I have shooting pain into my forearm when trying to give the "thumbs up".

by Buddy Walker
(Sab Diego, Ca.)

Clean Break In Trapezium bone, casted wrist, making the best of it

Clean Break In Trapezium bone, casted wrist, making the best of it

I just read one thread, which touched a bit on my issue, but hasn't hit the nail on the head, as it were.

I'm now 55. I'm disabled from a lower back injury at work, that required fusion, L-5,S-1. The first failed, and had to endure more surgery. I'm not sure if this history is needed, due to my current problem, but in case, I'll give you what I know..
I've also been a sad recipient of the head aches that hit me about ten years ago, called cluster head aches. (aka suicide head aches) which have finally started to subside.

The list of things seen in my record are,


I visit the 'pain clinic about twice a year, for the past 5 or 6 years, where I get injected, in a pattern resembling a 6-pack, 3 on each side of my lower back. I also wear these fentanyl patches, that relieve much of this chronic hurting..

I worked with my hands in the construction trade , structural concrete, and operated heavy equipment, before I got hurt at work..

I had to have my carpel tunnel opened up on my left hand/wrist about 20 years ago, as the tendons were shredding off, looking like string cheese that wouldn't allow them through. That hurt, but the feeling came back into my middle fingers, and the grip strength came back almost as strong as the right hand was. I'm left handed, (also the wrist, that had this tunnel syndrome worked on.)

Until I got hurt, I was very fit, in my opinion. And had few issues, if any.. ;o)

Okay, so here's my current problem..

About 5 months ago, I had been moving furniture, and also trimmed a bush... About 3 days after doing this, if I laid my hand flat, palm down, then tried to move the thumb left, or opening hand, I felt this nasty shooting pain, from the base of my thumb, at the wrist, that shot up into my forearm like a burning knife, (as I read one person describe.)

I kinda dealt with it for 4 or 5 days, then went to see the doc, who sent me to x-ray. They saw nothing fractured but said sometimes it takes a while for fractures to show up in an x-ray, but suspected the scaphoid bone may have had a problem, as there was a small bone cyst, as he called it, seen there.. (To me, it looked like a small crater, in the middle of my scaphoid bone.

They put a cast on me, covering my thumb, up to the last joint there. I could wiggle the end of my thumb.

About 6 weeks later, went back, when they wanted to x-ray again, which the shots looked, to me, just like first ones I saw. Although, I can't pretend I know anything about bones and stuff. This time though, the doc told the x-ray lady, to get a new angle, which apparently showed the trapezium bone at a different angle. Then, the doc showed me this, clear brake, and apologized, that they missed it the first time.

He then put me back into a cast, but this time, the cast guy covered my thumb, completely. I could see the end, but I couldn't move it, at all. Then the doc told me to make an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon...

I saw this orthopedic surgeon, finally almost a month later, where he suggested that I continue this cast wearing, for another month, at least, trying to avoid having to cut on me.. I can only assume that this trapezium had
been in 2 pieces too long, for it to ever melt back together, or however they repair that.. None of these doctors, at this point had "set" my wrist, or anything like that.

So, 2 days ago, (now 4 months, with a cast). I went to see this surgeon again, who, though I tried to remind him of my issues, spoke only of the scaphoid bone. :O( The cast was removed, and again, I had 4 more shot via x-ray. He told me that I would be sore, and that there were tendons that were likely irritated, but in a few days the pain there would probably go away. So, I kinda scratched my head wondering what in the world is he talking about? I left there castless and feeling kinda tender, in a few ways. He did give me a wrist brace to wear.. This, did nothing as far as I'm concerned and seemed to be as useless as tits on a boar pig.

4 days now, that I've been without a cast.
It feels pretty much exactly the same as it did when it first started to really bother me. I can't even say I hurt it while moving furniture or even trimming that bush. As it didn't start bothering me for days after. Before this, I've never broken a bone that required a cast.(besides my back) So, I think generally speaking, my bones are mostly pretty tough, until I see that list of things, (above) that may prove me wrong..

