I'm new here! My l/t wrist was fused Oct. 2015. The plate caused pain and was removed last month Sept 2016. Why do I have still have pain???

I need advice on what options I have and responses are greatly appreciated! I've had (4) surgeries on my left wrist from 2013 to 2016.

IN 2013:

My doctor performed surgery upon me known as the: ScaphoLunate Axis Method. (aka: SLAM) Basically, she drilled through 2 wrist bones and anchored them by removing appx 4" from my left wrist tendon. The tendon goes through both holes and anchored.

IN 2014:

My doctor observes via x-rays that the 1st bone (scaphoid bone) she drilled through a year prior was beginning to degenerate. The only option she advised me was that surgery would need to be performed. Surgery consisted of literally removing and discarding (3) wrist bones. The result is taking out the scaphoid bone and the other (2) bones adjacent to it. (I don't recall their exact names at this time!) I was shocked!

In 2015:

Since Apr. 2013 to Oct. 2015 the pain never went away and I'm diagnosed with Osteoarthritis. My doctor gives me advice on having my left wrist fused with a 6" titanium plate w/8 screws. I agreed.. (I'm thinking, "As long as the pain goes away permanently and no chance of ever having arthritis is GREAT!")

IN 2016:

I return back to work full time in Feb. 2016 after having to pass a "Fitness for Duty" test to be released back to full duty. *** (NOTE: I also had this same test in 2015 with the same circumstances!)

From Feb. 2016 to July 2016 I notice the pain is becoming more intense. I'm using my r/t hand (at least 75% of the time) to compensate for the loss of grip/strength due to my left wrist/hand.

July 2016 my doctor advises me that it's the plate causing the pain. A grip/squeeze test that day depicts my grip strength has reduced by 1/2. I believe the pressure dial showed a result of 28 psi... ***NOTE: I had a result showing 65 psi grip strength back in Feb. 2016... Additionally x-rays showed in July that a screw head was broken off at the end of the titanium plate adjacent my middle knuckle and another screw head was unfastened (middle of the plate/longest screw of the 8) and was protruding out above the bone. I was adamant in repeatedly telling her, "Doctor I am in pain!"... "It hurts to do anything with my left hand!"... "It feels like a shock wave going up/down across my wrist!" etc..

July 2016 continued:

My doctor advises that my x-rays prove my wrist is fused though and wants to schedule an operation near Nov. 1, 2016 to completely remove the titanium plate/screws. I didn't know what to say. I wanted the plate out "NOW!". I asked her that since my wrist is allegedly fused, "Why do I have to wait until November, that's 4 more months"? She replied, "How about I meet you half way"? I agreed and the operation was scheduled for Sept. 6, 2016.

Sept. 6th to Oct. 25th (presently as I'm typing this long story!":

***NOTE: Oct. 5th I have an EMG test for tingling/numbness in my right hand/fingers going on since summer 2016. Oct. 13th my doctor tells me the results and advises me that I definitely have "Carpal Tunnel" in my right wrist and surgery is scheduled for Nov.8th 2016.

Oct. 20th and Oct. 21st. I started rehab for my left wrist. My specialist takes a few measurements and questions why I have 10 degrees pivoting up/movement in my wrist and 15 degrees pivoting down/movement while my left arm/forearm are supported on table. He advised me to talk to my doctor and ask her that if my wrist is fused, "Why is there any movement at all"? ***Note: This is the same specialist I had seen and passed me on both prior "Fitness for Duty" tests in 2015 and 2016.

My specialist recalls the test back in Feb. 2016 and acknowledges I had no movement whatsoever in my left wrist when the plate was in.

My questions are:

(1) Is my wrist actually fused?

(2) Should I consider wrist replacement?

(3) My left wrist has been covered under Pennsylvania Worker's Compensation. Will Workers Compensation accept/deny the Carpal Tunnel in my right hand as a result of having to compensate for use of my left wrist?

(4) Could this be a malpractice suit waiting to happen?

(5) What if Workers Compensation denies my Carpal Tunnel claim?

(6) Any suggestions/referrals for going to consult with a 2nd doctor/medical facility concerning both my wrists?

(7) I still have 3 screws remaining in my wrist that the doctor decided leave in. She states there is no complications with having the 3 screws left in???

(8) I requested the day of the surgery (Sept. 6th) and have in my possession the titanium plate, broken off screw heads, and broken screws. Is there ANYTHING I can do or question about the origin/manufacturing/distributing of the titanium used?

(9) Is there any one to blame for the complications I'm having?

(10) Last question: Is there anybody that can relate with me???

4 Replies

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  • I am assuming that you are in the States? You appear to need a second opinion from someone who is qualified in this sector. No lay person would be in a position to give you sufficiently informed advice. Is this possible through the Workers' Compensation scheme?

  • Thank you for your response! I'm getting a 2nd opinion. Workers Comp is frustrating to deal with. 2 years ago I was put on light duty (use of 1 hand only per W.Comp!) I ended up tearing my r/t bicep and having another operation. Like the saying goes: "When it rains... It pours!". But again I'd like to say thank you and definitely understand I need anothe professional opinion(s).

  • Never seek advice from the Worker's Compensation board without having an advocate with you. Compo is not always out to help you.

  • Good lord, you've been throught the wringer!!!

    You need to find out the legalities of your state's compo board.I would seek advice from a lawyer that in no way is connected to the PA worker's compo board. Please remember that a lawyers that works for compo is not your friend.

    As for all the medical procedures that you have endured...well go to a different GP for a 2 opinion.

    I wish you well.