I was wondering if anyone has had an anchovy procedure done on their wrist and how was the outcome? In case you don't know what an anchovy procedure is, it is a type of joint replacement where they remove a tendon from the arm that the arm doesn't use and weave it in where the bone in the wrist was.
I had it done on my left hand about seven years ago. It hurt, and the recovery seemed incredibly long. I had my hand in a cast with a pin sticking out of the cast for four months. After the cast was off my hand was clenched up like a claw. Thanks to good physical therapy and lots of exercise on my own my hand is now close to 90% of what is was before surgery.
Hope I haven't scared you, because in the long run I think it was worthwhile to have the surgery. It gave me back full use of my left hand, without the pain.
As an aside...looks like I'm going to be needing the same thing on my right hand. Even though I'm tired of joint surgery (seven so far for OA problems) I'd do it again.
I had this procedure after a friend successfully underwent a repair for the same problem. Both went well. No pins. Cast and or immobilizing brace for 6 weeks. Back to my job as a physical therapist after 10 weeks instead of the expected 8. 18 months later, I am aware of a slight bulge at the base of my thumb, but I am pain free. initially, I lost the touch sensation at the tip of my thumb, but that has since returned to normal. My friend needed a too tight cast replaced within the first week, but had an otherwise uneventful recovery. We both had several occupational therapy sessions for initial strength recovery. Go for it. Prior to surgery, I could not work effectively due to excruciating pain when my thumb was bumped or moved. I wore a cumbersome black immobilizer thumb brace (with a metal insert along a pocket in the thumb portion) full time in a semi successful attempt to control pain as I continued to work. None of the light weight or orthoplast splints gave sufficient protection or support to allow me to continue to use my hand for my physically challenging daily work.
Occupational therapy (which are the therapists who do hand therapy) is usually directed at first regaining range of motion, then followed by gradual strengthening.
The therapists may use some adjunctive modalities such as hot packs (or paraffin baths), ice, stretching, massage of soft tissues for edema control, compression, and specific therapy exercises.
Most patients can do the therapy on their own and do not need (want) to go to formal therapy sessions. However, for those patients that can't seem to get going or need the formal instruction, we will refer them to an occupational therapist.
It is not that the therapist can do anything magical; it is just that some patients do better in a formal setting. And that's okay.
If you feel that you would do better in the presence of a therapist, ask your surgeon to refer you to an OT.
thanks for the reply. I am fine not going to OT but would love some guidance as to specific exercises best suited to gaining strength in my wrist/hand/thumb. My range of motion is quite good which is why my surgeon said I didn't need OT but I am still in a lot of pain and weak and looking for ideas on how to improve those ares.