a guest Feb 27th, 2020 81 Never
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- I need to start by saying that I'm not a climber, though I admire all of you who are! That said, I'm an actively performing drummer, so I think my experience might be helpful, in general.
- In 2009, my surgeon performed in-situ decompression on both of my elbows, at the same time. In-situ Decompression is the easiest procedure on the list, and the recovery is much faster. The nerve is kept in place (hence "in situ"), and the incisions are only about an inch, in length.
- I had the nerve conduction tests done before the surgery, and it definitely showed a decrease in activity of the nerve, which apparently manifests itself by hurting more, during the test jolts. (not pleasant!)
- Before the surgery, I had light tingling and numbness, and the pain was more on the dull side, in the 2-3 range. My grip was still pretty solid, so I didn't experience some of the weakening that I've read, here.
- My main activities were the aforementioned drumming, medium-weight exercise, and I also spent a ton of time behind the computer typing, programming and gaming. I know that my posture at the PC wasn't the best during that time, which was undoubtedly a factor.
- I lived in the Dallas area at the time (in SoCal, now), and my surgeon, who is a renowned plastic surgeon in that area, recommended the in-situ procedure, since my pain/numbness wasn't severe. I, of course, agreed with him, as the least invasive surgery is the way to go, if possible.
- My post-op pain wasn't that severe, and I didn't have to take the pain meds for long, at all. He recommended that I do some light drumming as therapy, and I was doing that, within two weeks. I also went to physical therapy, which was somewhat helpful. Yes, the dull pain was basically still there, but doing activities didn't cause *lasting* pain, which is key.
- ...fast-forward, six years. Unfortunately, in the past two years, doing any sort of moderate/heavy activity has caused both elbows to become sore, for days. If I drum lightly, as in an acoustic/jazz show, the pain is *tolerable*, though still troubling. A full-on Rock/Backbeat show isn't an option at this point, which is extremely frustrating.
- My exercise routine only involves very light dumbbells, which is good enough I suppose, but I haven't done it in a couple of months, as I can really only do drumming *or* light-lifting; stacking them just compounds the pain.
- Here's the thing: since the elbow is the point of compression, I wonder if getting a transposition would have been best, since I'm an active person. Yes, cutting the tissue around the Ulnar Nerve definitely relieved some pressure and was helpful, but this procedure seems best suited to those who aren't actively involved in many activities.
- Then again, as I mentioned before, my downtime was minimal, so I'm sure my surgeon was doing what he felt was in my best interests all around, and I truly am grateful and would recommend him to anyone, in that area.
- I've been searching well-respected Ortho docs in my area, and it seems as though people consistently recommend pro-sports-team doctors. I'll be looking into that for sure, though my insurance likely isn't accepted. I'll pay the money to have it done, right; that's for certain!
- Anyway, I'm glad I found this thread, and I hope I've been somewhat helpful. All the best to all of you, and I hope you're all able to get back to your best climbing, soon!
- - B
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