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Tuesday, September 28, 2010


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Hi did your son recover by using the splint only ? i did not find any thing in your blog about his recovery

our son has the same thing but we do not know what to do ? surgery or try the splint. He is 26 months old

Thank you for your help


Hi Aziz,

We took somewhat of a laisez faire approach and it is slowly, slowly resolving on its own.

T wore the splint (three different ones actually - active boy and soccer season) for at least six weeks and I think longer. At the end of the six (or eight weeks) of PT we saw the hand surgeon again who said it was up to us if we wanted to do surgery. He did not think the lump was going to go away as it was still there and still rather big, though smaller than it had been.

T, then almost four and a half, did not want surgery and was understandably scared of it. He did not need the splint, but his thumb didn't bend either. As I recall we sort of flip flopped about what to do and time went by. Occasionally we would ask T about his thumb and if it would bend and if it hurt. Sometimes he would announce that his thumb was 'cured' (though it wasn't) and would demonstrate how it thunked back and forth.

At the beginning of this August we took him back to the surgeon and scheduled the surgery. We were just over a week out from the surgery and T showed us how his thumb now clicked back and forth and we felt for the lump. It is much smaller, so we canceled the surgery. The surgeon said that T is in about 2% of the cases that can resolve on their own. We continue to check in on it periodically...

T had a pre-K teacher who had a trigger pinky as a child that was never fixed. Her hand, though you don't really notice it unless she points it out, is deformed. He skin eventually grew such that even if she could straighten her hand with the tendons, her skin is too tight to do it. We didn't want this to happen to T.

If your son's situation is anything like T's, and you have insurance coverage for the splint/PT, then I'd go that route first. It might not make any difference in the long run, but it might. However, if you don't have the funds/insurance for both a splint and surgery, or if your son's lump is really big, then I'd just go on for the surgery.

One thing, T has a pretty high pain tolerance, so the splint was okay with him. We gave him Tylenol/Ibuprofen for several days and he would sometimes tell us it was bothering him. After those initial days he was only uncomfortable when he was out of the splint - I think it became like a safety blanket to him. Eventually we weaned him of the splint and all was fine again. It did not slow him down in the least, or not that I noticed. However, if your son does not have a high pain tolerance you might factor that into your plan as well.

Good luck with your decision and to your son!


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