Radius and/or Ulna Osteotomy

 

You have just had an osteotomy (cut and realignment of the bone) of the radius and/or ulna.

This could be because the bones in your wrist/forearm are not positioned normally, causing you symptoms.

Mr Wang would have stabilised the bones in their new positions with pins/screws/plates from the inside. 

The following are guidelines during your postoperative recovery

Weeks 0-2 following surgery

  • Frequently move your fingers/thumb, even if you are in a cast/plaster. 

  • Stretch your fingers out all the way with the assistance of the other hand,

  • Then close it all the way into a fist, with the assistance of the other hand if necessary

  • Early numbness or tingling in the first 24 hours following surgery is not uncommon. This may be due to the local anaesthesia Mr Wang placed into your wound to help with the pain. 

  • Keep your arm elevated at all times if possible. This is particularly important in the first 5-7 days following surgery. This helps with reducing swelling. Use a pillow to prop your arm up if you are seated or lying. 

  • Please do not lift anything heavier than a cup of tea at this time. 

Following cast/dressing removal

  • This may occur between weeks 2 to 6 following surgery, depending on the underlying condition. 

  • There may be tails of dissolvable sutures used for skin closure. There may also be 'steristrips' or small wound closure tapes, that could be either removed during the appointment or left to fall off at home/in the shower over the next few days. 

  • After the cast is removed, it is important you start moving your wrist to regain range of motion. Mr Wang may ask you to see a physiotherapist to help with this. 

  • There are 4 major wrist movements to regain: flexion/extension/pronation/supination. Mr Wang and/or the physiotherapist will give you instructions in these. 

  • Sometimes, the elbow can also be stiff at this point due to the surgery or postoperative immobilization. It is a good idea to ensure you bend and straighten the elbow to regain freedom of movement. 

  • At this time, please continue to avoid lifting anything heavier than a cup of team. 

Following bone healing

  • This may occur between 6 weeks and 4 months following surgery, depending on your age and the exact osteotomy made. Sometimes the bones may not heal until even later.

  • Bone healing is usually determined on xray, and Mr Wang will advise you when there is sufficient healing to progress with your activities.

  • Once sufficient bone healing has occurred, you could then increase weight-bearing of the arm, and gradually return to sports.

  • Physiotherapy, if indicated at this stage, will focus on regaining strength and progression back to sporting activities. 

©2020 Kemble Wang Orthopaedics

 

Disclaimer: All information provided on this webpage should be considered as general guidelines. Actual practice and (expected) outcomes may differ in your case. The contents has been created online for information purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice.