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last updated 11:15 05/01/03
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Submuscular Transpostion of the Ulnar Nerve

I wouldn't recommend this to anyone unless they really need it, prevention is better than the cure - I'm lucky in that it's not my dominant hand. Living with one hand was tricky for a while, not being able to open jars, taps etc. I now have motion from 15 degrees off straight, and about 20 degrees off the others arms 150 degrees maximum bent. They say 8 weeks from op (4th Dec) I can start to lift heavy items, but it will be longer till the muscle fully recovers and a year for the scar tissue to reach it's best. In the meantime the only worry is the loss of flexibility which is returning gradually. I hope to feel normal again (as normal as) come March. Maybe in February I can get my bike of it's stand ;-) I wonder if the engine will still start . . . .

I may soon have a copy of the 'in op' video . . . . If I post it, I should warn you it contains graphic detail showing the open flesh and the ulnar nerve cut from the boney tunnel and surrounding tissue. The surgeon then had to cut a bit off the inside of the elbow, cut the muscle to route the nerve under it, before re-attaching the muscle - hence the long recovery. The ulnar nerve is what gets knocked when you knock your funny bone ;-) not that I have a funny bone any more, or at least not where it was.

Considering I ride a motorcylcle (and I worry about the risk) I found it amusing, as the ulnar nerve damage was kicked off by working at a poor workstation for 8 weeks - so the next time someone tells me motorbikes are dangerous . . . uhm . . .

If you want to know more about the condition and what can cause it see these links, one thing they show is the variable recovery times; http://www.eatonhand.com/thr/thr057.htm, http://mdainternet.com/topics_t/transfer_of_nerve_ulnar.htm.



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