Donna suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for over 20 years. She has been living with chronic pain in her left wrist and struggled to find a doctor with a solution. Luckily, she turned to IBJI’s Dr. Todd Rimington, Orthopedic Surgeon with Fellowship Training in Hand and Upper Extremity, who offered two new options for her pain.
Donna has had rheumatoid arthritis (RA) for over 20 years, but says that the last four years have been progressively worse. “I have been dealing with chronic pain in my left wrist and have been unable to do anything with this hand. The slightest touch or jerk would intensify the pain I already was feeling. The pain and throbbing never ended. I couldn’t hold, pick up, grip or do anything that was a normal day to day thing. I couldn’t sleep more than two or three hours a day, because if I shifted or moved to get comfortable the pain would shoot up my arm.”
On top of the physical pain, Donna expressed how no one understood what she was going through. This feeling left her with mental and emotional pain on top of her physical wrist pain. Donna says, “The worst part of it all is that no one understood what I was going through, so I suffered in silence. My disability was not visible, so people didn’t associate it as being a big deal. This led me not only to deal with physical pain, but also with mental and emotional pain as well.”
Searching for Wrist Doctor
Over the years Donna tried many doctors to see what they could do for her pain. Unfortunately, many of the doctors she saw recommended courses of treatment that just weren’t cutting it. Fortunately, she gave it one more try and came to IBJI to see Dr. Todd Rimington.
“I saw four different doctors before I found Dr. Rimington. All the doctors took X-ray’s and MRI’s and told me it was just part of my RA. They would try all different types of medications, injections and even Vitamin diets. Nothing worked and it just kept getting worse. It seemed like no one was listening to me. I kept saying there has to be something else we can try.”
Donna decided to give it one more try when she met with Dr. Rimington. “I told my husband, I was going to try one more doctor, and if it was going to be the same plan as before then I would just deal with my situation. I made my appointment with Dr. Rimington and gave him my entire life story and told him I wasn’t interested in anymore new medications or injections. He ordered an X-ray and reviewed my case and told me that I had two options. I can have a wrist fusion or a wrist replacement along with a carpel tunnel release surgery.”
Wrist Replacement Surgery
Donna was excited to hear a different plan of action from Dr. Rimington. “Finally, something different. I did some research and the doctor and I both agreed that the wrist replacement was a better option, and we scheduled surgery.”
Donna’s wrist replacement surgery went well. She said the first one to two weeks were a bit rough but she is now feeling like a new person.
“At five to six weeks post-op and therapy three times a week, I am 90% pain free! I feel like a ‘normal’ person. I do have limitation to things that I can do, as in how much I can lift or hold. The fact that I can pull up my pants and sweaters and hold my husband’s hand without pain is just an awesome feeling.
“I am so grateful for Dr. Rimington and his team for giving me a chance of normalcy again. I didn’t know what the outcome was going to be but I took a chance and I am so happy that I did. The timing couldn’t be better, I am going to be a grandma in the Fall, and I will be able to be involved and enjoy it.”