Questions about My Steindler Flecorplasty Rehab

Treatments, Rehabilitation, and Recovery
Joined:Thu May 29, 2014 10:21 am
Questions about My Steindler Flecorplasty Rehab

Post by pmconway_ub » Thu May 29, 2014 11:07 am

I’m not sure this post belongs in this forum. I’m not recently injured but I had the Steindler flexorplasty surgery in late March. If this is more appropriate to the “Life After Injury” (or another) forum, Please let me know.

I’m looking for any info that can help me with me rehab. I broke my neck and had a brachial plexus injury on my left side in 1965, at the age of 19. Finally because of pain and deformity in the joints of my right hand, I decided to have the Steindler flexorplasty operation (moving my forearm flexors and pronator higher on my humerus to give me some elbow flexion). The doctors also moved a small chip of my elbow, so that the chuip, plus the natural contracture from the surgery, could end my hyper-extending my elbow.

My question. Rehab is excruciatingly slow. The doctors now only allow me to flex my elbow (NO extension) and only when my arm is prone on a table. If I use an arm skate (homemade using ball bearing rollers), I can bring my arm toward me a couple of inches. However, the therapist expects me to be able to move with minimal resistance and so far I am able manage that less than an inch. Can you tell me --

1) How much of this is my brain not yet learning to use the flexors/pronator?

2) How much is it weak muscles?

3) How best can I further retraining my brain?
a. If I repeat the exercises for hours with the arm skate will that help?
b. Do I really need to use the added resistance to train my brain
c. How should I be thinking when I do the exercise? Like my upper arm and forearm are trying to contract?
d. Would biofeedback or any other approach be of any help?

4) How can I best strengthen the transplanted muscles?
a. Will the usual finger, hand grip, and forearm exercises help me to flex my elbow now?
b. Do I need to try to flex my elbow whenever I do any of these exercises?

5) If you had a surgery involving transplanted muscles (or nerves) how did your rehab proceed? What aids? what exercises? what to avoid? What helped the most? How long did it take?

I’m really anxious to find information that might help and welcome any ideas you can share with me.

Thank you so much.