One thing the surgeon guy did, was poke around a bit, at the little soft spot where the hand connects to the wrist, at the base of the thumb, until he touched something that felt like I'd just been shocked by a electrical charge, that quickly radiated half way up my fore arm, on top.. I have pretty good strength closing my thumb as to grip something. I can also move my thumb in and out, up and down, if I grab the end of my right thumb with my left thumb and forefinger..

I cannot move it away from my fingers, at all..
I thought that may be the most important information you might need!

I'm really sorry to make you have to read all this, but I thought you might even know more than these yahoos I've been getting 'the business' from.. Also thought you would need as much info as possible..

I appreciate your helping all these people with their questions. *cheers*
Ten thousand thank you's for your view on why I can't give you "2 thumbs up"... ! ;o)

Buddy Walker


Joshua Answers:

Hi Buddy.

Thanks for all the details. Really can't have too many details. The clearer the picture you can create for me, the better.

So, yes, you're pretty jacked up. And the clues you gave me are pretty important.

I have two questions I need an answer to before I continue.

1. What was the work injury that required back surgery?

2. You had back surgery that failed. What does that mean, exactly?

Answer those two questions, and then make sure to read the following pages in preparation for the rest of our conversation:

Pain Causing Dynamic

Magnesium for Tendonitis

What Is Tendonitis

Please reply using the comment link below. Do not submit a new submission to answer/reply, it's too hard for me to find where it's supposed to go.

And, comments have a 3,000 character limit so you may have to comment twice.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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Feb 20, 2012
Couple answers to a couple questions.. - I have shooting pain into my forearm when trying to give the "thumbs up"
by: Buddy

Thanks a bizillion for taking a look at my predicament, Josh. I appreciate it..

1. What was the work injury that required back surgery?

Yes, I broke my L-5 vertebra in 2 places. It took a reverse flexion view, to see the 2 fractures. The disc @ L-5, S-1 herniated, and the disc above wasn't toast, ermm herniated. but I think it was referred to as a 'broad based bulge'.. The disc above it, was a mild based bulge.

2. You had back surgery that failed. What does that mean, exactly?

I was, unfortunately, the recipient of bone fusion, L-5, S-1.. (It was 7 years and a bitter fight with 2 workers' comp insurance attorneys, to finally come to terms.. long story) Meanwhile, I was down, and was lucky, in the broadest sense, to have Spine surgery in the beginning of the 2nd year, after I was hurt. At that time, the plates, and the titanium screws, costing $400.00 per screw, known as "instrumentation" was not an option in my case due to nightmares including denials from workmen's Comp carrier/s, State disability, Social Security. Being single then, I didn't even qualify for MediCal.. There are programs though, that will allow you to become a patient, in a university, UCSD in San Diego, for example, that will discount costs, upwards of 40%, for the up and coming students to 'practice' while becoming educated in orthopedic surgery....

To answer your question,
They had opened me up a bit wide, and scraped bone from my pelvis, sorta like peeling an apple, as I understood it.. then laying these thin slices over the L-5 and sacrum.
9 months after this surgery, the physical therapist lady decided I wasn't coming along as I should have been, post op. So, back I went to let them take a look..

The fusion was found to not be 'sound' if I recal the high tech verbage.. It felt, to me, as if they may have left some pliers in there that were misplaced...

This, was then termed as an 'exploratory procedure' which was ultimately named as a "failed fusion." How's that for a long story, short? ;o)
I would have posted a pic from that horror to illustrate, but I see no option, this time..

I see the word just below, to enter is, "septic".. Seems to relate, eh? lol


Feb 29, 2012
Joshua Responds - Buddy - I have shooting pain into my forearm when trying to give the "thumbs up".
by: The Tendonitis Expert

Joshua Comments:

Hey Buddy.

Septic indeed, something stinks here.

Ok so yes, attempts at bone fusion can and does certainly fail. Once they heal they're permanent, but a problem with spinal bone fusion surgery is just that, the bone not healing.

Why might bones not fuse together? There's a lot of reasons I'm sure I don't know, but one major cause off bones not healing, whether it be a fracture, bone fusion, or screws and bolts and various implanted metal, is:

Lack of Vitamin D and Magnesium. Both are required for the body to utilize Calcium.

