Kelly's Arm Story

July 2004 Update

My long journey started in 1998. At the time I would have been 13 years old.

It all started on a really nice hot day on the September 3. That day I went for my regular horseback riding lesson but something was going to happen that afternoon that would change my life for many, many years. My friend and I were warming our horses up and we were going to start jumping fences. She went ahead and jumped the course with no obvious difficulty. As I was starting to trot towards the first fence my gut told me something was going to go wrong. I just this uneasy feeling about jumping those jumps but still went ahead. My mare and I approached the first jump and cleared with no problems but as we approached the second fence she lost her footing, slipped and took off way too early for the jump. It caused us to land right on the jump.

The first thing she did to clear herself was to leap up in the air which caused me to loose my stirrups and the reins. She felt that I was not on properly so she spooked and started bucking. I was thrown over her head….here comes the part that has changed my life……I was thrown over her head and fell on my outstretched left hand. I immediately got up and felt this horrible pain in my wrist. When I looked I saw my wrist was grossly deformed. I was taken to the hospital where did x-rays and told me I had fractured the radial head of my left wrist. The space between the 2 pieces of bone was far enough apart that there was a possibility I may need surgery in the morning. I was scheduled to see an orthopedist in the morning and was sent home with a half cast. The following morning I was put into a cast (that went up to my arm pit) and was told that I was young so my wrist would most likely heal back properly and surgery was not neccessary. I was brought in every week for x-rays to make sure my wrist was healing properly which it was. I was transferred to a regular upper arm cast 4 weeks later for a total of an 8 week period of immobilization.

The cast was finally removed and I started to see a physiotherapist 3 times a week. For the following 4 years I suffered and suffered. I finally could not handle the pain anymore and saw my family doctor over and over again for the pain in my wrist. I was always sent home with no explanations for the problem. I finally saw a different doctor and was sent to see a plastic surgeon. It took less than 5 mins for the surgeon to tell me I had Ulnar sided TFCC tears and would need surgery to get them repaired.

Two months later I was on the operating table getting them fixed. As it turned out to be along with the tears I had also torn the sac that lubricates the joints in my wrist so I my bones were rubbing against each other which also caused some of the pain in my wrist. I was back in an cast up to my armpit for a month then a splint for a month. I was still in a lot of pain. The surgery had taken some of the pain away but I still was having tremendous pain in my wrist. He didn't know what to do so he sent me to his colleague.

His colleague took x-rays and saw that my Ulna was a little too long and that because of the old injury I had had on that wrist it most likely was what caused pain to the joint. He offered me a surgery that would shorten the Ulna. The operation is called Ulna Shortening Osteotomy. I didn't even think twice about going ahead and getting that procedure done. I was put on a waiting list for a year when I was finally called for an opening 2 weeks away.

So there I was again on the operating table this time to get my ulna shortened. The procedure would involve fracturing my ulna and removing 5 mm out then attaching my ulna back together with a fixation plate and 5 pins. I was put in a cast for 10 weeks and have been without one for the last two weeks. It has now been 12 weeks since my last surgery and the result have been amazing.

It actually brings tears to my eyes when I now realize in how much pain I was in and the fact that I really couldn't do anything because of the pain. I am now 100% pain free. I didn't even remember what it felt like to not be in pain. I could never thank enough the surgeon who did the procedure. I am now 19 years of age and have finally terminated the last agonizing 6 years. I have recently applied to school to become a paramedic. It would have never been able to do it without that last procedure.

If any of you have a similar story and you have the opportunity to get the following procedures done as an attempt to fix pain or any other problem you may have…DO IT! If the procedure ends up being successful you will be so glad you did it. The recovery from both surgeries really weren't bad and the pain is very well controlled with the right drugs.

If any of you have any questions regarding those procedures don't hesitate to ask me or Tim. I have lots of x-rays and pictures to show if anyone is curious. I don't have a lot of opportunities to check this webpage so you will most likely only get a rapid answer if you email me directly.

Stay safe and take care.

Kelly's Fusion Surgery

Fusion Hardware Fusion Surgery

Swelling More swelling A few weeks later

Kelly's Shortening Surgery

X-Ray with Plate 2 Days after Plate Removal 1 Day Later


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