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Thread: Artificial wrist thumb joint

  1. #1
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    Default Artificial wrist thumb joint

    35 years in the shop....You wear out and in my case both wrist thumb joints got that wear out arthritis. There was no let up on work, 12 hrs a day 6 day week was common. 29 day stints also ruled. I was one of three fully qualified to run the two machines I was assigned to. And you just don't turn someone loose on a set of machines that initial cost amount of some $7,000,000.00.
    Wore out, done it, my hands just plain tired, I turned down working a Saturday, hoping to give my hands a couple of days rest. Didn't happen. Forced to work under some damned agreement between the Union and Company. Got about halfway through Saturday and my left hand just plain quit and right hand trying hard to go on strike. Weekend and no one in Main First Aid. Took to the hospital. Nothing they could really do, but give me something for the burning in my hands. Sunday was just sitting to home. Reported to Main First Aid before my shift. I was fitted with some sort of glove to keep my hand from moving. My left hand was the worst. The bone or bones were "hot." I was fitted this glove with a steel liner to keep my thumb is a correct position while the heat left the bone or bones. Living bones get soft when hot. Regardless, I was kept at work to instruct someone to run my machines. Yep, sat on chair and only to "voice" instruct. Problem was sitting, not moving, both hands began to swell, My fingers half again normal diameter. And then the worse, my left hand was deforming as it cooled down. The steel in the special glove was digging right into the side of my forearm, wrist and thumb.

    Again to Main First Aid. Doctor pulled the glove and was on the phone. All at once I was put on Medical Leave and told to report to a Specialist the next day. X-rays were taken and arthritis I had and big time in my left wrist thumb joint. Doctor; "We are going to rebuild it." Didn't happen. In surgery, the doctor found the wrist thumb joint had degenerated to the point there was no socket left. Surgeon came out to tell my wife and mom the issue and receive permission to do this $50.00 word surgery procedure. Wife agreed. What he did was remove what was left of the wrist thumb joint, placed some gel pack just so, and pinned my thumb in a natural position. Over the course of several weeks the hole left by the removed bone filled with flesh. Only 14 weeks wearing a cast. 14 weeks long damned weeks. And then they removed the cast. Horrified is I felt like when I saw hand and it got worse. My hand was shrunk and wrinkly, milk white. The nurse then wash it my wrist and hand with a shower type nozzle. The wrinkly white skin just washed away like lathered up soap. The skin and flesh left was near transparent. I could see all the veins in my hand and see where all the hand bones were, almost see them. And this pin that had been through my thumb and anchored in the bones of hand....I wanted to cry. The doctor and his assistant came in. Nothing medical about a damned pair of high grade Diamond pliers even if they did sparkle. The doctor pulled the pin and only feeling like something of a ton of pressure. Damn! He twisted and pulled seems like forever. When the pin came out there was this relief you can't even imagine of. I wilted. Exhausted to no end and feeling kind of numb. I remember the doctor or assistant asking if I was okay....and then one of the two said they better leave before I got my strength back. And a nurse came in and began to explain the next phase of my recovery...Like I could remember a word she said.

    I was to take it easy for a few days. Like I was going to do a damned thing with a hand that looked like something that escaped Hollywood's most famous nightmare movie. And began the therapy to toughen the fill-in-flesh into scar tissue and form a socket. 2 weeks of misory, 2 weeks of "well, this ain't bad" and a week or so of at home of pulling this clay stuff along with other exercises. Testing gave of near normal movement and said a good 80% mobility. I have full hand pressure, but something less than 75% thumb strength... And my thumb does okay, just set back some.

    Operated on February 3rd. Able to start shooting a bow around the end of June, say 20 weeks plus to recovery. I started with a kid's 15 pound bow and it hurt like Hell....but I progressed quick enough to compete in the IAA 3D Championship at the end of July. Me was one tired puppy. Adult Free Style, finished 2nd to Kevin Koch. Yep, Kevin, ASA Pro today, was good even back then, 2003. Finished 2nd to him last year at a 3D...We shot together once last year, him in BowHunter Free Style and my in Adult Free Style (I like whipping on the "pups") and we both took 1st place...Goal; Beat Kevin once.

