with my limitations.

    • Posted

      Hey vicky. That sounds horrible :-/. What was the reason you developped CRPS? Was it a mistake by the doctors? Did you make enough exercises after your cast had been removed? (manual lymph drainage, physio therapy?)

      I hope I don't get CRPS as well, I'm feeling a constant tingle in the heel of my hand for a week now...

      I hope you get well completely!

    • Posted

      hello. I have been watching your conversations for  quite a while but  have not felt confident enough to join in.   I am only typing in lower case as  it is awkward and can be painful to type with my left, broken wrist.  your comments have kept me going through this bad dream of an experience, just to know I am not alone, although I would not wish this on anyone.   I fell backwards from standing and broke  both bones in my left wrist in june and a small piece of bone broke off inside as the first cast was being applied.  I was not offered any pain relief when my hand was stretched to set my wrist and when my fingers slipped out of the stretchers  the procedure was stopped altho' I had not felt pain at all. I did not have surgery as was nearly 80 at the time and perhaps doctor thought it would be risky. i was relieved when he agreed to just put my wrist in a cast as  was told I would probably have a full range of movement   and did not want to spend time in hospital.  my hand swelled a lot and i had 3 different casts put on, finally a splint.  as the last cast was removed I experienced a large blast of pain. there was pain around the ulna bone and the 'nurse' in attendance said I had some nerve pain which needed me to do 'therapy' on it to prevent complications. since I did not understand those instructions I got into occupational therapy within days. my fingers were stiff and swollen and the wrist would not move forward or backwards. after dozens of o.t. appointments I can use my fingers fairly normally but by the end of the day pain is pretty bad,in fact I had an injection of morphine 10 days ago as pain put my blood pressure up so high. it has been suggested that I could have crps but not confirmed, another diagnosis was that my hand was injured by the cast being left on too long. either way it has had a huge impact on my life, my wrist will not bend backward or far forward so I can't cut my food. I have driven only 3 times since my fall and only along straight roads, no hand brake or hard  wheel turning.  I do admire you all getting on with your lives, especially as you are all probably younger than me. my wrist is deformed but I can live with that, at my age who notices. even my non- bendable wrist and stiff left shoulder  would be bearable but the pain as you will  know is depressing and anxiety creating.  I can fully understand you crying every day, I  get frightened when I realise how dependant I have become on my husband, he cuts my food  even if we call into a tea shop with friends ( I carry an ice pack with me)  he has had to take over much of what were my responsibilities.  the palm of my hand is swollen all of the time, I had a steroid injection which reduced swelling on the back of my hand. the pain I get is either around the ulna bone or back of hand. like a needle stabbing. also on back of hand, new bone growth gets warm and hurts, seems to be buttons, zips and fiddly finger things that starts it off. even my o t exercises aggravate it. I have that weird super sensitive patches of skin too but I can live with that, as you probably know brushing those areas with soft  then coarser fabrics helps to desensitise those areas . I have pain killers which I now take at least twice a day.  i don't like that as at my age they can affect balance. I am so grateful that my injuries were not worse but wonder how  you have managed to come to such acceptance, did you have counselling or alternative therapies? what are the drs. doing about you pain? how do you manage it so that you can get on with your life? i can see that you have had to make huge changes to your life and am so sorry,  do your drs.  give you any idea how long the pain and swelling will last?

      I am sorry if I have depressed you, I think you are very strong and brave.

      I would love to hear from you and will share any tips I come across.

    • Posted

      Hi sophia,

      I do so sympathise with what you are going through since your break.

      I too broke my wrist very badly after falling backwards & had screws & plate put in Nov 17th 2017. The pain you mention is how I felt also. After numerous PT & O T treatments it was hardly getting any better.

      You mention your shoulder is also painful. I developed FS & had hrdrodilitation to try & release it as it had a knock on effect with my wrist. However, my shoulder is about 75% better after 6/7 months which Im not happy about. I wonder if you have this also.

      The surgeon then decided to remove my plate & screws under local anaesthetic about 3 mths ago & to this day I still cannot bend my wrist forward or backwards.

      I canot make a clenched fist fully even though I had my fingers manipulated under local also.

      I developed CRPS & this has eased but not fully gone.

      I have had so many ups & downs since my accident but Im at the stage now that I feel it will never get any better.

      Im due to see my surgeon next Monday who will decide if Im to have another manipulation under local to try & get movement in my wrist.

