I had my appt today with the surgeon. He did the standard history on me, and the treatment and therapies we have already tried. He also measured the degree radius of my elbow and wrists. I told him about the burning in my two fingers so he asked if we did any nerve tests yet. We told him no, and he did a few basic ones. Then he left the room to look at the MRI scans we brought. A few moments later he returned and told me that he needed me to get some more X-Rays because he wanted to see the bone damage. Luckily I was able to do the x-rays right there in his office. After the x-rays he came back and told us his findings. My tendons and ligaments are destroyed. Basically all my connective tissue is destroyed. However, so is most of my bone. I have massive bone degeneration. At this point the only surgical option would be complete and total wrist replacement surgery. My elbow will also need to be replaced but he thinks they may be able to hold off 4-5 years before replacing it by cleaning it up and removing the damaged spots in a less invasive surgery. Because of my age he is hesitant to do the surgery. He thinks there may be other options we haven't exhausted yet. I asked him if those options would repair my bone or tendons, and he said they wouldn't but they MAY reduce pain, and MAY slightly increase mobility. I told him I'd rather have the surgery if that was the best chance I had without it. He said he understood but there would be limitations with wrist replacement. I wouldn't be able to lift more than 15 lbs, I'd have about 30 degrees of mobility in both directions, and may or may not have side to side movement in my wrists. I explained that currently I can't even lift a jar of peanut butter, have nearly no mobility in my wrists, and can't move side to side at all. He wants to talk to my Rheumatologist first and he wants me to undergo an EMG because he thinks I have nerve damage which is why my fingers burn. So basically, I have a connective tissue disorder, a bone degeneration disorder, and possibly a nerve disorder. As of right now the surgery is a no go but I'm really going to push for it. I understand joint replacement shouldn't be taken lightly, and I'm not. I can't do anything with my arms right now, to me this seems like a great option. The pain relief will be immediate with a wrist replacement surgery. He can't repair my tendons, he said, without this surgery because the bone damage would just cause them to become destroyed again. So basically he told us that this surgery was pretty much my only option for pain and relief as well as mobility - but because of my age he doesn't want to do it.
I go on March 9th for the nerve test, and back to see him on the 11th.