Thursday, March 11, 2010
Surgeon Appt. Take 2
I'll keep it short and sweet this time. Wrist replacement isn't an option because of my age. There is a good possibility, he said, that with a replacement it would break or not take and then we'd have larger issues at hand. Drug therapy isn't an option at this point either, obviously. Instead what we are looking at is a wrist fusion for both hands, and an elbow cleanup. I have heard of wrist fusions many times over on the EDS support boards, so this wasn't huge news to me. He won't do any surgery until after Charlie is born, and he won't do two surgeries at once. So I'm looking at the next 8 months or so for the first round of surgeries. First he'll clean up my elbow, about 2-4 weeks after I deliver. He will remove the membrane, the radial bones, and repair what can be repaired. He said this will decrease or eliminate pain, as for mobility it's up in the air. Eventually it will need an elbow replacement but right now the pros of doing that don't outweigh the cons. The healing is 1 week in a splint and 2 weeks in a sling. Once I've strengthened that up he'll do a wrist fusion on one of my hands. This involves a large incision down the back of my hand and arm and then he'll screw a metal plate to fuse my wrist. The healing for this surgery is 6 weeks in a hard cast up to my elbow, and then 6 more weeks in a brace. A few months after that surgery he'll do the other wrist. 1 year after the fusion takes place he'll go back in and remove the metal plates, at which point my wrist bones will have fused into one hard bone. This will eliminate the need to repair my tendons as I won't need them there anymore, and it will create a very strong bone in my wrist. I will lose complete mobility and will no longer be able to bend my wrists forward or backwards, but I will still be able to supine my arms. I can't say I'm happy or unhappy at this point. It is still so far away, at least 2 months before the first surgery will take place, and 2 years before the surgeries are all completed so its a little surreal. I'm not unhappy about the fusion, I knew it was a possibility 18 months ago when I was diagnosed with EDS and honestly a fusion is better than what I have now. Also he said that a replacement isn't out of the question down the road, when I'm older and don't need the wrist strength as much for daily activities. So for now it's a waiting game. When I'm in labor Chris is supposed to call him and set up the first surgery appt.