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Thread: How Bad Can it Be, Really ...

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by djwpe View Post
    John- that’s trigger finger. I have it in my left ring finger from a combination of sailing and bass trombone playing. I waited 9 months after onset before I went to the doctor, who gave me a cortisone shot and sent me on my way. He chastised me for not coming sooner, saying the longer you wait, the more likely it will need surgery.

    Don
    Thanks, Don. I am going to have it checked shortly! In fact I am going to make an appointment today!!
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Wessex TE-360 Bombino Eb Tuba
    Rapid City New Horizons & Municipal Bands (Euphonium)
    Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (Bass Trombone), Powder River Symphony, Gillette, WY (Tenor Trombone)
    Black Hills Brass Quintet (Tuba)

  2. Quote Originally Posted by djwpe View Post
    John- that’s trigger finger. I have it in my left ring finger from a combination of sailing and bass trombone playing. I waited 9 months after onset before I went to the doctor, who gave me a cortisone shot and sent me on my way. He chastised me for not coming sooner, saying the longer you wait, the more likely it will need surgery.

    Don
    John, yes this is trigger finger. I have had many occupational therapy sessions, two surgeries, and multiple cortisone shots for trigger finger in my left and right thumbs and my right middle finger. My first surgery (right middle finger) was done by my regular orthopedist. Recovery took quite some time. I was not thrilled with the process and the outcome was months of pain as the tendon recovered.

    After that I found one of the best hand specialists in the country, Dr. Matthew Leibman of Hand Surgery, PC. His practice, Hand Surgery PC, was recommended to me by Doug Yeo, who has had multiple hand issues over the years. Dr. Leibman is the hand specialist for the Bruins, Patriots, and Red Sox and is used by BSO musicians as well. My diagnosis and recovery were MUCH improved and my confidence in dealing with chronic hand problems with this practice is as fine as it gets. Further, when I fell and did a hand/head plant and broke my right middle and ring fingers (2nd and 3rd valve), he was extremely responsive and made the recovery as painless as possible. I was able to keep playing (albeit with some pain).

    Further, I have a close professional relationship with my occupational therapist, having worked with her off and one over the last 5 or 6 years on hand and arm tendonitis issues.

    All of this is to say...I recommend using your personal network to find the best specialists for arm, shoulder, wrist, and hand injury and pain. We all will develop some form of injury due to repetitive stress over many years of playing. Keeping as much fine motor skill as possible into our elder years (along with visual acuity to read music) are the two physical issues I have focused on to help keep me "in the game" as I approach 70 years old.

    Doug
    Last edited by daruby; 06-14-2020 at 08:30 PM.
    Sterling Virtuoso 1052HS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HS baritone
    New England Brass Band
    Winchendon Winds/Townsend Military Band

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by daruby View Post
    John, yes this is trigger finger. I have had many occupational therapy sessions, two surgeries, and multiple cortisone shots for trigger finger in my left and right thumbs and my right middle finger. My first surgery (right middle finger) was done by my regular orthopedist. Recovery took quite some time. I was not thrilled with the process and the outcome was months of pain as the tendon recovered.

    After that I found one of the best hand specialists in the country, Dr. Matthew Leibman of Hand Surgery, PC. His practice, Hand Surgery PC, was recommended to me by Doug Yeo, who has had multiple hand issues over the years. Dr. Leibman is the hand specialist for the Bruins, Patriots, and Red Sox and is used by BSO musicians as well. My diagnosis and recovery were MUCH improved and my confidence in dealing with chronic hand problems with this practice is as fine as it gets. Further, when I fell and did a hand/head plant and broke my right middle and ring fingers (2nd and 3rd valve), he was extremely responsive and made the recovery as painless as possible. I was able to keep playing (albeit with some pain).

    Further, I have a close professional relationship with my occupational therapist, having worked with her off and one over the last 5 or 6 years on hand and arm tendonitis issues.