      I will go ahead with it as I just need to get the use back of my hand/wrist & be able to do things for myself.

      I still live in hope.

      I do understand how you are feeling & my thoughts are with you. Do not give takes a little longer as we get older....

    • Posted

      I put the wrong was Nov 17th 2016....
    • Posted

      thank you so much elaine for your prompt reply, it was just what I needed, understanding and support . I will write more later. today was taken up with an orthopaedic visit, i was sick with nerves before hand and exhausted now, I know you will understand. I will be in touch soon. thanks again and best wishes.
    • Posted

      Sophia,  just over six months ago I too was in motorcycle accident and among several fractures one fracture was comminuted fracture of the left radius.  I'm 69, 68 at the time of the accident.  You should get better but I can't tell you that it will eventually be like it never happened cause I don't know, I'll give it a year to start making that evaluation.  Why are you sick with nerves and why the exhaustion?

    • Posted

      gmorey thank you for responding.  your accident sounds very painful and I imagine it takes a while to recover from the shock of something like that too.  you are very right to give it a year, I am told these things take a long time to settle.  occasional despair seems to be a normal part  of recovery from these injuries as does anxiety and depression for some people.  (sorry no capitals as typing with one hand). i am still having o.t./physio. and am referred to a pain clinic.  hope you heal well and can return to  riding  your motorcycle again if that is your plan. i know several people who broke their wrists in the past and all are leading normal lives now, some with just minor loss of wrist/arm or hand function which I wouldn't  have noticed unless  they showed me,  so we should be no different. i guess they all felt as we do when they were first injured.   i often feel i am making no progress but know i have really.  we too  will put this behind us one day.  with all good wishes for your future. sophia

    • Posted

      hello elaine.sorry it took so long to get back to you. i answered a couple of others then gave in to a bout of self pity. still feeling a bit rocky but realise my problem is small compared with so many other peoples. i have been pain free for 2 days and so grateful for that. not being able to use my left wrist  or arm/shoulder properly makes me so anxious though.  I have had lots of therapy on my hand and fingers so they work quite well although the hand/wrist sometimes gets very painful. I have had no therapy on my shoulder or lower arm which worries me after all this time.  I can't cut my own food or hold my plate properly. thank you for telling me about the hydrodilitation,   i will  mention that to my doctor next visit. i never had surgery so cant compare my results with yours, I wonder if I may be offered manipulation under anaesthetic, it doesn't seem to have helped you and I fear it making things worse. is it painful?  i cant bend my wrist back at all and only a little way forward. I am afraid to try too hard to exercise as ended up getting a morphine shot last week when I did over do it. i am waiting for pain management appointment and will pass on any thing I might hear that could be useful to you. I have been told it could take 18 months for me to feel better, one surgeon online says 2 years is more like it. i am reassured by the fact that that your crps has eased, i may have that  too and it is good that it can eventually get better. i would have thought you would have had therapy on your hand by a hand occupational therapist, i would nag your doctor for that if i were you.  my neighbour broke her wrist 20 years go and it is now so far in her past she forgets details. she golfs better than ever everyone says, she tells me she just has to remember to manually jog her lower arm  a tad before she  hits the ball. every thing else in her life is normal despite the fact that she broke her arm again 6 months later. i have Norco pills to take for pain but try without. i can imagine you would have had many ups and downs but i really think that these things continue to improve. i once had what they called a frozen shoulder and over years forgot about it as it returned to almost normal without treatment. my surgeon has one now and says he doesn't do anything for it, he says it will get better on its own. thank you so much for your comforting words, it is difficult not to get depressed especially with this bitter  weather and icy paths, i am paranoid about falling again ,i cant watch folks going up or down steps on tv!  now that is a bit o.t.t.  i think getting anxiety under control would help, did you find cbt helped? when i  broke my wrist  i thought 6 weeks in a cast then recovery. but i meet people who broke wrists 5 yrs ago and have almost forgotten why should we be different?  i wonder what you decide about the manipulation. was bone strengthening medicine (suggested to you?) i am thinking of you and wishing you well at your  latest appointment .

    • Posted

      Hi Sophia,

      So glad you have joined the forum, being on here has helped me a lot....not painwise lol....but hearing what other people have & are going through with a broken wrist.

      Firstly, feel free to ask anything that is bothering you about your wrist, not everybody suffers the same outcome but many do & have very similar related injury.