    Surgeon has this conference with me. Your right hand will recover somewhat and maybe some sonic therapy to remove bone spurs. Your left hand will last you the rest of your life...provided you retire. If we have to do it again it doesn't go so well. Company calls me in and gives the same story and that I'm coming up on 36 years of service time I should think on it....I retired December 1, 2003 with 36 years and one month of service time. Left hand will ache some, swell a bit if shooting a lot, but I get along with it. My right thumb joint gets a spur ever so often and it will ouch, but the jagged spur seems to dissolve on it's own. Had it sonic blasted once. Okay, it's artificial "bone." It's scar tissue. It isn't hard like bone. It's like gristle, maybe.

    How people see my hand normally. What people don't see. And what it looks like compared to my other hand. Of the first pic you can see a whitish band on my wrist. I was shooting the day of the pic. Normally, my watch band is loose on my wrist. The whitish band tells how much it swells.
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    Former and current Back Yard Champion. I beat myself

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  3. #2
    Senior Member elkslayer4x5's Avatar
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    Wow! Small wonder that Martin's "banana" grip doesn't feel all that good to you.
    http://eastoutfitter.tripod.com/index.html
    http://www.cascadianbowmen.org/
    Martin 06 Slayer, Nitrous C, shoot thru, 63lb, Quiktune 3000, HAA OL 5519, Beman ICS Hunter
    Martin 06 Slayer, Nitrous C, Shoot thru, 55lb, Quiktune 3000, HHA OL 5519 2X, Easton A/C/C
    Ben Pearson 1968 'Cougar' 62" 45#s @ 28" recurve, parallel shaft POC, Zwickey 'Eskimo' 2 blade

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    Wow, what a story Sonny. I cannot imagine going through that.
    2007 Slayer, 55#, Nitrous C, Bodoodle rest, Limbsaver sight, Kwikee Kwiver 3 arrow, Aka "The Man in Black"
    1981 Martin Cougar II MT-6, 60#, Whisker Biscuit, Fuse sight. Kwikee Kwiver
    1984 Browning Deluxe Nomad II XL, 50#, Browning Rack & Pinion sight, Flipper II rest. Kwikee Kwiver

  5. #4
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    That poor left hand of mine....There's a scar from the edge of the palm to the center of the palm from almost cut in half. Racing at one of the Illinois State then premier Scrambles motorcycle tracks I went down and my left was caught between my stomach and race track. I was only doing about 90 mph so I didn't break my hand, but it sure was swollen for a week or so. I had Carpal surgery on my left hand 3 years ago and it burns a bit where the Doctor cut. And then I had Cubical surgery at the same time done on the elbow and it burns pretty good and sometimes too much. Doctor said some corrective surgery could be done, but I done made up my mind I've been cut on enough. Had to have surgery on my right hand when I broke it. Bones wouldn't stay in place and all was pinned. Carried those pins in my billfold for years to remind me to control my temper. Little finger didn't heal quite right and if I make a first the little finger will overlap the ring finger.

