Bigger surgery or smaller?
March 1, 2011 6:14 AM Subscribe
Followup to this
I need surgery on my elbow to move the ulnar nerve, which is getting trapped by heterotopic ossification (extra bone inside the elbow arising from an old fracture.) Here's the wrinkle: there are two different surgeries I could have, and I have to choose which one I want -- today.
posted by escabeche to health & fitness (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Surgery 1 is an ulnar nerve transposition -- it takes about an hour and sounds pretty routine.
Surgery 2 involves going into the elbow from a different direction and removing a bigger chunk of the HO, which is blocking movement of the arm; this would allow me to rotate my forearm enough to turn my left palm up, which I haven't been able to do for the last six years. But this is a 2-hour surgery, less routine, bigger incision, and a small risk of damage to the nerves serving the other part of the hand, which are currently doing OK. There's also some chance that the HO will recur.
My instinct is to choose option 1; I've lived six years with limited forearm rotation in my non-dominant arm and it just doesn't bother me that much. But I worry that I'm being foolish by not improving my range of motion, given that I have to go through surgery anyway.
Short version: get only the surgery I definitively need, or a more ambitious surgery that could improve a long-standing loss of function that I've gotten used to?