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Post Surgery Therapy Suggestions?
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03/05/07 22:19
GrumpyUnk 
03/05/07 22:19
GrumpyUnk 
Post Surgery Therapy Suggestions?

Just found this group. I have some questions for you. I had surgery 4 weeks ago on the right hand. The pinky finger was at approximately 70 degree contracted and the ring finger had developed nodes in the palm, but with no decernable contracture yet.

The surgeon did a good job as the finger is very straight. He removed most of the nodes from the palm and hopefully that will keep things at bay for awhile there.

I saw him last week and he was pleased with everything overall.

The finger is still swollen and a bit tender and the range of motion is still not where it should be, but that's to be expected at this point, I believe.

What surprised me and prompted me to Google around and find this forum is this. Other than the night brace and instructions to "Keep stretching it like you're doing" he didn't set me up with any therapy.
This isn't a criticism on him. I believe he honestly forgot as I was pushing him rather hard to be released back to work.

My insurance sucks and therapy is one more cost I would like to avoid if possible.

So, other than stretching and making a fist regularly, is there any advice or links to specifics about post surgery threapy that you could help me out with?

Thanks in advance - Unk.

03/06/07 03:46
Mark_D 
03/06/07 03:46
Mark_D 
Re: Post Surgery Therapy Suggestions?

Hi:

I had N.A. instead of open surgery, but both Dr. Denkler & Dr. Benhaim suggested that I see a Hand Therapist.

I suggest that you do the same - therapy helped me.

Mark

03/06/07 05:03
GrumpyUnk 
03/06/07 05:03
GrumpyUnk 
Re: Post Surgery Therapy Suggestions?

Hello Mark, and thank you for your response. As I mentioned in my original post, my insurance isn't great and the added expense of therapy was one of the reasons I was looking for suggestions here.

Did I mention the recent fire? Maybe I should have. Yeah, my finances have been hit very deeply as of late, so I'm kind of in a bind and trying to avoid any more costs at this time.

Just one of those things that happen and even with insurance, both health and home, my finances have taken a huge hit. Thanks again.

03/06/07 06:41
DianeS 
03/06/07 06:41
DianeS 
Re: Post Surgery Therapy Suggestions?

HI Grumpy

I had hand PT after a surgery at the recommendation of surgeon, though the surgeon said "you will probably figure out pretty quickly what they are doing". They gave me a sheet with "range of Motion" exercises to do a bunch of times per day which involved bending finger and hand in various ways. They gave me alternating hot and cold soaks to encourage circulation. they gave some sort of electrical stimulation along the finger and scar intended to help nerve function. they had me dip hand in hot wax and hold in heat for awhile. then the therapist would bend my finger toward the correct position. they also made a custom fitted hand brace for night out of moldable plastic. All this stuff did help but it wasn't cheap and your surgeon might be able to tell you what is most important for you if you need to economize. I finally decided I had had enough PT when I was charged $90 for an "evaluation" which was nothing more than five minutes checking off boxes on a sheet of paper regarding whether I could dress myself etc. Duh! But I do think PT is valuable.

Also, I am sure all you surgery veterans out there would agree that 4 weeks is pretty soon after an open surgery and it will be much improved after 2 or 3 months.

03/06/07 17:51
GrumpyUnk 
03/06/07 17:51
GrumpyUnk 
Re: Post Surgery Therapy Suggestions?

Thank you for taking the time to answer, Diane. I've been searching through the archives here and gotten a few things that have helped.

I agree that 4 weeks out is still very early, but knowing that I won't be getting the professional therapy, I want to make the best effort I can to maximize recovery and function.

I just went and soaked my hand in very warm water, while stretching and clenching it and that seems to have made the morning stiffness much improved. Felt great and really helped the movement.

Thanks!

That's the kind of practical advice I was hoping for.

I wish I'd found this place a few years ago. I thought I knew quite a bit about DC. Hah. Not even.

03/07/07 02:25
Mark_D 
03/07/07 02:25
Mark_D 
Re: Post Surgery Therapy Suggestions?

Quote:



Hello Mark, and thank you for your response. As I mentioned in my original post, my insurance isn't great and the added expense of therapy was one of the reasons I was looking for suggestions here.

Did I mention the recent fire? Maybe I should have. Yeah, my finances have been hit very deeply as of late, so I'm kind of in a bind and trying to avoid any more costs at this time.

Just one of those things that happen and even with insurance, both health and home, my finances have taken a huge hit. Thanks again.




Hi Grumpy:

I do uinderstand about the cost of therapy - it's outrageous.

But, maybe you could go once or twice just to get the exercises?

Mark

03/07/07 07:20
GrumpyUnk 
03/07/07 07:20
GrumpyUnk 
Re: Post Surgery Therapy Suggestions?

Mark,
Just to show you how good life can be and to say "There are no coincidences" in this world ........... Today was my first full day back at work.
One of the first people I met? A Physical Therapist! This young man (His name is Mark also) took the time to show me a whole group of exercises, explained that I wasn't using the Cocoa Butter and messaging near often enough. Then came back several hours later, on his own time, with some exercise bands and a device to squeeze that will build up the strenght in my hand. He also brought back some printed instructions to make sure I remembered how to do all the exercises correctly!

He took almost an hour of his time instructing me in great detail. And then spent, I don't know how long, gathering and bringing me back the other materials.

It's things like this that help me keep my faith in humankind.

Thanks again for your reply, Mark!

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