    Okay, my wife never grew up. Stands 5 foot and maybe 100 pounds if I soaked down with a bucket of water. Kitchen cabinets set low enough for her and in the corner is the trash can. Cleaning out my desk and throwing stuff away I had to bend over to pitch stuff in the trash can. Bang! Hit my head. It hurt like H__. So another bunch of papers to throw away and Bang! Head already sore it hurt big time. I ain't done pitch stuff and I ain't learned a thing. Yep, hit my head again and I lashed out with all I had. Now, these were the pretty burnt plywood cabinets, about 1/4" doors, but also inset 1/4" plywood to fill the opening. And the inset was right up against the 1" thick selves. That dang cabinet never gave one bit. I was still standing there in shock when my wife ran in. My right arm just hung there. I had to reach down to pick it up. My little finger and ring finger were shoved back in my to the first knuckles. I had broken the fingers off right where the hand bones flare into sockets - like a wind glass with the stem broke off. Index and middle finger hand bones were cracked. Hospital couldn't do anything that night, but take X-rays. Report to our family Doctor the next morning and he pointed to Peoria for the broken bone Doctor. He set my hand, but it wouldn't stay set. And then probably me still having a temper didn't help. Brand new Dodge Polara and the review mirror wouldn't stay in place. Set the thing, backed up and it moved before I was halfway backed out of the drive. Set it again and again it jiggled down. Rage hit. I grabbed the mirror with my casted hand and crushed the mirror right along with my cast. Back to the bone Specialist and surgery.....I might roar like a Lion, but I don't lash out any more....And then I've come pretty close.
    Last edited by Sonny Thomas; 07-20-2014 at 08:16 PM.
    Former and current Back Yard Champion. I beat myself

  6. #5
    Senior Member elkslayer4x5's Avatar
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    Sonny.. dude, ya gotta chillaxe!
    http://eastoutfitter.tripod.com/index.html
    http://www.cascadianbowmen.org/
    Martin 06 Slayer, Nitrous C, shoot thru, 63lb, Quiktune 3000, HAA OL 5519, Beman ICS Hunter
    Martin 06 Slayer, Nitrous C, Shoot thru, 55lb, Quiktune 3000, HHA OL 5519 2X, Easton A/C/C
    Ben Pearson 1968 'Cougar' 62" 45#s @ 28" recurve, parallel shaft POC, Zwickey 'Eskimo' 2 blade

  7. #6
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    "I was only doing about 90 MPH..." Your must be related to Evil Kneivel
    2007 Slayer, 55#, Nitrous C, Bodoodle rest, Limbsaver sight, Kwikee Kwiver 3 arrow, Aka "The Man in Black"
    1981 Martin Cougar II MT-6, 60#, Whisker Biscuit, Fuse sight. Kwikee Kwiver
    1984 Browning Deluxe Nomad II XL, 50#, Browning Rack & Pinion sight, Flipper II rest. Kwikee Kwiver

  8. #7
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    Not exactly related to Evil Kneivel, but did a magazine shoot once. Midwest Motorcycle Rider or something like that. They wanted some shots of banging around the strip mines. Those strip mine peaks are pretty tall and steep. They heard of this one peak called, Monster. So at the shop and the magazine people wanting the shots the boss let me go out and show them Monster and do some photos. Monster wasn't all that tough, just tall, something of 150 feet tall. Hit about 45 mph at the bottom and you could get up it. Going down was the fun part. You went down you went down and prayed no one was at the bottom cause there was no stopping. Well, the photo crew got some shots of me climbing Monster. One of the photographers climbed up to take pictures from the top. Now, on the back side of Monster was just a slight drop off and flatten out. I got a little too much on the throttle taking the slight upgrade to go down. Out in space I went and down. About 100 feet down I went and just by sheer luck I landed with a bit of a wheelie and kept right on going. You should have seen their eyes. You should have seen mine!

    I never learned a darn thing. Later, my sister wanted me to take her new bubby out to Paradise Island, another local motorcycle free-for-all place. Second Gear Hill. A little tricky to get up and get up using second gear at the halfway point. Okay, kind of steep at the halfway point, flatten just a bit to grab second gear, and on up. So he let me ride his BSA 650 FireBird Scrambler and him on back. We watched the guys from the top for a while and then took the rode to the bottom to watch from there. So it was getting time for the cook out we were to go to. So I asked if he was ready and he said, "Yes." The devil made me do it. Yep, fired up I hit Second Gear Hill with him on back. Now, no one rode Second Gear Hill with a stock street bike, especially as big as a 650 BSA and no one ever tried Second Gear Hill riding double. Up the first incline, nailed second gear at the flat and hit the upper incline and over the top. Stopped there, the crowd went wild.....My brother-in-law was near scared to death. Of course he told my sister and, Lord, she chewed me out....
    Former and current Back Yard Champion. I beat myself

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