      I was put on Gapapenten after my 1st op for a few months, they did help but I didn't like being on tablets for too long so decided to come off them myself. You have to be monitored on these & drop them off gradually till you finish them. I then took co-codamol & also co-dydramol at different stages. 

      My problem was aggrevated by the fact I developed FS which hindered my physio treatment, so I then had hydrodilitation performed on my FS...that took some time to heal so that I could carry on with my hand treatment. 

      I knew I had mild arthritis in both my thumbs but nothing that I could not cope with or stopped me doing things. However, that has changed quite a lot now, especially on my right thumb on the wrist I broke. 

      I was not told to take any vitamins after my op until I asked my consultant questions months down the road....harm was already done then. I have a splint that I wear every day at work but remove when I am is still very painful. Sad really because I thought painwise I was coping. 

      MUA (manipulation under anaesthetic) was done last Sept which gave me some movement in my fingers, though I still cannot make a fist without the assistance of my other hand. I can live with that but cannot cope with the inabiity to bend my wrist wotsever. This will be my 3rd op to MUA my wrist...praying it works.

      I did find that my whole hand hurt during & after physio so I would do them for at least an hour in the bath, the hot water made it tolerable tbh. I do my chores all being a little slower or at times uncomfortable, but I needed to for peace of mind. This injury has caused havoc with my emotions, crying, feeling despondent & frustrated. I think it happens to so many people in our position but it does get times.

      My OT suggested I re educated my brain into thinking my bad hand was as good as my good hand also & funnily enough it kind of works. I used to put a large mirror between my knees with both hands either side of mirror & look at my good hand moving easily to make the brain feel the bad hand was also good....if you understand me!!

      At times I ease off doing exercises every day to give myself a break as advised by my hand specialist. It feels good until I start the routine again, but I will keep to that for now.

      Its been 14 months from initial break & certain things have improved, hoovering, dusting etc, I have been back at work  for about 10 months now, I do things a bit slower as pain usually kicks in after overuse.

      Springtime should cheer us up unlike this time of year smile

      Keep doing the physio to your ability as in time you will push yourself more as you progress.

      Keep in will get there..x


    • Posted

      hello elaine. thank you so much for replying to my post. I find it difficult to find out how this all works, I have mailed you before but different names reply too. I also don't know how to find the post I want sometimes and it takes ages going through them all.  i did have correspondence going with gmory and am glad that he seems to be making good progress as  do some of the other contributors.   at the moment I am just about to start gabapentin,  i am pleased to hear that it helped you and hope it  does actually do the trick for you altogether soon.  my right wrist is sore today from using it so I will keep this brief but I wanted you to let know I was still wanting to keep in touch with you.  one thing you may find interesting was that the pain management doc. told me it seems more likely someone will develop crps or ptps if there was stress of some sort surrounding their treatment at the time! that would certainly account for me.  I am amazed that you are back at work, well done.  that would be a huge step for me, how are you managing that? I wonder if psychologically it is good to return to a normal life. I will write more soon,  thank you again.  the contributors to this forum are all great aren't they? I am so pleased I found it. please keep in touch

    • Posted

      Hi Sophia,

      I too am so glad I found this forum.

      I did develop CRPS which is why they put me on gabapenten.

      I hate taking any form of tablets so taking those was a big thing for me.

      I did take them for a few months then came off them only to find it was too soon so had to start them longer on them now.

      There is another lady named Ali who has had a very rough time of it to. We compared symptoms & it was almost the same.

      I am still struggling to do my hair at the back because of the pain still in part of my shoulder through FS.

      Going back to work was my 1st goal, 2nd was being able to drive again...tick & small things likestyling my hair & doing my bra up.

      Almost there but still a long way to go, especially as my 3rd op has been confirmed😣

      Rest when you need, overdoing things could aggrevate the wrist but dnt stop. Its important to keep some movement...make sure you tell your physio & they will advise.

      Good many of us on this forum know what you are going through.

