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no progress on swelling after surgery
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01/02/2021 13:56
Nancyd 
01/02/2021 13:56
Nancyd 
no progress on swelling after surgery

It has been almost 3 months since I had dupuytren surgery on my middle, ring and little finger. I am making slow progress on making a fist. Every morning when I wake up the swelling is bad and I cannot bend much until later in the day. I am doing the exercises 4 to 5 times a day. The doctor said not to worry as it sometimes takes 6 months. My question is when the swelling starts to get better is it very slow and does it return every morning? If someone has been through this could you please describe how the swelling gets better? thanks for any help as I am extremely discouraged. Nancyd

01/02/2021 14:15
wach 

Administrator

01/02/2021 14:15
wach 

Administrator

Re: no progress on swelling after surgery

Hi Nancy,

I am feeling with you ... for me it took about 3 months before I could passively make a fist and 5 months until the swelling was completely gone. The swelling may well be worse in the morning because you hardly use your hand when sleeping. My understandiing is that for some patients a swelling of the hand after surgery can happen and can take several months. It seems to unpredictable for whom, so probably we both were just unlucky. The cause seems to be a constriction in the veins somewhere in the arm that hinders fluid to flow back and lets the hand swell. When you do your exercises and when you hold your arm above your head, the swelling should get less.

You should not be desperate, the swelling will get less, little by little. Can you make a fist during the day? Maybe by supporting the operated hand with the other hand?

I would suggest you keep doing your exercises, without overdoing them. Keep your hand flexíble and try making a fist again and again, It ought to become better eventually!

Best wishes

Wolfgang

01/02/2021 15:21
Nancyd 
01/02/2021 15:21
Nancyd 
Re: no progress on swelling after surgery

Thank you so much. It helps to hear other stories. When I squeeze my hand I can almost make a fist but when I let go it does not hold. I am seeing some progress but only on a weekly basis. The swelling however seems to come to a screeching halt. If I would see a little progress I would feel better.
Nancyd

03/12/2021 12:49
Nancyd 
03/12/2021 12:49
Nancyd 
Re: no progress on swelling after surgery

I wrote 2 months ago about no progress 3 months after surgery. It is now 5 months and one week but I still cannot make a fist and the swelling actually feels worse sometimes. Has anybody else taken this long for progress? My doctor just says it takes some people 6 months but I am getting awfully close to 6 months. Is he going to tell me at my next visit that it takes some people a year?

03/12/2021 17:30
wach 

Administrator

03/12/2021 17:30
wach 

Administrator

Re: no progress on swelling after surgery

Hi Nancy,

I am so sorry to hear that you are still having problems with your hand! What kind of post-treatment did you get, besides your own exercises? Did you have physio therapy?

I am not a doctor but that is what I would do:

The most importat thing seems to be to reduce the edema in your hand. After such a long time a "wait and see" approach doesn't sound like the right thing. Maybe an elastic compression glove could help. In any case I would try getting a second opinion. Do you know a good hand surgeon in your vicinity that you could consult? If not, maybe the ASSH (Americam society for Surgery of the Hand) could help finding someone.

Wishing you all the best

Wolfgang

03/25/2021 13:42
Nancyd 
03/25/2021 13:42
Nancyd 
Re: no progress on swelling after surgery

Thanks for your concern. I did have therapy for 3 1/2 months. I have been doing the exercises on my own since then and I did wear the compression glove which did not seem to do anything. Today I had my yearly dermatology exam and the doctor said she could inject the scar with cortisone and it might help. I go back to hand surgeon in April and if he does not suggest anything I will run her advice by him.

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