TFCC Surgery Recovery

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by DartMarcus, Apr 14, 2013.

  1. DartMarcus

    DartMarcus New User

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    3 weeks ago I had an arthroscopic surgery performed on my right wrist to fix the sprained TFCC.
    They told me to wear an ulnar gutter splint for 6 weeks and then do some physical therapies for 3-6 more weeks.
    Did anybody here have to deal with this kind of injury? How long did the recovery take? What is the realistic time frame for me to start playing tennis again? (I play college tennis and plan on playing futures when I am 100% healthy and back in shape)
    Thanks guys.
     
    #1
  2. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Next time, tell us what "TFCC" is because not everyone is in the field. It's like me telling everyone I had a RCAS.

    What was the surgery for exactly? Debridement of the loose fragment(s), stitching of the torn ends, or tightening of the ligaments? If my surgeon wanted to open me up for "just a sprain", I'm getting a 2nd opinion immediately.
     
    #2
  3. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Last edited: Apr 15, 2013
    #3
  4. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    One more time: an "acronym" is a word formed from initials. If it's not pronounced as a word, it's not an acronym.
     
    #4
  5. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/acronym

    Is this definition consistent with your usage? It defines an acronym as a word and also an abbreviation such as FBI.

    (Let's delete this stuff.)
     
    #5
  6. DartMarcus

    DartMarcus New User

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    The second option, I believe. I'm pretty sure Triangular fibrocartilage complex does not sound more familiar for the people reading this than TFCC haha.
     
    #6
  7. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Professional

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    Recovery depends on a lot of factors, what exactly the surgeon did would be the first thing I'd want to know.

    Find a good physical or occupational therapist; they'll be able to more accurately give you an idea of when you'll be able to return to tennis after their evaluation.

    But remember, everyone heals at a different rate, and healing is a journey, not an event. Just bc your doc/PT/OT says for example 6 weeks, there can be a lot of factors which may speed/slow down your progress.

    Be smart. Be safe. Good luck.
     
    #7
  8. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Split UT Ligament Injury

    Recent TW thread.

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=452646

    Be sure to understand the discovery of a new type wrist injury at the same location - Split UT Ligament Injury - a few years ago by Dr Berger of the Mayo Clinic and watch the videos, see reply #5.

    Del Porto visited Dr Berger in 2012 to make sure that he did not have this particular wrist injury. He didn't. See Reply #2.
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=455997

    According to the Berger video, he would see patients that had had unsuccessful wrist surgery and were not improving. Some of them had this easily diagnosed unknown injury and were cured with a second surgery. I suppose that it is very well known now.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2013
    #8
  9. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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    I had the same exact surgery. I was probably out for a good 9 months, but I made a full recovery.
     
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  10. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    The Cheese gives a realistic outlook for recovery.

    It's important to remember that while the whole kinetic chain from the legs, through the core and arms generate the power to bash balls ...

    All that force is being channeled through the wrist which at the end of the line.


    Make sure your surgeon knows that you bash balls - you are not someone playing "social doubles".

    Your return time will be the same as a high level baseball player.
     
    #10
  11. DartMarcus

    DartMarcus New User

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    9 months is a long time. Could you tell me more about the recovery and what you did? Did it take you 9 months to start hitting again or go back to normal level? And what level are you as a tennis player, if you don't mind telling me? Thanks, that's very important for me. Not being able to hit is killing me!
     
    #11
  12. DartMarcus

    DartMarcus New User

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    That's a very interesting video. However, I don't think i have this type of injury.
     
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  13. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    There is a specific test where pressure is applied to a certain wrist location as described in the videos. The pressure produces a sharp pain if a Split UT Ligament Injury is present.

    I thought I'd throw the information in for those interested in wrist injuries. My interpretation is that a few years ago it was unknown and often went undiagnosed even through and after surgery.

    If I get a wrist injury I would make sure that my examination included that pressure test.

    The percentage of wrist injuries to that location that involve a Split UT Ligament Injury was not mentioned.
     
    #13
  14. Fuzzy

    Fuzzy Rookie

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    I had a small tear "smoothed" out and the general tfcc area cleaned up a few years ago. I was in a brace for 4 weeks, PT for another 4...if I remember correctly it was like 8-10 weeks total before I was back on the court.

    Haven't had an issue since though!!
     
    #14
  15. DartMarcus

    DartMarcus New User

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    That sounds more like my injury. They told me to wear a splint for 6 weeks and then do PT for another 3-6 depending on how recovery goes. They never told me if I could be back right after doing PT though. Did you ever feel pain again after that? Is it normal that I still have some pain 3 weeks after the surgery?
    Thanks man.
     