      Best wishes x

    • Posted

      hello elaine.thank you for your long takes me ages to find your post, i am not that skilled on computer so am stressed already!  i just want to let you know I have started on gabapentin,  up to 500 today and supposed to go up to 1800 in next few days.! did you ever have to take that much.? pain management specialist in Cambridge ( Abrahams) said only to exercise until I felt pain starts or even felt afraid pain will start  he said never push your hand/wrist beyond where  it hurts!

      am also told to try to treat bad hand as kindly as good one, when and she showed me small exercises to d, both hands at same time.  and to  massage both with nice smelling cream, guess guys would choose a bland one. idea is to prevent bad image of bad hand, treat as well as good one.  I am told I will get hand therapy, self hypnosis and maybe psych therapy for anxiety but you know how over worked nhs are.  I go to wsh, are you in that area? I will write more later, need to rest my brain for now. i am so encouraged that you are going back to work, what great progress. i get stressed just keeping dr. appts.  well done you. please keep in touch and tell me your experience of gabapentin. i already don't need painkillers much at all since on gabapentin.  this guy in Cambridge is a specialist in crps, he talks of giving me injections into the neck, a kind of block. sounds scary.   i will pass on anything else he tells me. he believes stress is a big factor and I do notice the pain is worse when I am stressed.. which is most of the time lately!  I look forward to hearing from you and wish you all the best back at work and the future.

    • Posted

      hello elaine. I am now on 1800 mg  of gabapentin with no side effects, i still get some wrist pain but it is probably not nerve pain. i am booked to have a ganglion block in about 3  weeks. did you have that?  I am seeing a different physio. therapist now and have hand recognition exercises to do which I believe help. I am concerned about the time they want me to stop taking gabapentin as you said your pain returned, how did you  stop taking it eventually?   I still cant move my hand back or forwards, can you?

      I can no longer see you and many other people on the forum  now, i  had saved your details fortunately.  what has happened to the other subscribers?   I wish you all the best in your recovery and trust you are managing well at work now.   sincerely sophia

    • Posted

      Hi Sophia

      Did you get my reply to your last mssg to me?

      I find this site difficult at times tbh...sometimes mssgs dnt go through.

      Just in case!!'s an update....The highest I went on gabapenten was 900mg, I could have gone higher on docs advice but decided not to. However I did come off them to quick. You are suppose to decrease the dose 100mg at a time over a period of a week each drop.

      I ended up going back on them for a while but came off them ok.

      I did consider hypnosis for the pain but persevered with all the treatments the physios gave me.

      Do all you can with exercises but dnt overdo it, you will know how far to go believe me. I did find doing wrist exercises in the bath was good as the heat helped with the pain.

      Being back at work was my aim just to get some sort of normality back into my can get you down all the time but it is necessary. Atm my pain is about 4 out of 10 until I overuse it...

      I am still awaiting my 3rd op. I so cnt wait because my wrist/hand feels as though a metal cuff has been wrapped around it & it feels so uncomfortable.

      I do advise you ask any question you need to with your doctor/ helps put your mind at ease somewhat.

      Good luck with your treatments.....keep me posted....

    • Posted

      Almost forgot....I still cannot move my wrist backwards or forwards & that is the reason I am due another op.

      I have never heard of a ganglion block tbh....I shall google that!

      Take care....onwards & upwards😊

    • Posted




    • Posted

    • Posted

      Hello Sophia,

      I used to use a tall mirror positioned between my legs. I would work my good hand to help my bad hand think it was better than it actually was.

      O/T recommended it & strangely enough it does help.

      Unfortunately my lack of any movement in my wrist will only 'improve' with surgery.

      Waiting to hear from surgeon after contacting them this morning....not that I'm in a rush...only 15months!🤔

      Good luck with the app...

    • Posted

      I did have MUA on my last op to remove plate & screws & also to manipulate my fingers to enable me to bend them to make a fist.

      I was fully awake after having injection to block the part needing blocking! Could this have been a Ganglion block I wonder. I also had a mild relaxant to make me more relaxed which really helped.

      I watched the surgeon bend my fingers & thought "Wow at last I can bend my digits"

      However, the work by myself & physio was to follow. From bending them at middle joint to about 1 inch was all I could do....months of physio was to follow yet again.

      I can now bend them to about 1 inch from my palm unaided but almost closed with the help of my other hand.

      Its progress but my thumb is my main pain which I now have to wear a splint for.

      It does help but it also does feel uncomfortable at times, this cold weather certainly doesnt help.

      I have lost a lot of weight on my hand/wrist & muscle waste up my arm.

      The tight feeling is at times unbearable but I manage ok.

      They were worried about CRPS with me as I had it after my initial break, hence the taking Gabapenten.

