Emily’s deltoid tendon to tricep surgery update:
The purple cast was removed , exactly 4 weeks post surgery.
The consultant was pleased with what she felt in Emily’s shoulder as the deltoid tendon is now sewn into the tricep and, as Emily lifts the head of her shoulder, the tricep extends her bent elbow. Now, Emily is not allowed to bend her elbow as, although the muscles have been immobilized for over a month, there must be no opportunity to over stretch the new anatomical union. Emily’s arm was transferred into a locked brace that continued to keep her limb fully extended.
The Physio instructed us extremely precisely on the exercise regime. Three times a day Emily turns the brace dial to allow a degree of flexion and extension movement. The first week the dial was set at 15 degrees, for ten repeats, then locked back into full extension so although the full arm cast is off the immobility continues. The second week the degree of flexion/ bend was increased to 30 and then 45 and now we are at 60 degrees.
Put it another way – Emily’s injury lead to her retaining only a bicep movement in her arms so she could touch her nose with her hand but couldn’t push her arm away from her face or couldn’t put her hand behind her as that requires a tricep movement. This surgery has reorganized her shoulder / arm muscles so that Emily can now bring her hand towards her and push it away, an enormously helpful movement and impactful in Emily’s recovery, increasing her ability to live independently, it’s important too on her journey towards returning to drive a car.
Only after this surgery can Emily look towards hand surgery to give her tenodesis and a thumb ‘pinch’. We are months off a second surgery but the positive outcome of this first stage is encouraging.