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New Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 12/23/2008 8:40 PM (GMT -6)   
My right hand was injuried 8 years ago. Three of the main bones in my hand where displaced out of socket and pushed back about 3/4 of an half to reast over the top of other bones it normally would be lateral to. Before I could get to a doctor it healed in that position out of place. Long story short, the orthopedic specialist who told me there wasn't anything she could do other then cosmetically and that it wouldn't improve the pain. I asked her for a prognosis and she said she could not give me one because she had never seen the type of injury before.
Since then I have been dealing with constant pain. It seems to me it has been getting worse over the years. I think the bones on top are putting pressure on nerves to my hand because sometimes I can forcibly make the bones move and it gives an immediate relief of pain. Unfortunately the releif doesn't last very long and it is only sometimes when it really is killing me that I can do that procedure to make it feel better. My cousin is a registered nurse and she ask me if I was using traction on it. I told her that I hadn't and I have been searching for such a device for my hand all these years and can't find one. I don't think it exists. She just assumed there would be something like that. The last 8 years I haven't been using any kind of regular medication for the pain. Maybe 3 tylenol once a week. I haven't for the most part had medical insurance, so no access to any medication that isn't over the counter.
My questions are if anyone could help me understand if there are any consequences to not taking medication to an joint/bone injury like mine? Has anyone dealt with anything similiar and how did you treat the injury for best results? I'm afraid that by not medicating the injury I could somehow be making it worse?
I feel like this chronic pain is wearing me down mentally and emotionally.
Thanks in advance

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3089
   Posted 12/23/2008 9:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Arg,

Welcome to HW. Although we are not doctors & cannot provide medical advice, this is a great place to come for support & to learn from others' expereinces.

The only experience I have with joint problems are shoulders. I've had three shoulder surgeries for a torn labrum (the cartilage lining the joint) and damaged ligaments. I do know that if you have an issue with the bones sliding out of the joint that you can be doing damage to your ligaments which hold the bone in place (this is basically what happened to me, although I was an athlete at the time so that greatly exhaserbated the problem/damage). You can also do damage to the joint itself. Taking pain medication does NOT treat the problem. It only covers it up. The only way that you will ever truely get rid of your pain is by fixing the source of the pain. Since that is not an option for most of us, we use pain meds to decrease the amount of pain we are in, but the original problem is still there & always will be there.

Have you ever been referred to a pain specialist? You might also think of getting a second or even third opinion on your hand if you haven't already. Just because one doctor says one thing does not mean that it is the final word. I would get as many opinions as possible from the best specialists I could, which may mean traveling to a major city with a teaching hosptial. You can also try alternative treatments such as acupuncture or homeopathy, some people have good luck with them. As you have noticed, chronic pain & depression often go hand in hand. You may also want to think about talking with a therapist, specifically one who specializes or has experience with chronic pain patients.

Good luck!


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1560
   Posted 12/23/2008 9:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Arg;

I want to welcome you to the HW Forum. I do not have any experience with hand or shoulder pain but I did want to give you a warm welcome and hope that you find the answers that you seek on this board. There are many on this board that are knowledgeable in this area as they are dealing with this kind of pain. The one thing I did want to mention was that its unfortunate that you have to join us here on this forum as a CPer and if you need a shoulder (sorry for the pun) to lean on or to cry on I'm here for you.

Merry Christmas.

HEALTH ISSUES: Herniated discs at S-1-L5, L5-L4, L4-L3. Two level fusion (2000); one level fusion (2002); Revision at L4-L3 (2003). Diagnosed with Failed Back Syndrome, Permanent Nerve damage and Chronic Pain


Kadian, Lexipro, Percocet, Temazapim, Lunista, and Robaxin.

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 12/23/2008 10:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the advice. Actually, the bones don't slip out of socket. They where displaced 3/4 of an inch out of the original socket above the bones they where connected to. The doctor said it healed there by producing and false socket and then the displaced bones and the one that ended up on top of fused together. As a result 3 of my 4 fingers are shorter on my right hand compared to my left hand.
The problem I always run across is that to treat pain or an injury I always get advice to go see some medical professional or another. I don't have medical insurance and currently don't have a job, no savings, and getting in deep debt. I guess that is the joy of living in America where you can't get anything when you don't have anything. Capitalism at it's finest. On the other end is I can't get advice for treating it myself through pain medication - which I am forced to because I can't do surgery on myself. Every where I turn people that aren't medical professionals are scared to give me advice or suggestions because they are scared they might get sued or something. I guess I don't have any options. The only question I have is if I could be making the injury worse by not taking over the counter medication to treat the pain? If I took pain medication could it possibly be reducing the affect of any further injury to the hand that might be happening because of nerve compression, aggravation, or swelling? By taking the pain medication could it possibly be slowing any further damage that would happen otherwise?
I'm 41 years old and have never sued or taken anyone to court. I'm not a threat and nothing anyone could say to me on this site would give me cause to seek any type of retrobution. Afterall it is my life and I'm responsible for what ever decisions or actions I take.

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 12/23/2008 10:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Sorry if I might have come across as intense in my last comment. I'm just frustrated right now.
Thank you for the welcomes and the advice you have giving.
Merry Christmas

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 12/23/2008 11:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello, ARG,
I'd also like to welcome you. I'm not sure any of us could answer the questions you're posing about the use of OTC meds, whether it will help or hurt the condition. That's really for a hand specialist to answer, but I hear you don't have insurance and that's the main issue. Are you eligible for government insurance (Medicaid). If you haven't tried applying, I'd suggest calling to see if you could get it. You can have a few more resources and money than for cash assistance grants. Some state also have programs for the uninsured, although they may be minimal, but it's something.

You can go to the ER for serious pain, but they probably wouldn't give you ongoing medication. We also have a local free clinic in my area, but I'm not sure how many services they provide. I would look and call everyone (I may be in the same boat very soon myself) and see if you can get some insurance so you could see another hand specialist. Then perhaps based on his/her recommendation you could get scripts for meds, and try contacting the manufacturer to see if they offer coupons for someone without insurance.

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