I underwent surgery to fuse a joint in my index finger a few years ago. Unfortunately, the surgery didn’t quite go as planned. I developed a bad wound infection, and this meant that I had to be readmitted to hospital for intravenous antibiotics and removal of the metalwork used to fuse the joint. Eventually, the bones in my finger fused but I was left with a chronically painful finger. Even the slightest touch would trigger off waves of pins and needles, which travelled up my finger.
Eventually, I just stopped using the finger altogether when trying to carry out my daily tasks. I also had to start taking regular pain killing medications such as pregabalin and tramadol. The drugs made me sleepy and forgetful. The tramadol made me constipated.
Although I was able to accept this, it wasn’t nice, and I kept asking my original surgeon if there was something else that could be done to help. Finally, she referred me to the Relimb team for help.
After examining my finger, they diagnosed a neuroma, which was the result of a nerve being cut during the original surgery to fuse my joint. They recommended an RPNI procedure since this would stop the neuroma from being so sensitive.
The surgery was carried out under local anaesthetic. I was very apprehensive about the surgery. What if it didn’t work? What if the surgery was painful? What if it went wrong like the first operation?
Thankfully, I needn’t have worried. Within a few days, it was clear that the neuroma pain had gone and it never came back. It took about 6 months for the hypersensitivity of my finger to settle but that was OK too. By the end of 12 months, I had stopped taking the pregabalin and tramadol and I am now able to use the finger for my daily tasks. I still have a sensitive finger in cold weather, but I can live with that.
I am so grateful for the improvements to my symptoms that the team at Relimb have achieved for me.