    All of this is to say...I recommend using your personal network to find the best specialists for arm, shoulder, wrist, and hand injury and pain. We all will develop some form of injury due to repetitive stress over many years of playing. Keeping as much fine motor skill as possible into our elder years (along with visual acuity to read music) are the two physical issues I have focuseed on to help me "in the game" as I approach 70 years old.

    Doug
    Thanks, Doug. Not having had quite the assortment of maladies that you seem to have had (I did have my foot run over by a school bus once - long story), I appreciate your advice. I will indeed seek out the best specialist I can find.
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Wessex TE-360 Bombino Eb Tuba
    Rapid City New Horizons & Municipal Bands (Euphonium)
    Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (Bass Trombone), Powder River Symphony, Gillette, WY (Tenor Trombone)
    Black Hills Brass Quintet (Tuba)

  4. #14
    Yep. I've got it in my right hand, middle finger. Bothers me me more on piano than euphonium, but I have had it "stick" during a solo performance. My doctor recommended a cortisone shot but I haven't done it yet.

  5. #15
    I went to the doctor last Tuesday and he referred me to a specialist this coming Wednesday. I had a bunch of stuff done to my yard this week and have slacked off on playing. Wouldn't you know it, the finger feels better. I will cram in some playing today through Wednesday so I don't show up at the specialist with nothing going on and look foolish.
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Wessex TE-360 Bombino Eb Tuba
    Rapid City New Horizons & Municipal Bands (Euphonium)
    Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (Bass Trombone), Powder River Symphony, Gillette, WY (Tenor Trombone)
    Black Hills Brass Quintet (Tuba)

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by carbogast View Post
    Yep. I've got it in my right hand, middle finger. Bothers me me more on piano than euphonium, but I have had it "stick" during a solo performance. My doctor recommended a cortisone shot but I haven't done it yet.
    Well, back here again, and to report the result of my trigger finger episode for anyone who might have or get this. I had an appointment with my primary care provider last week and got a referral to orthopedics. Today I saw the orthopedics folks and ended up getting a cortisone shot. I was given three options, 1) put a splint on the finger when going to bed and leave it on until morning, 2) get a cortisone shot which might work, might not work, might work a little bit or for a little time, and 3) get surgery to repair. I chose Door Number 2. I was told it was a painful shot, but it really wasn't that bad. Immediately after, I could make a fist with no discomfort and open my fingers with all of them working right. I am hoping this takes. Pretty sure in my case the many hours I spend on my horn doing very repetitive scales and such is probably what caused this. I told them I wasn't planning to quit playing anytime soon. They agreed with the shot as the right thing for me now. Amazing what one little shot will do.

    I think Don Winston's doctor recommended this approach, so thanks, Don, for passing that along!!
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Wessex TE-360 Bombino Eb Tuba
    Rapid City New Horizons & Municipal Bands (Euphonium)
    Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (Bass Trombone), Powder River Symphony, Gillette, WY (Tenor Trombone)
    Black Hills Brass Quintet (Tuba)

  7. This thread has taken an interesting turn. I had not seen it after the first two replies. As it happens two fingers on my left hand, the ring and pinky, no longer open fully straight. About a 45* angle is about it. This happened about two years ago after a fall on my left shoulder. I am an organist and I had a really big piece that Sunday. The first indication that something was wrong was when I tried to play the big stretch at the opening of the Cortege et Litanie by Marcel Dupre. Didn't happen. Limped through the rest of the piece. Immediately made an appointment with an occupational therapist. Months of splints and exercises and not even a degree of extra motion. She urged me not to consider surgery. She didn't have to try too hard I was terrified of the prospect all on my own.

    The injury does not affect my Horn playing but that is mainly because I am like a Grade 4 player in terms of speed and agility. It has not prevented me from keeping my church job. It has affected my typing more than my organ or piano playing. If a passage leads with one of the affected fingers I will probably flub it. If a passage runs through those fingers I can usually manage it. Some days I play a Bach Prelude and Fugue of considerable difficulty without even remembering those fingers work right. Other times it will be some simple ditty that is being done by the Praise Band that will trip me up.

