Kienbock’s Disease II

I got diagnosed with Kienbock’s Disease on the 9th of March.

I broke the news to my family the very same day in the evening. Surprisingly they handled it well and I asked them to meet the doctor the next day. They agreed.

So on the 10th of March, my father and I met the doctor and explained to my father the main concerns of the disease. He said that according to the X Ray, my lunate seemed to be in good condition. The whiteness was almost the same as the other carpal bones surrounding it. ‘To be sure  however’, he said, ‘we must have a look at an MRI Scan of the affected area’. We were okay with that.

Kienbock’s disease can become a serious complication if diagnosed late. If my diagnosis was at Stage I, that meant I had a good chance of getting it completely treated. If an MRI Scan would tell us more about the condition of the lunate, that would mean that we would be able to take a more thought out and dedicated decision. The MRI Scan was a horrible experience. It was half an hour of lying in a painful and awkward position and a loud noises that made me think I would be impaired of hearing by the end of it all. Never before had I so a carefully felt the ticking of time.

The MRI scan’s result was fascinating. It showed my hand in various positions and scanned multiple layers of my wrist. I could make no sense of it, but the doctor said that while the lunate is in good condition, it was beginning to deteriorate. We had just made it in time.

We decided that yes, we would have the surgery carried out as soon as possible. The sooner the better, I thought. This was a Thursday. I wanted it done by the next weekend, latest.

I decided to get it done on Sunday, the 13th of April, just 4 days after my diagnosis.

The surgery that deals with an impending Kienbock’s Disease is called Radial or Ulnar Osteotomy. This involves surgically fracturing the bone, cutting out 2-3 mm of the bone and then pulling the bone down, levelling it with the other. I went through the Radial Osteotomy, which, my orthopedic said, is better than the ulnar osteotomy, for reasons yet unknown to me. This levelling of the two bones means the lunate is nw free to glide along the ulna and the radius. The bone is now in place with a Volar’s Locking Plate.

When the effects of the anaesthesia faded away and I regained consciousness, I remember the heaviness in my right arm. It was like a dead weight, except that it was very much swollen. The pain that radiated out of it was unlike anything that I had ever experienced. It was nerve-wracking. Even as I was carried outside the OT and to my room, all I could really focus on was the excruciating pain in my arm. It was almost unbearable. Can you imagine the feeling of having your arm cut off? Or getting shot? I think the pain would compare to that.

It was not until the painkillers flowed into my bloodstream through an IV drip did I manage to calm down and fall asleep.

Its been one month since that day and my arm looks pretty much normal now. The pain is bare minimal and fortunately I seemed to be having a speedy recovery. The real challenge would be teaching my muscles to coordinate properly as they once used to.

At the end, I successfully overcame Kienbock’s disease!


3 thoughts on “Kienbock’s Disease II

  1. I went through almost the same thing at the age of 17, except for a couple of differences. I was told by a specialist on the disease that I was the most progressed case he has every seen or heard of (as off 2008). See, my Luna bone is “flat as a pancake”, meaning its dead. I can move my wrist about an inch, maybe less, in all directions. I’ve also been instructed that I shouldn’t lift more than 5 lbs. in my left hand where the problem lies.

    Did you have to wear a cast like I did? And do you now have a bar or plate in your arm as I do?

    I’m just curious as I’ve never met or talked to anyone with what I’ve gone through.


  2. Hey Nicholas! Apologies for getting back to you so late!
    Yes, I had to wear a cast for 4 months. During that time I was barred from a lot of activities that I usually could on a daily basis.
    I currently have a titanium plate in my hand with 7 screws fixing it to the bone.

    If you have any other questions, do ask!



  3. Pingback: Recovery | Man & Nature

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