Kienbock's Killed My Career Dreams....

I was 25 when I began having symptoms of Kienbock's; however, I was also pregnant at the time, so my OB told me that it was probably only CTS during my pregnancy. Apparently lots of women have this. After giving birth, my symptoms vanished. My daughter was about 15 months old when I seen my family doctor concerning this pain and limited range of motion was experiencing in my left wrist. My doctor examined me and told me that he was pretty certain it was only a ganglion cyst and it would eventually go away on its own. Well, about a year later, I seen my family doctor again for the same symptoms, he recommended an MRI and a wrist specialist. MRI and ortho confirmed Kienbock's...unsure of the stage though, so I was immobilized by casting for approximately 3 months. During the first 24 hours of being casted, my arm itched severely and then began to have a breakout of tiny blisters. So, after speaking to my family doctor, the ortho's nurse, & the ortho himself, I was told that I was having an allergic reaction to the fiberglass in the casting material. This was get worse by the day - the first time I had ever had a cast & now I'm allergic to the material...I thought, "Just great"!!! I had to have a special brace made because the ortho's office had to order plaster material to cast my arm. So, finally after having plaster cast applied, after being recasted every 3 weeks, I remained in a cast for approximately 4 months...this is EXTREMELY difficult when you have a small child and also trying to shampoo and dress!!! My husband was beyond ready for the cast to come off =). So, here it is about 6 months after being diagnosed with Kienbock's in my left wrist (OH YEAH, I HAVE LEFT HAND DOMINANCE ALSO), I begin to have pain & am losing range of motion in my right wrist, so we begin the process all over. The ortho tells me that revascularization is the best option for my right wrist since I have just begun experiencing the symptoms. So, we proceed with this procedure...during the surgery, the ortho is floored to discover that the lunate has collapsed and pretty much shattered in approximately 6 weeks of the onset of symptoms! He speaks to my husband while I'm under general anesthesia and they decide to performproximal row carpectomy, which was fine with me, because I had told my ortho, if any type of decisions were to be made (during surgery) to allow my hubby that privilege. Once fully awake, I'm expecting pins and all types of hardware to be attached, but I learn that another type of procedure had to be performed. I was very disappointed because my expectations of the revascularization taking root were shattered! The surgery is a success, I have minimal problems with symptoms. I was ecstatic because this meant that I could return to college and earn my nursing degree and everything was going to work out perfectly for my family and I. Little did I know at this point! I begin my first semester in college after being away for 10 years, all along, I am taking Mobic (a Rx anti-inflammatory that is working wonderfully). Everything goes great for a year, my ortho told me that my left wrist was in Stage 4, so just deal with the symptoms until I was ready to have a PRC or total fusion. I fought to not have surgery as long as I possibly could! Then, after the summer semester, I completed all necessary applications & requirements to apply into the clinical portion of the nursing program, I was accepted on the first try, which is VERY honorable at this college. Usually there are approximately 300 students that apply, only 50-75 are chosen, so I was one of the chosen few and & I was soooooo excited! I told myself that in 1 1/2 years I would be embarking on the career that I had been completely passionate about pursuing. One week after beginning this new journey of life, I begin to have SEVERE pain and range of motion is at an all time minimum. The pain and stiffness were affecting my penmenship, I was only able to sign my name and take a break without being in constant pain. Immediately, I scheduled an appointment with my ortho and also meetings with all of my professors. This was a very trying time for me because it was difficult for me to perform academically, I was upset because I knew all of the material, I was unable to convey the information to paper because I was pretty much unable to write more than 2 or 3 words at a time. So, needless to say, I had to schedule and immediate PRC on my left wrist and after not recovering within 2 weeks (as with my Right PRC), I had no other choic but to withdraw from the Nursing program. Six months after my 2nd PRC, I was still barely able to write and had hardly no strength in my left hand and knew that I would be unable to perform minimal duties on any occupation, so I was forced to apply for disability. I was 31 YO, with a small child, and a wonderfully supportive husband, & I had no idea why God was doing this to me. I was furious with myself and with my God, because I wanted to help my husband provide for my family...I couldn't understand why! I was denied on the first disability attempt, but I pursued the appeal process because I knew that I was less than able to perform necessary duties, I was then approved on the 2nd attempt, thankfully! I had to be examined by several doctors that are contracted through the Social Security Administration, which was fine by me because I wanted to prove my case. Every doctor that examined me was extremely surprised at the loss of range of motion and strength that I had in my left wrist after the Proximal Row Carpectomy, compared to that of my right wrist, post-surgery. I have now been disabled for 18 months and have to take meds for depression because I am very limited to what duties I can perform successfully as a mother, wife, and homeaker. It is very depressing to be unable to complete housework properly because my wrists won't afford me that luxury, or to have to ask my husband to help me rearrange furniture, need assistance in with major housework projects, be unable to lift things that are not really heavy to a "normal" person, but are impossible for me to do alone, it is also extremely difficult for me to turn the steering wheel on a lawnmower and to ride anything that has handlebars because of the difficulty of turning them either way, I can ABSOLUTELY NOT have any type of vibrations in my arms or I can barely use them the following day! This disease is not terminal; however, it does make a person realize everything we take for granted on a daily basis. I have decided that God "done this to me" because my daughter and husband needed me more as their caretaker instead of being paid to be a stranger's caretaker! Since my disability began, I have also had to assist in being a caretaker for my mother- & father-in-law who have some major health problems. So, on that note, I am thankful that I am in the position to help my husband's family where I am able and my life is not passing by in a blur. I am able to watch my daughter flourish each day and give praise to Jesus for the blessings he has bestowed on my family!! I hope my story gives each of you some type of encouragement in your journey with Kienbock's...good luck! May God bless you! P.S. The pain and stiffness are still in both wrists, and I have very little range of motion, but I am determined to put off the totatl fusion as long as I possibly can. My philosophy: a small amount of range of motion is better than none at all...also, a fusion is my last option for any type of relief!
rstabler122079 rstabler122079
31-35, F
4 Responses Jan 14, 2013