I bet you a dollar your doctors (much less -anyone- in the hospital) never mentioned (much less had the thought) to you that an adequate Vit D level and Magnesium intake is necessary for proper bone function, bone healing, increasing the chance of a successful bone anything, etc.

What's your Vitamin D level? How much Magnesium do you take every day.

See: Magnesium for Tendonitis

See: The Vitamin D pages at www.Easy-Immune-Health.com

Also...want to fix the back? Check out The ARPwave System.

'Fix' may be relative, let's shoot for pain free. The only thing that's going to do that is the ARPwave. You've got injury, and you've got MAJOR compensation pattern (and other negatives) from it that essentially keeps you in pain.

If you fill out the form on that page, they'll give you a call. I HIGHLY recommend it. There's a certain $ cost, but I promise you it's the only thing out there that can get you out of pain, and not just out of pain, but push you towards a fix to the whole thing.

Plus you can work on the arm thing with it too.

So....I've kind of focused on the back so far. I can't help you with the back other than the ARPwave recommendation.

So, the arm.

Again, that wrist bone didn't heal after multiple weeks. Along with the failed spinal fusion, that's a huge clue.

So, aside from some purely physical aspects like TOO TIGHT muscles and connective tissue and a Process of Inflammation, you're looking at some significant nutritional deficiency/insufficiency.

Get The Carpal Tunnel Treatment That Works. It will deal with necessary nutritional factors, and show you how to open up your forearm/wrist and the compression you have going on up in the neck.

More questions, more answers.

Aug 24, 2014
78 year old with broken wrist, surgery, and now can't open fingers
by: King Lam


My mom is around 78 years old, and had a broken wrist 2 years ago, and has surgery since.

However, after the surgery, her fingers (right hand) will not completely open (almost like a L shaped) and seems to be getting worse. She did have physiotherapy right after the surgery for about 1 year, but the problem still persists. We tried to open her fingers and she will feel pain.

Do you know what type of problem she has and what can be a resolution?

King Lam


Joshua Comments:

Hi King.

Over time and useage, our muscles and connective tissue get tight. This eventually makes us weak and fragile (in 'old age').

She fractured her wrist, which means there was some kind of impact and possibly some weak bones/osteoarthritis.

I'm assuming that she was casted after the fracture, and if not then certainly after the surgery.

Casts and time spend in immobility essentially make the connective tissue shrink wrap down TIGHT.

Physical Therapy didn't do a good enough job of restoring her to full function.

So now it hurts to move her fingers...


1. Does she have full range of motion, or is she 'stuck' at a certain point?

2. At what point in that range of motion does she feel pain?

3. A little pain, or a lot of pain?

4. What is her Vitamin D level? (If you don't know, find out.)

Also, see: 13 YO Girl Wrist Injury Immobilized 5 months

78 years old, or 13, it doesn't matter. Immobilization in a cast causes connective tissue to shrink down and cause serious restriction and problem.

Sep 12, 2017
Told fractured scaphoid but then diagnosed with tendon tear at base of hand
by: Sharon

In 2012 I fell and landed on my right hand. For a while I was treated for a scaphoid fracture but was eventually diagnosed as having a tear on one of my tendons on the base of my hand/ near the wrist joint.

I was in a lot of pain and lost a lot of movement so approx 10 months later, my surgeon removed part of the tendon sheath to get things moving again.

I had a couple of months of physio after that and everything was fine until last December (about 4 years after the op) when I slipped and landed right on the same spot.

Since then I've been in terrible pain again. it just won't settle. I've tried accupuncture and everything I can think of. it's having a massive effect on my life. Can you help?


Joshua Comments:

Hi Sharon.

1. Did you retear something?

2. Try ice dipping as described on the How To Reduce Inflammation page.

It's not a fix per se, but it's very effective at lowering pain levels.

You fell and either retore something or didn't but either way a huge inflammation process kicked in (part of the defensive mechanism).

First thing's first, dial the inflammation down and reduce the pain.

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