Ulnar Wrist Pain

Posted by lindacof @lindacof, Nov 9, 2018

Hi there – first post on Mayo Connect!
My son (23yr old) has been battling wrist issues for 21/2 years. Primarily his right wrist. After conservative treatment, blood work, xrays and mri's it was determined that he had a TFCC tear and that surgery was needed. He had surgery and tried to do PT but the pain continued. From his description, the pain has shifted a bit since surgery and goes more along the forearm, starting at the wrist and going toward the elbow. Still primarily the wrist however. We have seen 3 (although I dont really count the 1st) ortho's. He has done splints, cortisone shot, PT, Acupuncture, and surgery…and still pain. Its not awful pain but it is chronic pain that is taking a toll on him mentally. Today he expressed how worried he was that he would have to stop working due to wrists. The last MRI showed some swelling/issues but nothing that the surgeon could put his finger on that would definitively say there was something he could fix that would relieve the symptoms. I am at my wits end trying to help him and I hate to see him like this. Our family is generally conservative with medical treatment (limited meds (even OTC), avoid surgery unless only option, etc…) however tt this point I feel like we have tried most conventional and alternative approaches and still no relief! (although after the cort shot he did have less pain for a bit)
Sorry for the long message! Here are my questions…
– Anyone with chronic wrist pain have success with a pain management doctor?
– Anyone have chronic wrist pain who found a doc at mayo or else where that were able to give them answers that they could not find elsewhere?
– Did anyone with wrist issues find relief from any home remedies/special splints/etc…that we may not be thinking of? We have researched and tried A LOT of things but maybe there is something we are missing!
– Lastly, do the doctors at Mayo do online/phone consults…meaning can you send them your MRIs, give them your history and schedule a skype call to discuss options forward?

Thanks for reading/listening to our troubles! Fingers crossed that someone on Mayo Connect has been through something similar!

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Bones, Joints & Muscles Support Group.

@lindacof . Ulnar nerve pain can be generated anywhere along the path of the nerve and is common with thoracic outlet syndrome which I have. Ulnar pain can also happen from an impingement in the elbow on the nerve. I've been in physical therapy doing a lot of myofascial release work to loosen the connective tissue that is binding everything and preventing normal function and movement. I've also had cervical spine surgery at Mayo which made my TOS worse for a while when I stopped my PT and had tight scar tissue, but I'm gaining ground again now in therapy. You might want to see a neurologist at a center where TOS is treated who would understand that type of problem. That is one of the reasons I came to Mayo because many outside doctors do not understand TOS and I needed spine surgery at a place that understood both. If you have this, that could be a reason why treating the wrist isn't helping, and it is often confused with carpal tunnel syndrome as they have some overlap in symptoms. Mayo does work with other hospitals around the country so other doctors can consult them and you are treated locally. If you go to Mayo, they are very thorough in their evaluation, and it's likely not something that could be done from a distance with images and a phone call. Another thing about surgery is that it creates fascial scar tissue which tightens everything and can increase pain. MFR work with a therapist trained in the John Barnes methods can break up that scar tissue and get things functioning more normally and reduce pain. See myofascialrelease.com for info. You can also call Therapy on the Rocks in Sedona , and ask for names of PTs who have trained there if you don't find any near you from the website. Here is some information about TOS. I hope some of this might be helpful. Treating the scar tissue might make a difference. FYI, a lot of doctors don't understand or accept the MFR therapy, but it works for me. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/thoracic-outlet-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20353988

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