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Wrist Injury

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    Wrist Injury

    Age: 65
    Disability: C6 complete from diving accident in 1976 (45 years post)
    Health: above average
    Location: Plano, TX

    Hello All,

    About a month ago my wrist started hurting, putting me in extreme agony. Bending it back during transfers, dressing, or driving felt like a hot serrated knife cutting the flexor muscle on the underside of my arm. Also, that same flexor muscle under my arm that is responsible for forward wrist extension quit firing off: it’s just dead and paralyzed. I went to see a ortho hand specialist and he diagnosed me with De Quervains tendinitis. He said it was a repetitive use injury from pushing my wheelchair for 45 years. He gave me a Cortisone shot and within 24 hours the pain was gone, but the flexor muscle is still not firing off and still paralyzed.

    So I went from having a good C6 hand to having a C3-C4 hand. This seems somewhat trivial, but it has affected my ADLs so much I might have to get a personal assistant for a couple hours in the morning until I can figure out this new way of life. Has anybody experienced this before ? I don’t think I have an impingent at C3-C4 because I fell fine otherwise. Thanks.


    Tendonitis like this, as well as carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is common in those with mobility disabilities, whether from harmful hand positions for transfers, pushing a wheelchair long-term, or walking with crutches or a walker.

    If you have not done so, I would strongly recommend that you ask your physician to refer you to an OT who has a specialty in hand therapy as well as SCI experience, both to teach you new ADL and transfer techniques, but also exercises to prevent this from recurring or worsening.

    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.