Posts Tagged ‘specialist hand’

Apologies for the delay to this post but I’ve been doing my best to avoid the computer for the last week or so.

My surgery went ahead as scheduled or rather rescheduled on the 12th and the initial prognosis is good, upon opening up the side of my thumb it has been established that there is no tendon damage and that whilst there was a lot of scaring around the median nerve it too was in tact so they were able to do something called neurolysis which essentially consisted of un-sheathing the nerve and cutting away the excess scar tissue, this process is unlikely to return the sense of feeling to the tip of my thumb but should theoretically at least do something to stop the nerve from sending phantom signals back up into my hand and arm saying it’s in pain.

Hold on I’m not sure that makes much sense so I’m going to try to explain a bit better the reasons I was pushing for this surgery in the first place, not having any feeling in the tip of my thumb has not been the end of my world, it’s made my typing a little clumsy and I’ve burned it while cooking a couple of times but what has been unbearable is that the median nerve that serves the thumb has known there was something wrong with it and sent random shooting pains back up through my thenar (the pulpy bit of your hand beneath your thumb) and into my forearm. These pains have been fairly random but were largely brought on by things like having to drive long distance especially in difficult conditions like heavy rain or stop start traffic where I might subconsciously be gripping the steering wheel harder than normal. My boys also have an uncanny ability to single out this weakness and bite, kick or grab out at it resulting in often days of being unable to sleep properly.

Right back to where we are now they’ve done the surgery, I’ve been through a week of being stoned out of my box on happy pills that barely dented the pain nor helped my sleep and  I’ve been back to have my dressing changed and spoken with a specialist hand nurse who’s given me some simple exercises and things are definitely improving, I’ve run out of the hospital prescribed happy pills and am now just subsiding on over the counter analgesics, these do seem to be working though and whilst I’m still getting cramping through my thenar it’s believed by the specialists that this will improve with time and I may even regain some feeling in the tip.

My stitches come out on Friday and they’ll take a decision then as to whether or not I will benefit from physiotherapy, they will also decide then whether I will need to return to see my consultant surgeon in either two months or three as this is the soonest that things are likely to have settled down enough to judge if there has been any permanent improvement and whether or not further surgery might be necessary.

I’m allowed to drive again once the stitches are out which will be of huge relief to the wonderfully patient and kind Mrs Bunny Chow who has borne the brunt of childcare duties and been running around trying to do the school runs etc.

I’ll leave this there as I’ve pretty much exhausted my patience for one-handed typing.

thanks again for all the kind messages and support.

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

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Superficial palmar nerves.

Image via Wikipedia

for those of you that have been following my saga I wanted to give you an update on the state of my thumb, if this is a new story line to you then you can catch up here before continuing.

After much badgering of my GP and the appointments clerks at my local hospital I finally managed to see a specialist hand surgeon for an opinion as to what could be done about my hand.

He sucked his teeth in obvious irritation and said that I should have been refered within a week of the injury and that he would be writing a strongly worded letter to my GP advising him of his displeasure. He then said that there were two lines of thought on late presenting nerve damage, the first being to go ahead and operate as soon as possible anyway and the other to allow any scar tissue to form and inflammation to dissipate before attempting surgery.

The kindly surgeon then refered me for X-Rays whilst he went off and spoke with some colleagues for further opinion. Mr Surgeon came back to me a short while later to say that he wanted me to see a different surgeon at the plastics hand clinic at another hospital on the other side of town the following morning.

Being in agony after kindly first Mr Surgeons manipulations, pokes and proddings as well as the thought of rush hour traffic I decided that public transport was the order of the day to get across London for my early appointment, this was needless to say as unpleasant as can be expected of any brush with London’s transport system and I spent the majority of the journey with my nose wedged firmly in the armpit of a fellow commuter whilst trying my best to read my kindle.

On a minor aside this was the first time I’ve taken rush hour public transport in some time and I was amused to count four other kindle readers within a radius of a couple of metres, they’re obviously taking off.

Anyway I’m waffling, I made it to my appointment on time even though I’d given myself plenty of extra time to arrive early, I checked in and was seen relatively quickly, by NHS standards anyway by a specialist nurse, who repeated much of the previous days excruciating poking and prodding as well as tests to establish relative muscle wasting and retained strength as well as examining my X-Rays from the previous day.

He then disappeared for the best part of an hour with brief revisits to inflict more pain and ask more questions before reappearing with another slightly less kindly but equally professional looking Mr Surgeon who explained to me that he believed that I had indeed partially severed a branch of my Median Nerve which he also gave a very long and complicated name and also suffered a minor fracture of my thumb at the joint where I had managed to stab myself.

He also promised to dictate a strongly worded letter to my GP about the importance of quick referrals in cases of suspected nerve injuries. He then went on to say that in consultation with his registrar Kindly Mr Surgeon number one, he believed that the fracture had now healed itself and that there was now too much scarring and inflammation of the muscles surrounding the nerve for surgery to be immediately successful and that he would be referring me for physiotherapy before re-assessing me in a couple of weeks.

He also recommended that I regularly massaged the wound site and my hand with moisturiser, and try to use the thumb as much as my pain threshold will allow.

So that’s where we are, I am waiting for them to get in touch with physio appointments and follow-up appointments whilst continuing to consume vast quantities of analgesics.

Many thanks for all the kindly messages of support I’ve recieved and also extra special thanks go out to Mrs Bunny Chow for putting up with my extra grumpy self.

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow