Recovery advice from people with firsthand experience
Final Update for a Little While
January 10, 2014
So, I know I have not posted in awhile although as I have said before, now that the recovery process has slowed down and I have regained most of my ability to use my left hand, there is much less to blog about. Because of this, I will now summarize what my current status is, what my doctor has said, what my therapist has said, and leave you until I meet with my doctor in three months. Obviously, in the meantime, questions are more than welcome.
My current status: I have almost full flexibility back in my hand. I can do pushups until my muscles give out, not my wrist. I can lift up to 30 lbs which will improve as my grip strength continues to return, and I have been cleared as safe to snowboard, lift weights, longboard, etc.. In other words, I am considered recovered and no longer at risk for any more problems or re-injury. That being said, I still have some swelling over the incision which my doctor says could take up to 6 months to go down even with me massaging it in the meantime. Also, I have to keep doing my stretching exercises like pushups and forced finger isolation to keep the progress I have (this will probably go on until I see my doctor again). Feeling of textures has returned in my thumb but my ring and middle fingers are still recovering and fairly numb. They do light up though with a sort of electrical feeling as I touch things. My doctor says there is a chance I do not get full ability to isolate my fingers back (be able to give a perfect thumbs up/extend just my ring finger by itself, etc.) but that is not the end of the world and not my biggest concern.
It is important to note that my doctor mentioned that my recovery has been unusually fast, so if your timeline is not as fast-paced, do not worry. I am due back in 3 months to confirm that my sensation has come back in the fingers but other than that he says I am safe to continue occupational therapy at home and discontinue regular sessions with a therapist. My therapist agreed and we are meeting monthly just to ensure my progress is at least maintained if not furthered as time goes on. Again, it is not exactly perfect, but I have had a remarkably lucky recovery compared to what can happen with as serious an injury as this, and I am grateful for the support of my family, doctor, and therapist. My last words of advice would be to go as intensely and vigilantly in your occupational therapy as you possibly can (only doing up to the safe limits that your doctor or OT has set of course). It makes all the difference and it is the reason my recovery was so fast (being young and otherwise healthy helped as well).