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Old 05-01-2010, 03:10 PM   #1
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Bone Fusion for Basal joint arthritis

I have basal joint arthritis on left hand and my doctor suggested bone fusion. Has anyone had this done. I need to know how much flexibility is left after surgery. I work with my hands and need the strength. All I can find in these boards is the bone removal tendon replacement.

 
Old 07-11-2011, 07:44 AM   #2
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Re: Bone Fusion for Basal joint arthritis

I have a similar problem but for now I use everything that is possible not to go on operations because it is always a last resort.
Yours to Keep

Last edited by samanta73; 07-11-2011 at 07:48 AM.

 
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Old 06-23-2012, 01:04 PM   #3
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Re: Bone Fusion for Basal joint arthritis

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Originally Posted by ida b View Post
I have basal joint arthritis on left hand and my doctor suggested bone fusion. Has anyone had this done. I need to know how much flexibility is left after surgery. I work with my hands and need the strength. All I can find in these boards is the bone removal tendon replacement.
I saw your post and even though this post is much later it may help others. I had basal (cmc) joint fusion on both thumbs. The right basal joint was done Feb. 2010 and is great. I did not need a lot of physical therapy (4 weeks, 2 visits a week) because I use my hands a lot working around horses and my dogs.
The left basal joint was done Jan. 2012 and did not fuse completely. The Dr. did an x-ray and bone scan. Yesterday, June 22, 2012 the left basal joint was redone, i.e. the joint ends were scraped to promote fusion, and a pin was inserted to stabalize the joint. I feel a lot better after the 2nd surgery with nowhere near the swelling and pain I experienced on the 1st opetration. I have to wear a splint for 8 weeks. Stitches come out in 13 days post op.
I really wanted a strong grip and pinching ability with less post op therapy so basal joint fusion was my choice. It worked great for the right basal joint and I feel the left basal joint is responding very well so far. I know that with basal joint fusion, you loose a little range of motion, however the strong hand, less physical therapy, shorter recovery time is well worth it.

 
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:51 AM   #4
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Re: Bone Fusion for Basal joint arthritis

Hi Ida,

My mother-in-law had her arm fusion at age 78 and is doing great. Of course she doesn't do your job, but she manages pretty well with every day chores still (she is 86 now). She feels mild sensitivity sometimes when the weather changes, but that's it.

I had spinal fusions, this is totally different area and healing process. Only one thing I can tell you: healing and recovery is very different for everyone. Based on body fit, weight issues, smoking, osteoporosis, age, etc.
Hope for the best and everything will be OK. Just make sure you don't push and listen to your DR. You can't rush fusion process, it has mind of it's own.

All the best to you
Moldova

 
Old 09-24-2012, 05:41 AM   #5
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Re: Bone Fusion for Basal joint arthritis

I sure wish my doctor had made this option available to me! He barely mentioned in 2010 when I had the tendon graft surgery.
He started with my dominant hand too and that one is much worse off than my left now after nearly 2 1/2 years out.
I never did go back for the left hand, I was so disappointed with my right.
I do pretty heavy duty work with both hands and they really ache from it.
I put a brace on my left when I work, other than that Its settled down a lot since I injured them.
But my right is pretty much a mess and I've lost over 50% of the strength in my forearm from him taking that tendon out.
I can still feel where they drilled the holes in the bases of my finger bones.
Again, I wish I'd had the fusion instead.

 
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:45 AM   #6
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Re: Bone Fusion for Basal joint arthritis

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Originally Posted by Kass490 View Post
I sure wish my doctor had made this option available to me! He barely mentioned in 2010 when I had the tendon graft surgery.
He started with my dominant hand too and that one is much worse off than my left now after nearly 2 1/2 years out.
I never did go back for the left hand, I was so disappointed with my right.
I do pretty heavy duty work with both hands and they really ache from it.
I put a brace on my left when I work, other than that Its settled down a lot since I injured them.
But my right is pretty much a mess and I've lost over 50% of the strength in my forearm from him taking that tendon out.
I can still feel where they drilled the holes in the bases of my finger bones.
Again, I wish I'd had the fusion instead.
I'm sorry to hear you had such a bad experience with your dominant hand. When it comes to any doctor's recommendation for a surgical solution I go and research the options available. My doctor never mentioned fusion, but recommended arthroplasty (what you had). I went on the net and looked at everything I could regarding arthritis of the thumb and found there were 2 common ways to surgically deal with it: 1)arthroplasty; 2) fusion.
I preferred fusion to have a strong grip ang pinch because I work with my hands a lot on my ranch. I also had 3 friends that had arthroplasty and for two of them it did not work and they had pain all the time. The third friend, it took 1 year for her to get back the use of her thumb.

Here's another example of what I said about digging to find out about surgical/medical solutions: my husband had ongoing hip pain and was told to go to a specialist. Before he went I researched (on the web) regarding arthritis of the hip. I found out there is a less invasive approach called anterior hip replacement with minimal or no therapy.

