Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story
I just re-read every post in this thread! I posted earlier about having LTRI and carpal tunnel surgery bilateraly. Since my last post, I have switched ortho doctors. The first doctor planned on doing 4 separate surgeries starting with the carpal tunnel and planned on having them finished by summer. I had nerve conduction studies showing carpal tunnel, but he diagnosed both basal thumb joints thru manipulation and didn't even take an x-ray. Needless to say, I started getting nervous, thinking he was being too ambitious. I also thought he was neglectful for not x-raying my thumbs. I decided to get a second opinion, and several acquaintances of my husband recommended another orthopedic group of doctors in a neighboring town. I called the recommended ortho group. They had me send all the test results, paperwork, etc and said they would call after one of their doctors reviewed it.
They called me back in a couple of days to schedule an appointment with one of their doctors. I had my appointment with their hand ortho yesterday. He read the nerve conduction study and agreed that I did indeed need carpal tunnel surgery. He asked for the x-rays, and when I told him the other doctor never took any he sent me to their x-ray lab immediately. The x-rays showed I had severe osteoarthritis damage in both hands. At that point, he said I needed LTRI and carpal tunnel surgery. He explained a little about the LTRI, but told me since the arthritis was so bad he was referring me to another doctor in their practice who was more familiar with severe arthritis. He seemed to think LTRI and carpal tunnel could be done at the same time, but the other surgeon would have the final say on that. I am set up with an appointment with the new doctor. I do have a few questions before I see him. The hand surgeon told me I would not regain all the movement I've lost, because of the damage, but they could take care of the pain and give me more movement than I have now. He explained harvesting the tendon and threading it through the drill hole and using part of it for cushioning. He didn't mention anything about screws or k wires (info I picked up after reading articles on LTRI). Did anybody on the board have temporary screws or wire holding the surgery in place? What type of anethesia did you all have, and did you have to spend the night in the hospital? I know I will hear all this from the next surgeon I see, but that is 2 weeks away and I want to know NOW! I don't want to stay in the hospital and I don't want to be put completely under. Thinking about having screws removed or wires removed in an office setting with no sedation at all gives me the creeps. Any heads up you can give would be most appreciated. I did learn on my own that getting a second opinion when you don't trust a doctor is an okay thing to do. I was really at ease with the doctor and techs and office personnel with this new group. When I left the first ortho's office I felt like a cow on a conveyor belt! I also read up on doing carpal tunnel and LTRI at the same time and that is the preferred way to do it.....keeps the surgery down to 2 instead of 4.