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  1. #1
    Hmmmmm
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    Arthritis in fingers after a broken wrist.

    I suffered a Distal Radius fracture back in March 08 and have had my finger joints swelling and losing range of motion ever since.
    I went to PT just like I was supposed to and got a better range of motion in my wrist than my orthopedic surgeon had anticipated, but now my finger joints in my right hand (right wrist was broken) have been slowly stiffening up, one by one.
    I've been using the hand plenty while riding and have been manually trying to get the motion back, but just the opposite is happening.

    This chain of events was set into place, after my wrist was broken and I had more than two hours of surgery to repair the fracture, with a ti plate and screws.

    I'm wondering if there could be something else wrong, that was triggered by the fracture or surgery...

    My surgeon has confirmed it is some kind of arthritis in the joints, but that's all he said.
    He didn't have an explanation, as to why it started getting so bad after the surgery.

    Eric.
    "I thought of that while riding my bike."
    Albert Einstein, on the theory of relativity.

    Peace and Long Rides...

  2. #2
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    The muscles that work your fingers are in the forearm. After the wrist surgery you could have some scar tissue building up preventing free movment of the finger tendons. I would see a hand specialist for this problem. If you need to get scar tissue taken out, you want it done by a hand specialist. They are very skilled for that type of work.

  3. #3
    Hmmmmm
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlepito
    The muscles that work your fingers are in the forearm. After the wrist surgery you could have some scar tissue building up preventing free movment of the finger tendons. I would see a hand specialist for this problem. If you need to get scar tissue taken out, you want it done by a hand specialist. They are very skilled for that type of work.
    This isn't scar tissue. I've had it looked at by my surgeon and physical therapist, and even they admit it's arthritis in my finger joints.
    The question is, why did it set in after the accident and surgery?
    They can see the swelling of the joints in the x-rays, and my left hand which wasn't injured is fine.
    Before my accident in March, I had better than average mobility in my right finger joints, including double joints. Now I have less than normal mobility.
    This is after extensive PT.
    My mother, who was a medical claims worker for a large insurance company years ago, is worried that I might be having a reaction of some sort, to the ti parts they put inside of me.
    Not rejection, but some other problem.
    "I thought of that while riding my bike."
    Albert Einstein, on the theory of relativity.

    Peace and Long Rides...

  4. #4
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    Arthritis does not happen that fast unless it's inflammatory like rheumatoid or psoriatic., and those are systemic. Osteoarthritis, which is the most common type, takes several years to manifest as the stiffness you are describing. You may have some OA on the films, however I don't think that is causing the sudden stiffness you are talking about. Have you had a fever or anything that may show an infection?

  5. #5
    Hmmmmm
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlepito
    Arthritis does not happen that fast unless it's inflammatory like rheumatoid or psoriatic., and those are systemic. Osteoarthritis, which is the most common type, takes several years to manifest as the stiffness you are describing. You may have some OA on the films, however I don't think that is causing the sudden stiffness you are talking about. Have you had a fever or anything that may show an infection?
    No fever now, or a few months ago. I did have a minor infection right after my surgery for a few days, that didn't require any antibiotics.
    It was a stitch that got a little pusy. Once the wound "spit the stitch" it was fine in a couple of days. I never ran a fever then, and the very small infection never spread more than a .25" (3 - 4mm).
    I was having minor problems with my fingers aching before the accident, but had no problems with mobility at all.
    I'm beginning to wonder, if I've had the arthritis for some time, but didn't notice it, because of my physically active lifestyle.
    Maybe the immobility, after the injury and surgery, caused joints that were already arthritic, to stiffen up?

    Thanks, Eric.
    "I thought of that while riding my bike."
    Albert Einstein, on the theory of relativity.

    Peace and Long Rides...

  6. #6
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    I have OA in all my fingers and I am a guitarist. The doc says this is the best medicine for me and continue to play guitar because it is keeping my fingers loose and pain free. I suspect the same with you. Once your damaged wrist slowed you down it was a perfect time for OA to set in. With exercise I think you should be able to lessen the pain. Try not to dwell on the pain. Good luck.
    Larry

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ericmopar
    I was having minor problems with my fingers aching before the accident, but had no problems with mobility at all.
    I'm beginning to wonder, if I've had the arthritis for some time, but didn't notice it, because of my physically active lifestyle.
    Maybe the immobility, after the injury and surgery, caused joints that were already arthritic, to stiffen up?

    Thanks, Eric.
    I've had minor arthoritis problems with my fingers since I was 19, 40 years ago. I didn't notice any problems unless I did some extending lifting activity, such as unloading trucks at UPS.

    I have found over the years that excersize doesn't necessarily help the joint pain and stiffness. I have tried some supplements such chondroitin and hyaluronic acid (HA) I have had no side effects. they help lubricate the bearing surface of the joint and they have stopped tendon inflamation.

    they say that pain meds such as Advil will only mask your problems and will increase your loss of bearing surface to the joint, because you will put heavier stress on the joint when you don't feel the pain.

    Good luck

    keep riding!

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