Whenever these doctors recommend any surgical solution, stop and get all the info you can about the condition including people's experiences that they write about. Then make a decision to do nothing or something.

Try going to another specialist. Maybe another doctor can correct/change what happened to your dominant hand and recommend something for your left hand. Don't let this awful arthritis win!

 
Old 09-26-2012, 06:58 AM   #7
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Re: Bone Fusion for Basal joint arthritis

I did as much as I could, but he was so adamant that this was the best way. It sure was the way he got the most money is all I have to say about most doctors these days.
I barely knew about the fusion so, if you don't have enough knowledge to ask the question, you don't get the answer, do you?
I'm pretty well informed but sometimes they slip past me.
They SAY they want informed medical consumers ( gross term) but they really don't want you questioning their god-like judgement, esp women.

I just wanted to warn anybody out there, as when and after I had this done, I was on these boards and there was a poster who I think now was a surgical rep; Sunny .....something. I think she talked a bunch of people into getting this done. According to her it was the best thing since sliced bread.
Looking back I'm pretty sure she was pushing this surgery as now I've had it a lot of what she said just wasn't true.
So, be careful on these boards, not everybody is who they say they are.

ThX for the hugs :^)

 
Old 09-27-2012, 09:20 PM   #8
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Re: Bone Fusion for Basal joint arthritis

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Originally Posted by Kass490 View Post
I did as much as I could, but he was so adamant that this was the best way. It sure was the way he got the most money is all I have to say about most doctors these days.
I barely knew about the fusion so, if you don't have enough knowledge to ask the question, you don't get the answer, do you?
I'm pretty well informed but sometimes they slip past me.
They SAY they want informed medical consumers ( gross term) but they really don't want you questioning their god-like judgement, esp women.

I just wanted to warn anybody out there, as when and after I had this done, I was on these boards and there was a poster who I think now was a surgical rep; Sunny .....something. I think she talked a bunch of people into getting this done. According to her it was the best thing since sliced bread.
Looking back I'm pretty sure she was pushing this surgery as now I've had it a lot of what she said just wasn't true.
So, be careful on these boards, not everybody is who they say they are.

ThX for the hugs :^)
Kass490,
I had no idea that there were such things as surgical reps.. That is as low and underhanded as they come. It is such an individual based decision when it comes to surgery and it really is a life changing experience. If the info. is not made available, then you are right about not having anything to say to these doctors.
I went to the doctor today (15 weeks post op.) and the x-ray for basal joint fusion of left thumb (2nd operation) looked good. I always ask to see the x-ray and have the doctor go over it with me. I never take any doctor's word
without documented proof (test, lab results, x-ray, whatever) I am using CMF bone stimulator machine on loan from the DJO GLobal company, compliments of my doctor. I see the doctor in 4 weeks and that will tell us more. No more splint (yeah!). I start physical therapy!
It was so different with my right thumb basal joint fusion ( done 2 years ago, same surgeon). It fused in 6 weeks, I swelled a lot, but by 6 months I was really doing well. Even for the same person, different basal joint, the results can be very different. Look at my case.
I am sorry you had such a terrible experience. Maybe you can see a different specialist, someone who only does hand surgery. If this 2nd operation did not work, I was going to see a doctor that does only hand surgery, not a general othropedic surgeon.
I hope you can find some solution for your hand. Thank you for the heads up on these surgical reps..

 
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:51 PM   #9
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Wink Re: Bone Fusion for Basal joint arthritis

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Originally Posted by minspringtown View Post
Kass490,
I had no idea that there were such things as surgical reps.. That is as low and underhanded as they come. It is such an individual based decision when it comes to surgery and it really is a life changing experience. If the info. is not made available, then you are right about not having anything to say to these doctors.
I went to the doctor today (15 weeks post op.) and the x-ray for basal joint fusion of left thumb (2nd operation) looked good. I always ask to see the x-ray and have the doctor go over it with me. I never take any doctor's word
without documented proof (test, lab results, x-ray, whatever) I am using CMF bone stimulator machine on loan from the DJO GLobal company, compliments of my doctor. I see the doctor in 4 weeks and that will tell us more. No more splint (yeah!). I start physical therapy!
It was so different with my right thumb basal joint fusion ( done 2 years ago, same surgeon). It fused in 6 weeks, I swelled a lot, but by 6 months I was really doing well. Even for the same person, different basal joint, the results can be very different. Look at my case.
I am sorry you had such a terrible experience. Maybe you can see a different specialist, someone who only does hand surgery. If this 2nd operation did not work, I was going to see a doctor that does only hand surgery, not a general othropedic surgeon.
I hope you can find some solution for your hand. Thank you for the heads up on these surgical reps..
Thanks, But once done, there's really no going back. I did go to a hand specialist.
I too, always want my x-rays explained. I can even read them pretty well. MRIs....forget it.
I just thought that woman who countered every issue with such enthusiasm was a bit off. and I trust my intuition. I could be wrong however, it HAS happened on occasion

 
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