    #15
  16. DartMarcus

    DartMarcus New User

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    So I got done with PT 3 weeks ago. My range of motion was almost perfect so I got cleared to start hitting and working out. My backhand (both top spin and slice) and serve are totally fine but I still have quite a lot of pain when I hit forehand. It has been slowly getting better every day until I tried playing a competitive set last weekend. My wrist started to hurt badly again and the pain level is now back to where it was 3-4 weeks ago, so I can't have any contact with the ball when I hit forehand. When I lift weights, the only time when I have pain is when I do wrist curls (mainly reverse ones) and push ups. Everything else is totally fine. I've also been using Wrist Widget to help my recovery. Any suggestions how I could strengthen ulnar side of the wrist besides doing wrist curls? Any advice on any medications or supplements to try? I'm concerned whether the surgery helped me at all or not. :(
    Any help would be appreciated.
     
    #16
  17. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Were you examined for the Split UT Ligament Injury that I mentioned above and it was ruled out?
     
    #17
  18. Fuzzy

    Fuzzy Rookie

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    Sounds like I took a lot more time off than you. I want to say it was 12-13 weeks before i played tennis. Maybe my initial estimate was short. I did not, however, have any pain when I got back. I took it really slow though. Just did short court for a week or so then added pieces of the game back in.

    This is maybe 3 years ago now and no re-occurrence.
     
    #18
  19. duketennisgal

    duketennisgal Rookie

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    My recovery time was about 6 months, I never regained full motion on that wrist and it does still bother me from time to time, but prior to surgery I had gotten to the point that I couldn't even turn a door knob.

    Just make sure you do everything your physical therapist tells you and don't try to do too much!
     
    #19
  20. DartMarcus

    DartMarcus New User

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    I did Split UT Ligament test on my own and I don't think that's the case with me.
    Actually I don't have much weight bearing pain anymore, as I can easily do pushups.
    However, now I have a lot of pain on the ulnar side of my wrist, specifically when it comes to passive supination and weights are involved.
     
    #20
  21. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    I am not a doctor but pain is a message from the body telling you what you are doing is not good. If you have pain, then I think you should not do it, it is as simple as that.

    Why play a competitive set if you still have pain? Sorry but that sounds irresponsible to me.

    I think you need to take some serious time off from tennis or weight lifting and everything else that puts a strain on your wrist above regular physical therapy.

    I think your health should come first here not tennis.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2013
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  22. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Did your Dr do the Split UT Ligament test also? Maybe he did and you were not aware of it? You might ask your Dr if he tested for it.

    From the videos I thought it would be done by all Drs examining a wrist injury. Dr Berger referred to patients who had had surgeries that didn't cure the problem because these patients had these Split UT Ligament injuries.

    Do you know the success rate for that kind of surgery?
     
    #22
  23. DartMarcus

    DartMarcus New User

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    I didn't clarify that I only hit once-twice a week just to see if there is any progress. That one time I played a set I thought my wrist was already fine and once It started to hurt in the end of the set I stopped hitting.
     
    #23
  24. DartMarcus

    DartMarcus New User

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    Just wanted to give update on my wrist. I had a few setbacks during spring season, but overall my wrist is much better now. It's often sore after heavy hitting, but I'm really satisfied with my progress.

    Do you guys have any suggestions on how to improve the wrist strength?
     
    #24
  25. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    A wrist injury is a tough and slow injury to deal with.

    Once you have a serious injury and surgery there are permanent changes to your wrist. You should not assume that the ordinary exercises are OK for your wrist with surgery.

    Are you aware of exercises that cause you pain?

    Certain exercises are already very stressful for normal wrists, for example, barbell curls with a straight bar. They have machines at gyms with arm pads that allow heavy arm, chest and shoulder exercises where the wrists do not bear the heavy forces. Find some lighter exercises for your wrist muscles that don't cause pain, maybe higher reps.

    Stroke flaws. ? You may have stroke flaws that aggravate the wrist and might have caused your original injury. Was your original injury caused by tennis?

    Using high speed video I found a pinched looking wrist on my serve. I had been experiencing mild wrist pain on the Ulnar side at the location where the wrist pinch was. I stopped practicing the serve and forehand and it went away, maybe in a month or two.

    Stop doing whatever makes your wrist sore.

    If you have pain see the Dr again for a followup visit and to get appropriate PT. This time the PT would be directed not at early post operative rehab but at exercises that would be OK for your healed wrist.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2014
    #25
  26. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Have you taken high speed video close ups of your left wrist hitting the 2HBH?

    If so, how does it compare to similar high level techniques?
     
    #26
  27. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    That is a still photo. We can't tell when it was caught or if that is the farthest that your wrist bent.

    My 240 fps video camera catches a frame every 4.2 milliseconds. Things can change considerably in just one frame time of 4.2 milliseconds.

    Have any of your coaches taken high speed videos of your backhand before your injury?

    I don't know much about a 2HBH. The time of ball impact also has high stress. If your wrist is near the end of its range of motion at impact maybe that is a problem. ?

    You cannot see the wrist on the serve in a reliable way without high speed video.
     
    #27

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