Hand update

I went to my occupational therapy appt for my hand today.

Most of it was spent waiting while the therapist tried to get a diagnosis from the primary care doc so she could treat. Apparently “hand pain” isn’t enough. She had my sympathy!

What I have, along with the carpal tunnel, is “trigger thumb”. The only cure is surgery. Which is what the ER doc wrote on the diagnosis/treatment plan. But the primary care doc refused to refer me to the surgeon.

So today the OT’ist faxed a document to the primary doc explicitly stating that OT won’t work and that I need a hand surgeon referral. She was kind enough to give me a copy of the fax to keep for my own records.

So tomorrow I find a phone and try and make an appt to see the primary doc again so I can go in and hand him a copy of the fax that the OT’ist sent to his office today and demand (can I demand?) the referral I need so I can use my right hand again.

Meanwhile, the splint does nothing but hold my hand immobile so there’s no reason to wear it treatment wise. She said if it was extremely painful at times and keeping it immobile helped keep the pain down then I could wear it but it wasn’t going to fix anything.

I can use it as much as I’m able.

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  1. Lara

     /  January 12, 2012

    Jim had trigger finger. His hand surgeon (same guy who rebuilt my hand after the dog incident) tries cortisone injections before resorting to surgery. One big jab in the offending tendon node and the problem was solved. Maybe not permanently but for quite a while now.

  2. really?! That is *very* important to know!
    If the doc I end up seeing doesn’t mention it I’ll be sure to ask him. That’d make chem lab much easier I think if the injection lasted long enough for the semester, instead of being in a cast and dealing with rehab.
    What was Jim’s rehab like (did he have the surgery eventually)? Was it fairly short, a few weeks? Did it help? Can he use his finger again? My thumb is pretty much useless, can’t hold anything, no grip strength, no bendy bendy, and so on.

    I’ve got it in my other thumb and forefinger as well but not as bad yet. Do you know if it tends to show up in ALL your fingers after it shows up in the first one? đŸ˜¦

  3. Lara

     /  January 12, 2012

    J didn’t have OT after the inject. But he doesn’t have the compounding problem of carpal tunnel. So far it’s been a couple of months and he hasn’t had any more problems. If the problem comes back the doc said he would try another injection before suggesting surgery.

    If a couple of injections will get your through a semester and to a place where surgery wouldn’t be so disruptive, even that would be a win, yes?

  4. Definitely a win if I could get thru the semester without surgery. Then do it over the summer when I’m not taking a lab class.
    I’m very glad you told me this, thanks!


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