Surgery 7th June


That's it ,I finally agreed to have surgery after a few months of thinking about it.

On 7th of June I will go in for total wrist fusion, finger tendon repair and synovectomy with general anesthetic 

The thing is that I am afraid of surgery and afraid of anything sharp .

The hand surgeon didn't tell me much about the op and recovery time.

I am going on holiday to France from 22 July for 5 weeks and I wonder if I will be able to enjoy it as it will be only 6 weeks after surgery. I have no idea if I will still be in cast...

Will I be able to go to the beach and pool? Or will I be the miserable one looking from far away.

I know that I need 3 months of work (working with babies and toddlers). 

When I saw the surgeon I was upset and I couldn't ask any questions, now I try to phone his secretary or hospital but nobody can answer my questions. Also I had my pre op but the lady wasn't helpful at all and said her job was pre op meeting and she didn't know about after op.

If you had those surgery done please could you let me know how it went and how you were after 6 weeks?

Thank you very much

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13 Replies

  • Hi, i'm sorry to hear you are having such a horrible time just before going in for an operation on your wrist.  Can I suggest you give our helpline a call on 0800 2987650 to see if they could arrange a volunteer call for you, if we are able to we would put you in touch with someone who has had wrist surgery and can talk to you about what to expect post op.  

    Hope this helps.

    Val, NRAS

  • Thank val,  that's a good idea, I've never called them but I might give it a go!!

  • I hope your op goes well when you have it,i am sorry but i can't tell you anything about it as i haven't hat it done. Sending hugs.xxxxx

  • Hi, I have had both of my wrists fused, but it was 30+ years ago so it is a little difficult to remember accurately that far back. However, I had my right wrist done first as it had completely collapsed and I was unable to even lift a telephone receiver (old style) without great pain. They had to take bone from my pelvis to use in the fusion process and that was the most painful and debilitating as it prevented me from walking for some time. Sometime later, I had a joint replacement done to my left wrist, but it was new technology and only lasted  18 months before it started to deteriorate. They had no option but to fuse this wrist, again taking doner bone from the other side of my pelvis. I can remember having a large slab and masses of bandages on my arms and lying flat on my back when I came round from the op' and I can remember that I had a light cast on my arms for a least 6 weeks after coming out of hospital. However, things may have changed since then and done in a different way that allows one to function more normally quicker. I would ask to have a word with your surgeon before the op' and put the question you need to know to him so it puts your mind at rest. There is one thing more that I can tell you and bear this in mind, I would not have given up having my wrists fused one little bit as they are fantastic, relatively in painful and fully operational on all functions. I hope I haven't frightened you or put you off in any way as I can only say how successful mine have been since then. I have since had other joint replacements and think that surgery these days is wonderful for giving back a function and life that may have been lacking. I really wish you well and good luck. 

  • Thank you dickfend for your detailed feedback. It's nice to hear from someone who had it done. That will be my first surgery ever and I am not great with hospital. My blood pressure goes crazy just mentioning the word "surgery".

  • Hi it is always a nervous time because it is not knowing what is going to happen, but I have been in and out of hospitals quite a lot and so far I have not had a bad experience. I think on the whole they only have the patients interest at heart and will do their best to make it as comfortable as possible. I am sure you won't regret having it done in the long run. I know I don't, it is fantastic to have the full use of my hands back and although I am retired now, I relied on my hands in my job. Let me know how you get on after the op'. I wish you well soon and have a lovely holiday.

  • Hi I have had both my wrists fused, one with a bone from my pelvis and the other has a metal (?) splint. Both operations have been very successful and well worth the initial discomfort. If I am honest I would doubt that you would be out of a cast after six weeks. Even once the cast comes off the wrist may feel a little odd and you may not feel confident using it for a while. But in all honesty wrist fusion is an amazingly successful operation and you will be grateful for the pain relief in the years to come. Perhaps use the holiday in France to relax, recover from the surgery and enjoy the warm weather. You can buy waterproof covers for plaster casts, so whilst you might not be able to swim you would at least be able to cool off in the water.

  • Just to add to my post above my wrist fusions were done 33 and 20 years ago so the procedures could well have changed. I had a complete elbow replacement done 6 months ago, I was in hospital for 24 hours and my recovery was very quick. 

  • I had a wrist fusion only last year and after 6 years of agony and continuing degeneration and immobility, it was successful and made a huge difference to my pain grade.  I have just checked my progress for the 6 week period you asked about. and at that time I had my permanent hard splint removed to be replaced by a removable splint to allow for removal for bathing, exercising etc and attending hand therapy.. It was also bliss to be able to just sit without it for a while... I am concerned that you do not realise that this surgery is not a "quick fix".  It is necessary to plod along slowly, following the advice given and not to hurry or do anything to aggravate the relief that will have been given to you. Just a note that I have a spinner on my steering wheel which allowed me to start driving again.  I am sending you a link to a very good informative website that is very easy to understand that I sincerely hope will give you some insight to the experience you have to go through.   I wish you all the best.......

  • Thanks hermia. I do realise it is a major surgery (with 3 operations involved)  but I think I try to ignore it!

    Thank you for the website, it is very helpful.

  • Hi, I had my left wrist fused 3 months ago after years of pain. Like you , I was very concerned and worried before the operation but I can now say that it has been the best thing I have done. I cannot believe the difference it has made to my life to be free of the dreadful agony. I am left handed and before the operation I could barely use my wrist. I now have more movement and strength in it. I had a pin inserted to fuse the joint. I was only in hospital overnight and had a temporary cast on for 2 weeks then a more permanent cast for a further 7 weeks. I won't mislead you and say that the few weeks after the op were easy but as the saying goes 'no pain ,no gain' and the gain far outweighs the pain. I feel that your surgeon should have explained all the details about the op and recovery period to you. The worst thing for me was not being able to drive for 9 weeks. You may want to make sure you have short or wide sleeved tops that will go over the cast. Good luck.

  • Hello janette and thanks for your reply

    I understand that your were 9 weeks in cast then, was it one you could remove yourself (like a splint) or did you have to go to hospital to have it removed?

    I really hope the hospital will have a cancellation and call me before the due date.

    I don't know if it's co incidence but it seems to me that most people who have wrist fusion are left handed!!

  • Hello, when I came round from the anaesthetic I had a very bulky and rigid cast on my wrist. After 2 weeks this was replaced with what I would call a proper plaster cast for seven weeks. I had to go back to the hospital to have them removed. When the plaster cast was finally removed I was given a wrist splint to wear as and when I feel I need some support but I rarely use it. My op was in Scotland, procedures may be different if you are elsewhere in the UK. Also, I expect different surgeons have different procedures and ways of operating. I also have osteoporosis and my wrist bones were not strong so I had the second cast on for a week longer than is usual. In my earlier post you may have thought it strange that I said I now had more movement given that the op is designed to stop your wrist moving. I will explain! Before the op one of the many problems I had was being unable to turn my wrist e.g. when accepting change in a shop. I believe this movement is called pronation. The surgeon told me he couldn't promise to solve this but he has! I can now turn my wrist round which is a great bonus. Apologies for warbling on but I hope this helps. Best wishes. Janette.

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