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Tendon transfer surgery

I had tendon transfer surgery done because I was attacked by my dog. My forearm directly below the bend in my arm was chunked out to the bone & extended to about 2" above my wrist bone. I had tendon transfer surgery performed Nov 10th. My radial nerve was damaged. Doc said not enough muscle or nerve to fix my wrist so I could lift it so he fused my wrist and used the wrist tendons for part of transfer. Therapist says my radial nerve was damaged. My fingers will only move very little. Thumb has most movement. Doc said possibly my tendons have adhered to the back of my hand& to massage them or possibly need to go back in& shorten tendons. I had to go back to my factory job which is pretty physical or I would be fired. Office is letting me train for a while. My question is.. Is it worth letting the specialist operate again or should I resort to some mechanical device to open my hand for me? Would shortening tendons be a way less painful surgery than the transfer? Or I read about surgeries to free the scar tissue. Is that a painful recovery like the transfer? For 2 weeks I felt like my arm was constantly being cut off.if you are interested in my case I can give you more information. Need advice.

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The answer

The need for surgery really would be the decision of your consultant as they did the tendon transfer and would know if there was enough tissue there to shorten. Scar tissue builds up over a long time, years, so it is far too early to tell if review of scar tissue will be needed. This may be needed in a few years. You are in very early stages of recovery.

As with any surgery there will be pain involved and this usually improves within weeks to months after the procedure, it can take longer if a lot of work has to be done to remove or shave scar tissue. At this stage it is usually persistence with physiotherapy to improve the function of your hand, splinting may also be considered if there is a problem with extending the fingers, currently there is no device other than splining and your consultant and physiotherapist would discuss this with you.

You should be working with your employers occupational health Nurse/Dept. regarding how you work to adapt your workspace, a change in job is sometimes needed but your occupational health dept. will assist with this.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses

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