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Old 05-09-2011, 10:48 AM   #16
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

ChiaCat,
That was a great follow up. I hope that many others will see these posts so that they will be better prepared for this surgery. Hope all is well

 
Old 06-14-2011, 11:43 PM   #17
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Hi Dajo & Chiacat.
I would like to ask you a question please. I am 6 weeks post surgery.(I had a ball of hard cast in the palm of my left hand with the original bandage on for 1 week. My surgeon told me he did not want to remove this as not to cause more pain to my hand.) After 4 weeks of wearing the micro-plastic splint that kept the thumb & forefinger apart, my surgeon & his physiotherapist told me I could remove the splint & start gentle hand exercising except for brining my (left) thumb into my palm or touching my other fingers. I place my hand in a large bowel of water twice a day & do these exercises without any problems.
My question for you is, did you wear any kind of brace/splint after the 5 weeks that your hand was in a hard cast or a splint?
During the time you were having your physio, after each treatment, did you wear any kind of brace or splint on your hand?
I find that wearing a brace on my hand helps whilst I am not at home. I resumed driving (automatic shift) 6 weeks after surgery.
My thumb & wrist are still slightly swollen,which is normal, I am told. I do not experience any pain. The scar sometimes itches, which is also normal. I use loads of cream to hydrate the scar & my hand.
Any news about you having surgery for your other hand Dajo ?
I hope all is well with you both.
Haydena.

 
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Old 06-16-2011, 08:21 PM   #18
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Cool Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Hi Haydena!
I'm glad you are coming along well. I did not wear a splint after the cast came off. However, to this day, I wear Comfort Cool support gloves whenever I am working out with weights or when I am pulling large medical charts. Other than that, I don't wear (and didn't wear) any other splints. During my last appointment with the surgeon, which was on my annual anniversary in May, the dr. gave me a cortisone shot in my other hand joint. So far, that injection is working so I will be able to put off the other surgery for now. I am still so glad that I had the hand surgery and I know that you will too. Thanks for your post. It helps for all of us to learn other techniques.

 
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Old 06-17-2011, 04:23 PM   #19
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

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Hi Haydena!
I'm glad you are coming along well. I did not wear a splint after the cast came off. However, to this day, I wear Comfort Cool support gloves whenever I am working out with weights or when I am pulling large medical charts. Other than that, I don't wear (and didn't wear) any other splints. During my last appointment with the surgeon, which was on my annual anniversary in May, the dr. gave me a cortisone shot in my other hand joint. So far, that injection is working so I will be able to put off the other surgery for now. I am still so glad that I had the hand surgery and I know that you will too. Thanks for your post. It helps for all of us to learn other techniques.
Thanks so much for answering my question Dajo. I am looking into the support gloves.
I was and still am very pleased that I had this surgery & I do realize that my hand is improving every day. As you said in one of your previous posts, we need to give ourselves time & have patience.
I hope your the cortisone lasts for your other hand.
Take care.
Haydena.

 
Old 07-12-2011, 12:34 PM   #20
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Haydena

I enjoy your posts and feel like I know you! I was diagnosed with basal joint arthritis last fall after finally going to the dr. to check out why my hand hurt so bad and had an xray. I am a veteran of back and neck surgeries/treatments/pain so I opted for the cortisone injection at the first visit. That cortisone shot provided great relief for about 6 months and then the pain gradually starting coming back. My dr. said there was a limit of 3 cortisone shots.

I saw my dr again in May for a second cortisone injection, but this time, unfortunately, their was no pain relief. Tomorrow I go for my 3rd appt and most likely will discuss surgery again (my dr. gave me literature to read and we discussed it at my 2nd appt). I was so hoping to wait until work slows down, but the pain is getting to be a quality of life issue for me and I feel like I have no choice.

I am scared of general anesthetia - afraid I won't wake up - but know this is common. It brought great comfort and encouragement to know that you and others have had such a great outcome to this surgery. I've never joined a message board before, but had googled about the surgery and saw this message board.

Please keep posting!! It helps to know others share my pain (literally!) and these posts are full of great information.

Thank you!

 
Old 07-12-2011, 02:47 PM   #21
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

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Originally Posted by Lori Loisell View Post
Haydena

I enjoy your posts and feel like I know you! I was diagnosed with basal joint arthritis last fall after finally going to the dr. to check out why my hand hurt so bad and had an xray. I am a veteran of back and neck surgeries/treatments/pain so I opted for the cortisone injection at the first visit. That cortisone shot provided great relief for about 6 months and then the pain gradually starting coming back. My dr. said there was a limit of 3 cortisone shots.