      I pray that I can get sorted even 50% just to get movement back in my wrist & move on. Yes! I would give up my home to be more functionable.....fingers crossed for us both 😊🤞

    • Posted

      hello elaine. I had the Stellate ganglion block on Friday but don't feel much  better for it. it is disappointing  as it is said to be great for CRPS and I have been told I have a version of that. it may be that I am not suitable for it, i will have to wait to see what the doctor says.   the procedure took place in theatre and involves putting a needle into the neck and it goes down to the lung area.I knew nothing of this as fell asleep as soon as the canula was inserted.  I had a bit of a sore throat and am hoarse today but apart from that i am ok.  I just wish it had made a big difference. oh well we'll see. you are very brave to undergo all these treatments, i too have a very tiff shoulder. docs .seem undecided if it is frozen or not!  if I can find you later I want to talk about mirror work,  i have to take my cat to the vets now though .hope to chat soon.   sophia

    • Posted

      Hi Sophia,

      Gosh, that sounds so painful..I definitely did not have that procedure or offered it thankfully.

      I had CRPS which is why I was put on Gabapenten. The 2 consultants even took fotos on their mobile phones to show their students at their next that freaked me out tbh. I had visions of losing my hand.....that's how my mind got carried away lol.

      They were worried about any further ops on my wrist in case it made the CRPS worse, but Im happy to say it did not.

      I am patiently waiting for my 3rd op of which Ive been told is a 12months waiting time.....

      I hope you are feeling a lot better after your latest treatment....I cudnt av gone thru with that! They must know if you have FS surely as there are certain tests they do on you, mostly exercises but thats how they knew I had FS.

      I wudnt wish that on anyone...horrible pain.

      Now I cannot put up with waiting over a year so Ive requested my doctor to try & rush things up for me.....

      Im tolerating the discomfort atm but at times I may knock or jar my hand & it brings tears to my eyes....16 months later😣

      Good luck with any further treatments..I feel your pain believe me.

      Hope your cat is ok x

    • Posted

      Hello Sophia,

      Well I had my 3rd procedure fri 6th April at the hospital day centre.

      This time there was no incision thankfully, but after having a local block to numb my arm/hand the surgeon forced my wrist backwards & forwards.

      Its the 1st time in 17mths I have seen my wrist in that position.

      However, after the procedure & tea & toast😊 my arm was put in a sling. I could not feel anything at all so they put it on for safety. Told to keep it on for 48hrs.

      The swelling & bruising is back & the numbness wore off after 3hrs! The pain was unbearable & I could not keep my painkillers down because of being sick. No sleep again 1st night, bit better last night but the tightness is beyond distraction.

      I see my physio tomoro...somehow I dnt think Il be able to do any exercises.

      If this does not work after regular physio I will not go through it again as I just cnt put up with it all.

      Its early days for me yet so I must not be so despondent....but...I just have that awful feeling!!

      Hope you are healing well....its just endless...

      Take care..

    • Posted

      hello elaine.well as you can see I am still typing 1 fingered.   I cant believe the amount of pain you have endured, I sure hope it eases soon and that you have good results with mobility in your wrist.  I have decided I will just live with mine not bending forward or backwards,  i just could not stand that pain, it seems you should have been kept in over night so that pain could be monitored.
    • Posted