    Just venting. I've never really talked about this before. Not sure anything can be done after so long but as I understand it, my church isn't planning on re-opening before the end of the year. If there is a time to look into this its while we are shut down.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by leisesturm View Post
    This thread has taken an interesting turn. I had not seen it after the first two replies. As it happens two fingers on my left hand, the ring and pinky, no longer open fully straight. About a 45* angle is about it. This happened about two years ago after a fall on my left shoulder. I am an organist and I had a really big piece that Sunday. The first indication that something was wrong was when I tried to play the big stretch at the opening of the Cortege et Litanie by Marcel Dupre. Didn't happen. Limped through the rest of the piece. Immediately made an appointment with an occupational therapist. Months of splints and exercises and not even a degree of extra motion. She urged me not to consider surgery. She didn't have to try too hard I was terrified of the prospect all on my own.

    The injury does not affect my Horn playing but that is mainly because I am like a Grade 4 player in terms of speed and agility. It has not prevented me from keeping my church job. It has affected my typing more than my organ or piano playing. If a passage leads with one of the affected fingers I will probably flub it. If a passage runs through those fingers I can usually manage it. Some days I play a Bach Prelude and Fugue of considerable difficulty without even remembering those fingers work right. Other times it will be some simple ditty that is being done by the Praise Band that will trip me up.

    Just venting. I've never really talked about this before. Not sure anything can be done after so long but as I understand it, my church isn't planning on re-opening before the end of the year. If there is a time to look into this its while we are shut down.
    I saw a commercial on the tube with John Elway (former Denver Broncos quarterback), and he had some sort of finger malady. I think it was Dupuytren's Contracture. Do you know what your condition is? Trigger finger seems unlikely simply because your fingers stay in the bent position. If I were a piano/organ player and there was a surgery, medication or therapy that could fix/help what you have, I am pretty darn sure I would do that. I think the John Elway commercial suggested a course of action for his condition. I play a little piano, and as lousy as I am, I need all my fingers working! Good luck to you!!
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Wessex TE-360 Bombino Eb Tuba
    Rapid City New Horizons & Municipal Bands (Euphonium)
    Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (Bass Trombone), Powder River Symphony, Gillette, WY (Tenor Trombone)
    Black Hills Brass Quintet (Tuba)

  9. Howard (I believe this is your name...),

    While I appreciate the desire not to have to deal with surgery, there are things that the OT can not fix. I don't know where you live, but there are orthopaedic surgeons who are hand, elbow, and arm specialists. I use the practice of Hand Surgery, PC in Newton, MA. They have several hand specialists who (at least in New England) are at the op of the list. My doctor, Matthew Leibman, M.D. includes members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra as patients. In addition, he is the preferred hand doctor for the Boston Bruins, New England Patriots, and Boston Red Sox. His practice and the Newton-Wellesley Hospital outpatient surgery are incredible. If you can find a good hand-specialized orthopaedist, I strongly recommend it.

    My experience with my general orthopaedist (who has a military and sports medicine background) was nearly as good on hand issues.

    Doug
    Sterling Virtuoso 1052HS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HS baritone
    New England Brass Band
    Winchendon Winds/Townsend Military Band

  10. #20
    Hi Leisesturm,

    I am not a doctor, just a guy who had a medical mishap as a tot. So here is a most unprofessional opinion (hey, what is the internet for, if not know-nothings pretending they know something?):

    You write in part: "This happened about two years ago after a fall on my left shoulder."
    This screams 'neuropathy!'
    There might be a case for orthopaedic work on the hand as Doug suggests, but the first stop is someone who can look at the nerves in your shoulder.

    It's not your injury, but when people lose feeling in some fingers on one hand, it's often traced back to the ulnar nerve in the elbow.
    Given that you can pin this to the time of shoulder trauma, that's the place to start.

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