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Romford foster carer finds play time more fun following surgery

July 12 2017

Ten years of pain and limited movement had impacted on the life of one Romford foster carer but, thanks to surgery at North East London NHS Treatment Centre, he is now again able to play and bake pain-free.

Mark Zetter, 39, had slowly lost the grip and movement in his left hand. “I was unable to place it flat down on a surface,” he explained. “The grip was all but gone and I could no longer take things out of the oven. The pain was so bad I could no longer play with the children, as I would like to, and so something had to be done.

Mark’s GP identified a dislocated wrist as the source of the problems and Mark elected to go to the North East London NHS Treatment Centre, because of its short waiting times. There he was seen by Orthopaedic Clinical Director Mr Nurul Ahad. Mark said: “He was wonderful and I could not speak highly enough of him. He carried out a live X-ray or fluoroscopy - using X-rays to obtain real-time moving images of the interior of the wrist to identify the issues.

“He explained it was very unusual to see this type of condition in someone so young and he explained how they would shave off part of the bone and relocate and secure it, effectively giving me a new wrist joint.

“It was incredible. I was not only pain-free but also I was able to have much more movement and grip. Unfortunately, shortly after that I tore three tendons, but Mr Ahad had me back in surgery within the week and again he and the team were very impressive. I was also impressed at the short time it took to heal from the operations, which I think is a tribute to the team. I would also like to thank the nursing and reception team who were all wonderful, professional and caring.”

Mark is now able to play with his two foster children. “It is such a rewarding job and now I can fully give the children the nurturing and activities they need and deserve. You never know what the child will be like as they come to you but they all deserve love, care and a safe environment. It is always a wonderful thing when you see your efforts paying off, allowing families to be re-united.”

Mr Ahad said: “I am delighted that the surgery has helped Mark to carry on his important work in a more comfortable way. Being in pain that long is debilitating and tiring. He had a rare, congenital fusion of his forearm bones, known as distal radioulnar synostosis. This prevented him turning his hand, restricting doing many functions that you and I take for granted.

“He had an interesting procedure and I am delighted to say that, with the excellent team effort including hand therapy, Mark made excellent progress and is now able to provide the foster care we so desperately need.

“Fortunately, we are developing more and more ways to support people with wrist problems and I would encourage anyone suffering to see their GP so they can find out more about the possibilities for treatment.”