Saturday, September 5, 2009

10 months later all is well

am indeed doing quite well now. I've successfully beat up both arms this summer between software development and lots and lots of mountain biking. My right hand, still an issue (that arm I had the endoscopic procedure on) and my left hand (the arm with the transposition) has been doing great. Its not 100%, but prob 80-90%. I still have a weird feeling in it every now and then - like mild pressure in the hand, but no burning like before. Sometimes though I do wake up with the fingers tingling. It is rare and this didn't happen to me often before the surgery, but would surely take that over what I had before. That is rare though and probably if I sleep with the arm all curled up. So all in all looking back, recovery was a snap and now I dont even think about the arm much. The scar is slightly numb around ie.. well not numb but decreased sensation. That is normal though with any significant incision to the skin and I really don't notice/think about it unless I specifically touch the elbow and think about it. If you are about to get the surgery, its not bad. Besides sleeping discomfort the first few days it wasn't a huge deal. I just remember thinking 'wow.. wondering after all this time I finally had it done.. and now its all uphill from here' so keep that in mind : )

The incision is of course visible but the part along the formarm is hardly visible but the part near the bicep side of the arm is a little more visible. Not bad though at all. I may have the other side done this November or so.. we'll see : )

I did not have an emg yet on that arm but may have to get one just to see what the difference is and if there was a full nerve recovery in terms of conduction speed across the elbow.

14 comments:

PK said...

Thanks so much for posting this! I am going in for my surgery tomorrow and am just now doing the post op research; I didn't want to scare myself out of the procedure.

MTW said...

Thanks for the write-ups, Adam. I'm glad that it worked out well for you, and hope the other arm goes well too.

PK - I'm having mine done tomorrow too. Like you, I put off research until the last minute. Best wishes, I'm sure you'll do great.

PK said...

Hey MTW! Surgery went well- so they tell me. ;) I'm taking the percocet per Adam's lessons learned (on schedule, not waiting for pain) so no real pain. Don't know if it's percocet or oxycontin from this morning that's making me nauseous hopefully that ends soon.

Adam Tuliper said...

glad it went well.. keep us posted. did ya get any pictures of the surgery by any chance or know what the doctor thought the specific issue was from looking at the nerve? I was out of it after my procedure so didn't get the info until a later followup appointment on how my nerve looked but he did tell my Wife that day.

MTW said...

Hey PK - glad it went well, mine did too. Glad you're keeping on top of the pain. My arm "woke up" from the block after about five hours, and although the pain didn't bother me too much early on, it's been keeping me from sleeping much. I'm sure it'll get better soon enough.

The only thing my doctor said about the nerve was that he could see the problem as soon as he opened me up, and that he thinks I'll have a very good chance at improvement now. I'll ask for specifics at my follow up on Friday. I'll also snap a pic then, when the dressing is changed. Until then, it just looks like I'm hiding beach towels under my ace bandage. Take care Adam and PK!

PK said...

No pics taken during surgery- darnit! I didn't even think to ask! I didn't see my doc when I came to but I'm definitely going to ask him on Monday.

I slept ok last night- I had to pee a lot; is that a side effect of Percocet? Definitely makes me nauseous which is why I don't like taking it.

MTW- do you have dissolvable stitches? I have to get mine removed- ugh! How long are you taking off work?

PK said...

Oh yeah- how do you cover it up in the shower?

Adam Tuliper said...

cover it up with one of two things.
1. they make a sleeve you can buy (or from a doctor)
2. easiest... and what I did the last time because I couldn't find my sleeve - cover it with a trashbag and tape it around your arm.. and still hold it up in the air in the shower.. the amount of water should be minimal. especially since you are holding your arm up.

I'm curious, how long did the doctor say to keep the arm raised for?

Also.. did you feel anything right after the surgery. Interestingly enough highlighting differences in doctors, in the first less invasive procedure (release surgery where they clear space around nerve) I had they did an arm block. For the second surgery (transposition so much more invasive) I had no block.. which was fine I guess.. but after I woke up from surgery there definitely was some pain and tingling they gave me quick meds for.

PK said...

My doc said to keep it raised for a couple of days... I keep it elevated when I remember and/or when it starts to hurt.

I had the transposition so they gave me oxycontin before the anesthesia and now I'm on percocet. I feel tingly in my arm especially when I type with both hands. I rated my pain at about 5 (scale 1-10) when I woke up and I believe they gave me a percocet then... I can't remember at this point. :-/

I'll give the trashbag a shot b/c I sure did keep my arm up in the shower. Lol!

Adam Tuliper said...

from my experience (ie what the doctor had me do).. i would keep that arm raised always for up to two weeks. first few days very important to keep swelling down and fluids moving back to body cavity. This especially helps in the later days with letting the surgery 'junk' keep flowing back to the body cavity and not letting it settle in my arm. I thought keeping it raised for two weeks was excessive.. but I constantly kept seeing a change as if it was doing exactly as they said.. flowing back to the body cavity and not settling in the arm. I started a little typing with it I thought too soon and it started bugging me a bit.. buttttt thats just me : )

PK said...

Ok so the facility called today to follow up and they said I can move from percocet to extra strength tylenol... ever since she said that though... i haven't felt any pain. This mind over matter thing is awesome! Lol!

I'll probably have to take something tonight to sleep in. I also kept my sling on while schleping around the house... that helped some, i think.

MTW said...

I had my follow up appointment today, and everything is healing nicely. They took all the gauze and wrapping off, and now I have as much more comfortable elbow brace.

As far as keeping it raised, I was only told to keep the sling on until I went to bed that first night. So most of the week I just elevated it if it was starting to hurt, or (more often) just sat with my arm resting on the top of the sofa.

Got a pic before they redid my bandage - I think it looks better than a lot of the pictures I've seen on the web. Take care!

[URL=http://img9.imageshack.us/i/armzq.jpg/][IMG]http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/7984/armzq.th.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

PK said...

I had my stitches removed on Monday-ouch!!! The nurse says it hurt so much b/c my body was healing so fast. Unfortunately I had this huge ugly rash along the incision- it looked like my skin was literally bubbling. They wiped it down with rubbing alcohol, put the gauze and splint back on until Friday (yesterday).

Yesterday I went in, he cut the gauze, rash is drying out and with my dexterity/strength improving I'm good to go. It looks CRAZY gross though! Lol! I'm pretty proud of it.

Did you do any Physical Therapy Adam? What about you MTW, did your surgeon discuss that with you?

thebeerdedlady said...

Recovering from right arm submusc transposition. Been referring to ur blog to compare progress. Im 7 days postop. Ur blog has been helpful. Appreciate u sharing ur experiences.