      sorry, I deleted myself! I think I told you I had a stellate ganglion block about 1 month ago.  air force  reallyinsurance paid for me to see dr. Abrahams pain management. I also got into NHS system, nice pain management doctor there got me into physio, occupational therapist and pain nurse(self hypnosis) I am impressed with it all. have been offered the next ganglion block free on NHS if I need one but would rather go back to dr Abrahams as I know him  and the procedure there. seems I should not have 2 doctors! never had 2 doctors fighting over me before! or anyone else come to that! to be serious the block was nothing to worry about as I slept all through it and all the way home. i enjoyed the improvement for a few days then came down with one of the bugs going around at present. by the time that was gone my wrist was not feeling as good. i had the follow up and dr Abrahams  who said the block I had was just a 'tester' to be sure I had a connection all the way from my neck to my wrist, and I have, so next time if I have one, the effects would be longer lasting and maybe permanent!  I can cut my food easier plus have a special knife. but I still need to use ice on my wrist at times and cannot bend my wrist forward or backward. just doing hooks, buttons and zips up each morning makes me want to cry. I am still on 1800 mg of gabapentin, doc, says I can reduce it by 1 pill every 3 days but to be honest i am scared of feeling more pain. it also seems to balance my emotions I was crazy with anxiety before.   like you I hate taking pills, got almost to 80 with nothing then pain put my bp up so am on a bp pill and all these pain pills. I also take a Cocodomol now and again. docs. keep telling me gabapentin is a safe drug!  but they said that about tobacco once too  didnt they?   elaine, it sounds as if you are in Wales and your medical team seem great. no one ever mentions my frozen shoulder or mua or that  shoulder treatment you had., they seem to assume I will learn to live with my disabilities. But I used to like to climb trees! was hoping to do the Go Ape again at 85 to beat the winner so far. I have just started using the mirror box,(1 mirror tile stuck on the side of a box).the hand recognition app. on the I pod or phone is good too. life isn't the same since my fall, even going for a walk is not enticing as I can't get my hand into my pocket at times.  the constant discomfort/pain makes me irritable and not want to socialise. perhaps when the weather o improves.. but warmth makes my hand swell! I admire you for being able to work. sorry to complain but you know how it is.  i guess  we are all improved from how we were 6 months ago? I am very impressed with the NHS;  after my procedure at the private hosp. I got a chicken sandwich and a cuppa, our son had a routine colonoscopy on the NHS and got a smoked salmon sandwich and a coffee.. all free! good old Lloyd George. I must go and take my 2nd gabapentin.  take it easy and thank you for letting me know how it went, at least i will be forewarned if my doc. suggests any of those  treatments.  I will be vey interested to know how your wrist progresses, it is amazing  to think that  my wrist could even be bent like that but I would need to have better pain control afterwards. wishing you a pain free future very soon and  properly mobile  wrist.   all the best.  sophia

    • Posted

      Oh no! I sent you a long mssg but my finger twitched & my mssg disappeared. Let me know if you have had my reply 🤔🤔

    • Posted

      oh dear elaine I am sorry to say I cant see a reply from you. I do that twitching/deleting stuff a lot, i am technologically challenged. isn't it aggravating when that happens? I tend to send a scaled down version of my original message when it happens to me. but don't stress about it, take a break till you feel like replying again. I wonder where all these lost messages go, do they float about round the world looking for their owners? i have been sitting with an ice pack on my wrist this PM, I had to keep a pain diary for dr Abrahams, I fear I was a bit too positive as he says I don't need another block at moment but I really don't want to waste spring and summer with an ice pack on my wrist.  take care and I truly hope the pain in your wrist fades quickly and that you have greatly improved mobility. my pain nurse tells me I must tell my bad hand that I love it once a day! but it hurts  and is crooked with an enlarged vein sometimes so not easy but I do try!  the staff at WSH are so kind to me and really want to help me, all free, we are so lucky.

      bye for now, hope you get a good nights sleep.   bye for now.  Sophia.

    • Posted

      Hi I'm Jen I broke my arm February 13 the day before Valentine's day it has been a nightmare. I am now in pysical therapy ive gone there three times , I broke my right ulna . What can I expect I am just starting to bend my swollen fingers I can't make a fist and the doc has me soaking five times a?????????? day in warm water which seems to be helping I can't type with . My left hand I. Broke my right arm and of course I'm right hand Ed . .what is

    • Posted

      I feel like a fly on the wall scrolling through your conversations.  Sounds like both you and Elaine have had a tough time.  I fully understand the frustration and anxiety with the pain. Mine was also a fall on 1/24/18 with surgery 1/25 (my timing was inadvertently good for the surgeon so I got lucky).  Plate and screws in the radius, plus 2 fractures in the ulna.  Radius seems to be doing okay, but the ulna is giving me trouble.  Some days are good, some not so much, and some are just pity parties for one.  Limiting my activities is the worst, cooking is a nightmare. Fortunately typing is good therapy and one of my hobbies is typing dependent, but the other hobbies are toast.  I'm blessed that my husband is a saint. 

      Each person is different, as is each injury so you can't really compare recoveries.

      And if my sister-in-law tells me one more time that her friend had the same injury and surgery and was at full activity in 6 months because she followed doctor's instructions to a tee, I think I will scream.  Not the same injury, not the same person, and I've followed directions/therapy as well.

