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  1. #1
    seanvdb is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Orthopedics - Ulnar Shortening

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    I'm due to have ulnar shortening in my wrist in the next few months. I originally hurt myself last June, and have gone through physio (two 3-4 month periods), cortisone shots, an MRI, and recently met with a wrist trauma guy who is a high-up at McGill University’s orthopedic school. He said that, when I broke my wrist when I was a kid, I broke it where the TFCC attaches to the radius and the ulna.

    Normally, when your wrist is fine, your TFCC acts as a little trampoline to cushion your bones. However, because of where my break is (which is partially unhealed), every time I move my wrist my TFCC pulls on some membrane piece, and causes pain. To fix this, they would normally just put a screw through my old fracture, and that would be the end of it. However, my ulna is too long, so they are going to shorten it 3-4mm.

    Has anyone ever had, or known someone who had ulnar shortening surgery? I believe its called ulnar osteotomy in the medical world. I play a lot of squash, so I'm worried that I won’t be able to play any longer, as well as have a gimpy wrist for the rest of my life. However, I'm still rather young (22), and figure I can heal rather well.

  2. #2
    prema is offline Newbie 510 points
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    I just had a one

    I just had a ulna shortening and recovering now. My surgeon told me the original cartiledge doesn't regenerate. After my wrist injury three years ago I had a cast, took celebrex, wore a brace all the time but none of that helped and finally I decided to go with the surgery. By then my wrist was in pretty bad shape, the cartilage was pulled off and getting pinched by the bones. The surgeon said my wrist may not have the same strength again as I had before but I should be pain free.

    So my advice is it doesn't get better even if you can tolerate the pain. Continually using it would do more damage to the cartilage. So sooner the better.

  3. #3
    Pro Writer Guest

    ulna shortening

    I'm currently recovering from ulna shortening in my right forearm as well as carpal tunnel surgery in my right wrist. My doctor killed to birds with one stone.
    He went in, about two inches above my wrist bone and made a six inch incision, cut out 3mm of bone and reattached it all with a rod and seven screws. It's been four week and I'm typing this. I can't drive my stick shift yet tho, nor can I rotate my arm (the palm will not face upwards yet). But after a couple weeks with vicadin and resting my arm on a pillow whenever I slept, I'm doing well. The scar scares all the neighbor kids and is extremely tender but I try to massage it a couple times daily to remove the sensitivity.
    Otherwise, all is well.
    Good luck and DON'T PUSH THE ARM BEFORE IT's READY.

  4. #4
    slewisoh Guest
    This procedure has been recommended to me. I was wondering how you are progressing? Are the bones fusing well?

  5. #5
    smcnaug is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Thumbs up

    I had an ulnar shortening 1-06 and the results have been remarkable! I hesitated having the procedure done. I waited five years post distal radial fracture.I had many cortisone injections that worked well, but every time they wore off the pain and damage only got worse. I only wish I hadn't waited so long....I have FULL range of motion now, normal bilateral strength,and can fully pronate and supinate and best of all.... I HAVE NO PAIN!!!!I now need to have the plate out,,,just because it is so close to the skin and very subcue.....sometimes a little irratating.

  6. #6
    amandals1031 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    A little advice please

    I had the ulnar shortening osteotomy with TFC debridement in August of 2003. After the surgery, I had a great deal of pain. After months and months of rehabilitation, I regained a percentage of my range of motion in the arm. During this process, I was let go from my job, so I then began attending school, which I have been doing ever since. Recently I started a job which involves a lot of lifting and moving of boxes. Now I am in unbearable pain. I have knots above the area where the plate is. Every time I lift or exert pressure of any kind with the arm it feels as though the bone is "giving" on me and radiates pain throughout. Has anyone else ever experienced this after this surgery?

  7. #7
    Unregistered21 Guest

    ive had it

    im 15 and i had it done to my right arm when i was 14..they took out 3 mm of bone & put a plate and 6 pins in my arm due to my bone rubbing on my cartilage..i had a recovery time of 11 weeks due to the fact i play basketball..but its normally 6-8 weeks..its worth having it done..it makes alot of difference..and after a year you can even have it taken out.so its not that bad at all

  8. #8
    tennismom is offline Newbie 510 points
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    How long were you in a cast after the ulnar shortening osteotomy? short cast or long cast? Thanks!

  9. #9
    kygirl753 Guest

    Going under soon

    I just received news that next week I will be having this ulnar shortening procedure. I am 22 also and was nervous that this didn't happen to people my age but it's good to know that I am not the only one!!

    My original injury is unknown however one day my wrist started hurting and with an MRI, it showed a Scapho-Lunate ligament tear. After 6 weeks in a short arm cast, the ligament healed, but is loose. With this, the ulna is slightly longer than the other bone and is rubbing on bad cartilege. In shortening the ulna, it will tighten the ligament that is too loose and relieve the pain in my wrist! My doctor said this was the only way to save my wrist!!

    They said they are going in and taking out 2.5 mm of my ulna AND doing the carpal-tunnel surgery at the same time.

    They said i would be in a full arm cast for 2 weeks (grr) and a short arm cast for 4 weeks. They said that in a year or so, I would be able to elect to take out the plate or not.

    Hopefully I will recover nicely so I can get back to my athletic activities!!

  10. #10
    stephew is offline Moderator Guru 512 points
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    lease note: this forum is not a medical advice forum. It is a forum for medical students with regard to medical eduation. There are many good sites out there that are more appropriate to seek medical information, but as always, be wary about any medical information you receive over the web. thank you and best.
    Steph
    If you get a warning, put on yer manpants and stop whining about it.

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