Progress With My Horse Becomes a Setback With My Hand

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by Karen Del Vecchio |

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Well, it’s been a rather eventful week since my last column. I was excited to have an appointment scheduled with a veterinarian last week for my horse Cherry to check on her healing from an injury, and to see if we could move to the next phase of rehab. She’s been doing fantastic, and I was certain the vet would give us the go-ahead to do more.

And the vet did, but just as I was jogging beside Cherry so the vet could make sure she wasn’t limping, Cherry shook her head, and the end of the lead rope (the horse version of a leash) somehow flipped up and briefly got caught around my hand. The result was a very broken finger, of which I’ll spare you the details.

So, while Cherry got a great report, I was off to the orthopedist’s office. A quick radiograph confirmed what we already suspected: Surgery would be the only way to fix what was diagnosed as a spiral fracture of my fourth metacarpal. Amazingly, the surgeon happened to have a small slot in his schedule the next day for me.

I now have six screws and a plate in my right ring finger, some gorgeous bruising (thanks, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome), and a special hand splint that puts three of my fingers together to protect the injured one. While I’m a bit concerned about how my EDS will affect my recovery, my doctors are hopeful that since the main injury was to the bone, the impact of my EDS will be minimal.

A front and back view of Karen’s hand splint. (Photos by Karen Del Vecchio)

At my first physical therapy session about five days after surgery, my therapist agreed that because there wasn’t much injury to my tendons and ligaments, my EDS should affect my recovery less than it has with other injuries I’ve sustained in which my tendons, ligaments, and muscles were directly involved.

I have felt the impact in other ways, though. I already battle chronic fatigue, so the anesthesia and the recovery certainly were a bit rough. Wearing a sling for the first week or so also caused a lot of neck and shoulder pain, despite the custom-made sling I have from my previous shoulder problems.

All of that can be managed, and my finger fracturee will mostly heal, eventually. My pain level is manageable now, and I’ve had amazing friends and family helping me out around the farm, and supportive co-workers pitching in at school.

Honestly, with the support of people we care about, we can thankfully find our way through just about anything.


Note: Ehlers-Danlos News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Ehlers-Danlos News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Ehlers-Danlos.


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