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Hello all,
I am a 24 year old, otherwise healthy, male. About 13 months ago I noticed swelling in my left wrist (which decreasd my range of motion). I started at a new gym and everything seemed to be going alright. I woke up one morning in March, 2007 and had severe pain in my left wrist. This pain has not gone away and its now April, 2008. There are days where it feels 'alright' but the majority of the days are very painful. I have seen 4 doctors and had an MRI, X-Ray and Arhtrogram. X-Ray was normal. The MRI showed a ganglion cyst, but the doctor I was seeing at the time felt the cyst was way too small to cause any pain. He just told me to go for physical therapy and that it was most likely tendonitis. I felt he was way off base since my entire joint was inflammed. The second doctor decided to put me under the knife to remove the cyst. He opened my wrist up and didnt find anything! I was furious to say the least. I then had the arthrogram done and a tear was discovered in my TFCC (triangular fibro cartilidge in my disto-radioulnar joint). When the doctor came back with these findings, he referred me to another doctor (i dont know why). The doctor he referred me to was not covered by my insurance so I had to find another doctor which was convered. I finally came across a doctor at Rush Medical Center in chicago, il. I went to see him. He immediately gave me two cortizone shots in my wrist and upper forearm and told me to see him in 2months. After I was given the shot the pain DID go away, but I had some severe adverse reactions including heart palpitatins and severe anxiety. Futhermore, the pain was only gone for about 2 weeks and came back. When I went to see him again, he immediately referred me to a DIFFERENT doctor (he wouldn't tell me why). I just saw this doctor about a week ago and he took a look at my wrist for about 2-3 minutes and said 'Well I hate to say it, but I have absolutely no idea what is wrong with your wrist, I would recommend to see a Rheumatologist'. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I dont know why these doctors wont help me. I have pain all across my wrist joint, with the worst centering on the ulnar side of my wrist. The pain also travels up the ulnar side of my hand (only a little). Someone please help, I can't stand this anymore. It is really starting to affect my daily life.

A little background:
I am a programmer so I use a computer alot (at that time I used to mouse with my left hand). Since the onset of the pain I use the mouse with my right hand. The pain started when I had just started at a new gym and was working out quite a bit.

ANY HELP I WAS REALLY APPRECIATE IT... thanks everyone

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Still having severe pain on the ulnar side of my my wrist. I cannot fall asleep because of it. My wrist *clicks* during movement if that helps at all. I am going to schedule an appointment when another doctor in the near future. I dont know how much longer I can take this pain. It seems like some sick joke that no doctor will help me.
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I have a fairly similar story - in April 2008 I had a fall and it was thought my wrist was broken. I had virtually weekly orthopaedic appointments from April-June and was in plastercast/splints throughout. The doctors then decided it was an abscess (nothing to do with the fall!) and I had a minor operation under anaesthetic to drain it...and hey presto, I was allegedly cured. However, in reality I was far more 'disabled' than prior to the surgery. For almost a year I have been unable to use my right hand for carrying anything/cannot pour a kettle/have difficulty with dressing and everyday tasks, including eating(because cannot bend wrist at angle to get fork easily to mouth) and because I cannot properly cut anything up. Technically I have a limited range of movement within the wrist however it has remained VERY swollen since June 2008 and I cannot move it against any resistance (eg. cannot turn keys in a lock/turn dial on washing machine etc because this requires pressure) :
The doctors attitude was totally dismissive - it seems I had the operation so therefore was better. I have given up. I have taken combinations of painkillers every day and night for almost a year and yet I am absolutely no better. I am really hoping you can let me know if you have found a cure as our problem does sound fairly similar. :
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Have you been checked for rheumatoid arthritis?
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I am a paramedic in Baltimore and I am having wrist pain as well which is what brought me here during a search. I was advised (by a Dr in the ER locally where I usually take my patients) that I should see the Dr's at Union Memorial Hospital where we take our hand trauma patients. The are the specialists that sew fingers back on after amputations, etc.

I would recommend that you guys find out which hospital is the hand trauma center for your area and go see the Dr's there. Thats what I plan on doing.
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Hey guys,
Thanks for the replies. I am the person who originally posted and would like to give an update on my condition as it relates to my left wrist.

