My name is Magdalena Gromadzka. On May 18, 2020, at the age of 53, I severely fractured the radius bone in my wrist and dislocated the wrist from the socket. I had surgery where they forced many hardware pieces into my hand in order to connect everything together. Despite very intense physical therapy for almost four months and a nerve block surgery, I barely saw any progress. Due to the stiffness I felt in my elbow and shoulder, I was unable to move my entire arm. The pain was unbearable. I was basically handicapped and remained reliant on my family members when completing simple tasks. That is when I came to HSS for a second opinion. Dr. Aaron Daluiski found that the hardware in my hand collapsed into my muscles and damaged the carpal and cubital tunnels. This resulted in complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). He recommended removing the hardware and opening/releasing the carpal and cubital tunnels.
After the surgery, I had physical therapy with Aviva Wolff and Roli Aurora. They were much better than my previous therapists. They realized that the key to healing my wrist was to improve the range of motion in my elbow and shoulder. They did not force my hand to move a certain way and made sure to be gentle and slow during the therapy sessions. Now, half a year later, I can gladly say that I can normally function. I know that there is still room for improvement, but I am happy with the progress I’ve made. I’m even able to play tennis (with a one-handed backhand) as well as downhill and cross-country ski.
My story shows that miracles can occur. The medical professionals told me that my situation was one of the most challenging cases for them. Although my journey was filled with horrible pain, despair, and anguish, I never gave up hope. I believe my determination, hard work, and trust in my doctors and therapists allowed me to achieve so much. My advice to patients with similar diagnoses is to practice and train your hand using different-sized exercise balls. A large bouncy ball helped move my shoulder, a weighted ball helped move my elbow, and a small squishy ball helped move my fingers. I would like to give a special thanks to my doctor Aaron Daluiski and physical therapists Aviva Wolff and Roli Aurora. I believe HSS is truly the best hospital out there and if you don’t believe me, listen to my story.