Complications following wrist surgery

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Hi there

I had a cycling crash and shattered my wrist. The radius was pretty banged up into several pieces. The ulna was a more garden-cvariety break. Anyway, I had surgery and they inserted a plave and a bunch of screws. 

I started therapy almost immediately after surgery. And every day after the surgery, I could see small but consistent improvement. Less swelling, less pain, more movement. Then exactly 2 weeks after surgery, I had a therapy session where the therapist was very aggressive in working the wrist. It seemd to me she was bending it too far and I had to stop her several times because of excriciating pain.

Anyway, later that afternoon, I noticed it was swollen like hell and I had much less movement and more pain. This persisted through the weekend, so on Monday with no improvement, I called the doc and she told me to come in for an x-ray. Thankfully, it showed that nothing had moved or broken. But now, a week after that rough session, I have zero improvement and the wrist is still as swollen as it was a week ago.

I was just wondering if this is normal. Or is there a possibility she may have done some damage to soft tissue that wouldn't show up on an x-ray. Don^t want to panic, but it seems that a week with no change is strange given how steady progress was in the forst 2 weeks following surgery.

Any help or advice appreciated. Thanks!

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    Some times the therapist causes pain as he moves the muscles that were not used for a long time..but this takes a day or two ..to be on the safe side it's better that u do mri to check everything

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  • Posted

    What a bummer.  I would call my doctor's office and give them an update and see what they have to say about the situation now that more time has passed since the physical "therapy".

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  • Posted

    Hi Richie; I feel that you should check again with the surgeon (especially if private), and yes an Ultralsound / CT shows tissue damage, where x-rays only show bone/s and their structures etc.   I have also experienced a Physio who was too aggressive, and thought she "knew best"....and NO, pain should not be present after a physio works on you. (that is a phalacy from long ago).  they are supposed to Gently massage/exercise the affected part..    Do you have your hand/wrist in  a sling when not exercising?  

    ?Yes to your question, a scan should tell you if any abnormal bruising etc, and if so, try an alternative approach to the required exercises.

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    • Posted

      Hi. Thanks for that. I'm not in a sling. I have a plastic removable cast that I wear at night and on the subway or other "risky" situations. 

      Bottom line is that I need a scan and will try to get that done on Monday.

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  • Posted

    Hi, Richie,

    I remember when my Mom had the same problem. She fell and broke her hips. After a massqage, the guy did a such brutal moviment and she had pain forever. I really hope you are going to be healed. Be patient because it may take one month or little more. I have surgery schedule (my wrist was broken in March 31,2016) and I just imagione that will improve my hand and my three fingers get less stiff. The problem is that I don't see anyone here successul but either with or withour fix, is an option. I opted for it. 

    All my best wishes for your recover!

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