Amy Palamountain

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Wrist Reconstruction

Two weeks ago I went into hospital to finally get the reconstruction of my right wrist I have been waiting for. No nerves this time – I knew what to expect, was well researched and it was going to get rid of my pain. I closed my eyes in theater and opened them a second later in recovery. What I didn’t expect was the pain. I guess being cut, sawed, screwed and pined will do that to you. The surgeon had warned me how painful it was but I really was not prepared. It took a fair whack of Morphine to bring it down to a bearable level and Tramadol (synthetic opiate) to bring it down to a dull ache.

They had cast me in a back slab. A kind of half cast and bandage. When the swelling started coming down after about a week it became loose and would often push on my pins (which stick out the skin). This really hurts. The first night was impossible to sleep, pain was intense and anesthetic sickness kept my head in a bowl for the evening. Unfortunately I have had to keep taking Tramadol much to my distaste. I wouldn’t cope well without it. I said in my last post I wanted to be off the Tramadol by week 2, due to how either sick or euphoric i feel. Doing good though, some days I only take one (down from 6 a day)

Its now two weeks on and I have had my first dressing change. It looked a lot better than I was expecting. The cut is so clean and straight – even if the photo doesn’t do it justice. Its about 4 inches right down the middle of the wrist.

Once opened the surgeon was able to use what was left of my Scapholunate ligament to tighten the gap between my Scaphoid and Lunate bones. He corrected the orientation of the Scaphoid then screwed a bone anchor into my Lunate bone, and passed the remainder of the ligament through the anchor. This is lucky because if there had not been enough ligament left then the surgeon would have made a similar length incision on the underside of my wrist to harvest a ligament from my forearm. Once fastened he inserted two wire pins into the side of my wrist to hold everything in place while it heals. No I am not going to see if they are conductive and can light up a bulb !

In 6 weeks I will return to the surgeon for a quick pin removal – which yes – I intend to film. Then its off to the hand therapist for what sounds like an intense program. At this point I may be able to return to work half time 4 weeks ahead of his original 3 month medical certificate!!!

All of this is just so positive, I am well on my way through my 12 month recovery. Typing with two hands, picking up light things, gripping and dressing myself. Eventually Judo and weights, and finally back to the mountain

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