This almost brought me to tears! I was diagnosed at 19 and now have KD in both, 4 surgeries and still in pain every day, Im on 4 meds to help with pain....Norco, Flexeral, Mobic and Norontin...Ive been unable to work for years because of all this, I have the same problem with writing...I have 3 kids 10,7,6. I am getting ready to file for Disability, i filed once before but was denied and gave up so now I have to start all over agian.....This gives me HOPE!! Lots of love hun! XOXOXOXO

This hit home more than you could possibly know. I'm 33 and a hairdresser. I've had the bone removal 8 years ago and it has never been great....but in the last 4 months excruciating! I've had to drop 75% of my hair clientele and it's just heartbreaking. I've been debating applying for disability, this post helped me make a decision to do it. What else can you do with a completely useless hand? Just know this brought me to tears and I feel your pain. Wishing you the best.

To my new "KB"sister
I was diagnosed in 2011 with this painful disorder called Kienbocks in my right wrist.In 1999 I was diagnosed with CTS in both hands( I worked 31 yrs for Verizon in Brooklyn as a Central Office Tech ,retired in 2002... took care of my Mom until her death in 2004 then was blessed with a Job as a Supply Tech working as a contractor for the US Govt ) but was able to work around the numbness & tingling until 2011 when the pain & weakness increased...... fast forward>>>2012
I had PRC & CTS surgery on Dec.06.2012. I'm still not sure of what my complete recovery will be still experiencing some pain not as much as b/4 surgery,still in therapy.. range&motion still lacking and my left hand is getting weaker because it is over worked... I am still trying to understand when someone says TAKE IT EASY...I don't want to harm "ME"but how do we stop doing just the basic with these precious hands.I am learning how to do things differently now ...I need more help now than before I guess this is the new norm.... I thank God for the family he blessed me with !
Thank you for sharing you story...take care of those hands...blessings .

Thanks for sharing your story :) I'm currently in my first of three months in a cast. I'll get it replaced, and an X-ray performed, in about a week and a half. Another six weeks in a new cast and they'll perform another MRI to see if its improved any. Based on others' stories, it doesn't sound like casting is ever a solution. I often worry, too, that my other wrist will become affected, and I completely agree with how much we take for granted a fully functioning hand/wrist.