      Hang in there, stay strong and keep us updated

    • Posted

      hello jen. as you can see I am still typing 1 handed but I don't expect your injury to take as long (I fell last june) because I was almost 80 and  my hand was not set correctly straightened and I also developed CRPS.    I am sure  most of us here on this forum would agree it is a nightmare, some of us have unashamedly shed many tears. but it does get better.  I also broke my ulna and read that it is usually more painful and takes longer to heal. but I get no pain from that at all any more and not for months.   I have been told that pain is not good nor does it necessarily have a better out come. if you start to worry about your physio.  appointments you are being pushed too hard. you cant really do much physio. while your fingers are swollen. I also soaked my hand several times a day and found that useful,  I used to help my fingers with the other hand to make a fist. it makes it easier to move the fingers once they are soaked..  it must be awkward having the injury on you dominant hand, you do a good job of typing I must say. I am very sorry this has happened but you are not alone, this forum has helped me a lot. keep in touch, wishing you a speedy  recovery.

    • Posted

      Hello sophia,

      Just a brief update. Had local nerve block last friday, pain kicked in within 3 hrs. Took pain relief but I was endlessly sick that day so cudnt keep anything down.

      Have been on painkillers since but still in awful pain. Can hardly move my wrist but it is early days. Not feeling hopeful tbh....I also exercise my wrist under hottish water to aid pain relief.

      CRPS has been a bane since initial break....I feel at my wits end tbh.

      Good luck with your many of us out there with this debilitating ailment...

    • Posted

      hello elaine. thank you for bothering to answer my email for the second time. it is so aggravating to lose a long email you have typed, I know from bitter experience.  your pain level seems unacceptable, I would have thought your doctors would be able to help especially as you cant keep pills down.  you seem  to have an excellent team of doctors in your area,  are you in Wales?  i'm on the Norfolk border.   I really do hope it was all worth while and that you get good movement in your wrist.  i  am surprised you feel up to doing exercises although i  did find soaking in hottish water helped me. keep your spirits up,  they tell me a lot of what  we will experience is to do with what we expect. not sure I believe that but I expect our brain is very powerful, try  to think positive, hard to do when you are in pain I know. c r p s is a weird thing too,  sometimes  worse than others.  one thing is for sure, it doesn't make our wrist impossible to move!  let me know how you are, i will be thinking of you and wishing you a good outcome. don't  be a hero though, get help with the pain,  it is not good for you to suffer and there is no need to in this day and age. bye for now.  from sophia

    • Posted

      hello jean.  I was like a fly on the wall for ages before I got the confidence to contribute and get support. I am glad I did as was feeling pretty down about it all.  as you said, limiting usual activities is frustrating and can be depressing.

      I have to confess that after 60 years of marriage, kids & grandkids   am not at all distressed about not being able to cook!  

      seriously, this  whole broken wrist thing is no fun at all, i can tell you though that my ulna causes me no pain whatsoever now,  having been the most painful part of my injuries, it seemed to wall itself off a few months ago and now causes me no discomfort at all. 

      I should say that like elaine I have a wrist which does not move forward, backwards  or sideways but it was originally the ulna which was most painful. 

      pity parties for one are allowed after an injury like this,  most of us have shed many tears that aren't all that secret,  I suspect the male casualties cry too but are less free to talk about it,  poor guys.

      as you will see I am still only able to type one fingered, it would probably be good therapy for me to type but I cant lay my hand flat and the pain afterwards makes it not worth while.

       i do other hand exercises, the mirror box and hand recognition on the i pod are good and I get hand strengthening exercises from my physiotherapist.  I can tell you more about those if you would like.

      elaine is way ahead of me in the healing process, you will see from her posts that she has had MUA about 3 times and shoulder dilatation(or something that sounds like that). she is very brave, I don't think i could  go through that, i am all out of 'brave!' these days!

      take care of the saint you are married to, they are a rare commodity these days.

      I know what you mean about your sister in law, my sons mother in law (I call her  'the outlaw'wink is the same, however long I needed off work when I was ill. she knew someone  who was back at work in half the time. I am afraid I had more sinister fantasies than screaming!

      wishing you a  full recovery and return to all of your hobbies very soon. it is nice to have your contribution. from sophia

    • Posted

      hello are things with you?   i  am hoping you are feeling the benefits of your recent MUA procedure by now. drop us a line when you feel up to it. 

      I had a coffee in a garden centre café recently and as I watched the staff  heaving tubs  and plants around I thought what hard work it must be for you, are you able to go back to work yet?

      with all good wishes. sophia


    • Posted

      Hello Sophia,

      Well I had my procedure nearly 3 weeks ago. Felt no pain....until anaesthetic wore off & boy was I in pain.

      Waited nearly a week before swelling went down to start more physio.