In May 2008 I underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair the TFCC (Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex) in my left wrist. I was in a splint for about 6 weeks and all seemed well. I allowed 5-6 months to go by until I did any heavy physcial activity. I started playing hockey again (after taking off about 2-3 years). In the 2-3 game I was attempting to steal the puck from another play and felt a snapping sensation in my left wrist went i swung my stick out. Needless to say the pain returned and it was worse this time. The doctor I was seeing (a very good orthopaedic surgeon in Munster, IN) directed me to her good friend at the University of Chicago medical center. My original doctor (Munster,IN) felt that I reinjured the repair she performed in May 2008.
<Fast forward 4 months>
I started seeing Dr. Daniel Mass (orthopaedic surgeon @ University of Chicago Medical Center). My first visit he felt both ulna's and noticed my left ulna was quite 'loose'. He immediately told me that he would like to perform an 'Ulna Shortening' which would entail having a metal plate in my arm indefinately. I was going through so much pain that anything would be better than where I was at that point. Therefore, in June 2009, I went into surgery to have my left ulna shortened (Dr. Mass informed me that it was shortened by about 3mm). He told me that the purpose of this surgery is to give the TFCC more room to heel. Tears to the TFCC can be very hard to diagnose and have a horrible time healing if they are bad. The reason for slow healing is because the lack of blood flow to the area. ANYWAYS, back to the surgery. They performed a beer block (numbed/paralyzed the entire arm) and them put me in 'twilight'. The recovery went wonderfully.... until the block wore off. I have never experienced that level of pain in my life. Not even vicodin would numb the pain.
After the surgery I went to 6 weeks of physical therapy (which I did not go to after the first surgery, probably a mistake). And now, 10-11 months later, my wrist is feeling about 90%. I am still working on strength training, as my left arm lost alot of muscle in the last year. The pain is all but gone. Every now and then it will get a little sore. I just take a easy for a little while and its back to normal. I am certain this pain will subside once the strength is back.

Results of all my surgeries:
1. 4 inch titanium plate (7 screws)
2. 8 inch scar on my left arm
3. 2 inch scar along my wrist

-Billed to my insurance for the ulna shortening: $16,500.00
-Cortisone shots (post surgery): $2,000.00
-Years of my life spent searching for answers... (May 2007 - June 2009)
-Finding the answer to my troubles..... PRICELESS
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Do you get any pain at the site of the plate? I had the same surgery (TFCC debridement with ulnar shortening) in late 2005. Now my arm is my warning sign to when I am getting sick. It swells, heats up, and is painful a few days to a week before I come down with something. I haven't checked with a doc yet. I don't live near the doc who did the surgery and I hate going to doctors.
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I believe ganglions form when we strain our joints. That means we are expecting more from our bodies than they can comfortably manage. We then have a "cushion" of gel form to protect the painful joint. Surgery can help, if the orthopaedic surgeon manages to extract all the roots from between the bones. Surgery means we have to stop working and rest for some time. Nice if we can afford it! It is really painful, because they press un nerves until our hand goes numb.

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I have the same problem and have been told by physician at a medical office called the "Hand Center" that it's called Kienbock disease. The only relief from this horrible pain is surgery, the removal of the ulnar bone and both bones on either side of it. From your post it sounds exactly what I am experiencing. An MRI revealed my ulnar bone had collapsed due to loss of blood supply. I would say that's your problem as well.
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i broke my left wrist 5 months ago, both the ulna and distal radious bones, a plate and 9 screws were put in...wow, worst pain ever and i have had 4 other major surgeries to compare. after almost 5 months, cast for 6 weeks, splint for 2 more, 6 weeks of intense painful physical therepy i still had severe pain and no range of motion, no proantion or supination ( couldn't move my palm/arm/hand up or down) deformed wrist and hand, after 5 months of this they ened up removing the ulna joint in a second surgery, no replacement of joint though?? i am in a soft cast now for 2 weeks, got the plate and 9 screws removed also as 2 screws backed out and were impinging on the joint and tendon..horrible expeirence over all, hope this works, can't tell yet as i am still swollen and in recovery for the past 5 days..good luck to all, ppl don't realize the hell we go through unless they are in the same predicament!. hope you feel better and get most of your wrist usage back with no or mimimal pain...

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Hi.  I am a 37 year old female.  I have had wrist pain for almost 9 months. This is a work related injury. The first doctor I saw said that I had carpal tunnel syndrome.  She said my pain was likely from tendinisis.  I got the go ahead to go to another doctor.  I had three months of hand therapy with no success.  The doctor finally performed an MRI.  She said I wasn't a good candidate for surgery and gave me a cortisone shot.  This offered no relief.  I went to and Independent Medical Exam which L and I required.  This doctor said that I probably had a torn TFCC and required surgery.  So off to another doctor I go...this guy says that he concurs with the other doctor and says there is no reason for surgery.  He suggests that maybe I should find another job.  I am trying to see one more doctor for hope that she will fix my problem.  Any advice?  No one wants surgery but if this will get rid of the pain I will gladly do it!

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UT split tear?
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Just a thought. Both the ulnar side of myy wrists swelled at one time or another, along with very limited range and pain. The first doctor took an X-ray and found Nothing. The second doctor took an mri and found In.had no ulnar groove or ulnar sulcus in either wrist. Eventually he said I would need surgery to rewraop the tendons in my wrists. I haven’t .had the surgeries yet as the swelling has gone down and the pain is limited. Maybe have your doc recheck the MRI
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