      Some improvement but very slight. However, I am turning down a further op if my wrist does not improve as I cnt face another one.

      Had an injection in my thumb a week ago to ease the pain.....way to painful but I am starting to feel some relief.

      I feel as though this wrist has taken control of my life the past 18 months but I will not let it get the better of me.

      I started back to work 4 months after initial break, took things slowly. Then after my 2nd op last Sept' I was only off 2 weeks. This time I was back in work after a week....

      It can be heavy work but I find a way to lift without too much strain, plus I have 4 more yrs before I retire so cnt give work any excuse to 'let me go' lol

      Hope all is good with you.

      Have had trouble logging into this forum for a few days....

      Take good care x

    • Posted

      hello elaine. I am pleased to hear that your pain has reduced enough to allow you back to work as you seem to find it helpful to get back to a 'normal' environment.

      the level of pain does not seem to justify the level f pain you experienced does it? I would love to be able to bend my wrist at least forward more but if I had a MUA I think i would want to be kept in a coma till the pain subsided!  would you say you can move your wrist forward more now?  i am right handed but I eat left handed so cut food with my left  hand and that is painful although i seems  to be less painful now biggest problem, i am touching wood as I say  that. it is about 10 months since my fall which fractured the distal radius with ulner styloid fracture what ever that means. that diagnosis has ben changed several times. I am pleased to say I have less pain these days and am trying to cut down on gabapentin.  

      I feel as if my wrist bends slightly more forward now a bit more forward now and wonder whether the medicine allows me to use it more and so get some improved movement. am not sure but I do know the pills affect my balance and I don't like that.

      3 years sounds a long time to work when you experience pain, i cant type or drive very far so would have had to give up my job. I cant hold note paper/card still with my left hand so my writing is all over the place.

      have your docs. suggested anything else they can do to make life easier for you/?I still have the 'frozen' shoulder and cannot lay my hand flat. forward or backward. I mentioned the treatment you had for your shoulder to my physic. was it painful elaine? and was it worth doing? 

      sunny here so far today, we are getting some nice days here in east Anglia, what's  the weather  like where you are? I heard the cuckoo earlier this week, I find it reassuring  that it comes back each year.

      I can imagine how scared you were when they took pics. of your wrist to show students, like you I worried about amputation. I think you and I are prone to catastrophizing don't you?  that means we are special lol!  smile  i feel we shared the CRPS stuff as well as fractures.

      all good wishes elaine, do keep in touch. from Sophia.


    • Posted

      hello elaine, did you get a post from me about a month ago? how are you now? I hope you are doing better, i feel I have improved a lot but need ice on my hand during this hot weather.  there do not appear to have been any posts recently, do you think the forum has ended? 
    • Posted

      Hi Sophia....been a while since I posted on here. Painwise its much better like today its on a scale of 3...after physio or work it goes as high as 8. Unfortunately Iv been in work every day for nearly 3 months & its taking its toll.

      Physio is now every 2/3 weeks bcoz she feels theres no more she can do.

      I see my surgeon next month to discuss a further op or MUA as the last procedure I had. Slight improvement but still cnt bend it 4ward & very little backwards.

      Feel disappointed tbh after all this time...nearly 2 yrs in total.

      I guess Im luckier than some, I still have my hand which I can use though u do av to adapt with your limited mobility.

      I have lost a little get up & go doing my exercises bcoz I do not feel it will ever get any better. The effort I put in was relentless.

      I pray you are having much more success. It does feel as tho its never ending but do persevere however little you do, its a long long progress.

      Good luck Sophia x

    • Posted

      hey, I know it's a little late, but I just read your message here now. I recently just had the same unfortunate injury and have lost my right hand. I can not use it for much at all, my wrist won't Bend, and I can't make a fist or straighten my fingers. When I read that you miss having your hot roast, it made me think that I also cannot take hot heavy things out of the oven. I have three young children, ages 3, 6, and 11. I need to get on with my life. My children are all home with me because of covid and their dad works 12-hour shifts, six days a week. I don't have the option to just take it easy, so I need to find ways to get on with my life, one-handed and left-handed. I have shed many tears. Then, I remembered, a few years ago I bought a dutch oven off of Amazon, a heavy cast-iron one with a handle like a bucket handel. If you are good enough with your left hand to lift 10-20 pounds, you can cook with this and take it out of the oven with one hand. you could check Amazon for these pots with one swing handle. hope this helps, and God bless.

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