I saw my dr again in May for a second cortisone injection, but this time, unfortunately, their was no pain relief. Tomorrow I go for my 3rd appt and most likely will discuss surgery again (my dr. gave me literature to read and we discussed it at my 2nd appt). I was so hoping to wait until work slows down, but the pain is getting to be a quality of life issue for me and I feel like I have no choice.

I am scared of general anesthetia - afraid I won't wake up - but know this is common. It brought great comfort and encouragement to know that you and others have had such a great outcome to this surgery. I've never joined a message board before, but had googled about the surgery and saw this message board.

Please keep posting!! It helps to know others share my pain (literally!) and these posts are full of great information.

Thank you!

Hello Lori,

Thank you so much for your kind words. Its great to know that the info I have provided is helping others who need to go through this operation.
The minute I heard from my surgeon that I needed an op, I decided to go for it. No injections & no tablets because my logic told me, nothing can replace the cartilage.
I firmly believe that we need to put out health first & not our work load.If your employer cannot understand the pain you have to bare to be able to do get through your working day, he /she is not worth working for.
The pain you are experiencing does not get better, it gets worse & there is not much you can do about it, other than tobe brave & agree to have the op.

Before every operation the patient is seen by a a specially trained person who administers the anesthetic. ( sorry I cant spell the exact word!) This person asks you all sorts of medical questions, weighs you, asks what tablets you may be taking & what you may be allergic to. You are given the anesthetic according to your weight & according to the time needed for you to be asleep whilst the op is being performed. (Mine was 2 hours)

I fully understand your fears. Best is not to talk about this with everyone as other people's experiences, good or bad, can put the fear of G*d into you!!
This is not a complicated operation & you will feel so much better after you have had it. You need to trust yourself first & then your surgeon. You need to be able to ask him any question that pops into your head. Remember Lori, its
your body, your hand, your life.

You already know that this operation will give you back your quality of life. It will, honestly. It did for me.
I had my op 2nd May & I am now using my left hand 90%. I had 5 PTs & decided I can manage alone. I do the hand movements alone, I can touch all my fingers with my thumb. I rotate my wrist with ease. I hardly experience any pain & if & when I do, I reach for my ice pack. I am driving, but wear a very light wrist guard when driving & shopping as I cant take the chance of being bumped into or knocked.The minute I return home, off comes the splint. Oh, I can even sew!!! everyday a little bit more.
When the stitches were removed I started creaming the scar like crazy as dryness hurts! To this day I use any kind of hand cream many times a day.

If you can, I advise you to have the op as soon as possible.

After the op, its a very good idea to take vitamin C,with Rosehips, the best you can buy, for 1 year, as it helps take the anesthetic out the body. I also take a multi-vitamin, & glucosamine & chondroitin in 1 tablet & MSM which is organic sulphur( another tablet) which is good for ligaments & tendons. All non-chemical) you can google to get more info on theses tablets.

I just re-read your post & see you are a ''veteran of surgeries" so you must have had more than 1 anesthetic before ? & look you are still around to tell
tell us!!

Which had needs the op?

Good ,luck for your appointment tomorrow & please let us know what you decide. I will encourage you as much as possible & answer any further questions you may have.

Hang in there Lori, you are going to ''make it''
Hugs & take care.
Haydena.

 
Old 07-12-2011, 02:55 PM   #22
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Lori, hi again,

In case you havent read, ''Arthritis Message Board''

''Basal Joint Arthroplasty.....Anyone have ?????"

This is a very good thread for information on this board.
Well worth a read.

Haydena.

 
Old 07-12-2011, 08:18 PM   #23
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Thank you so much Haydena. It's my right hand. You know the internet is a mixed blessing - you can find great help from people like you but then you also find alot of worrisome information like bad surgery stories. I'm relieved that you and most others on this board have had great relief from the surgery and that is definitely encouraging.

You are right, the pain won't go away and surgery is the only option for relief. Knowing that is good, but I dread the recovery. I keep going back and forth in my head weighing the pain now against the recovery pain (which some people have said is horrible). I know I'm driving myself crazy but I can't stop thinking about it! I guess I'll know more after my appt tomorrow.

I have several work deadlines a month and hope to schedule my surgery during a 'down' time. My dr had told me that I could type within a few days which surprised me but he said my fingers would be free, just not my thumb. I have a ton of sick leave saved up, so could take off as much time as I need, but hate to get so far behind and impose on my colleagues. I will have to make the decision to put myself first before work though; it'll be hard because I'm such a perfectionist!

Thank you again - I'll keep you posted.

 
Old 07-13-2011, 04:46 AM   #24
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lori Loisell View Post
Thank you so much Haydena. It's my right hand. You know the internet is a mixed blessing - you can find great help from people like you but then you also find alot of worrisome information like bad surgery stories. I'm relieved that you and most others on this board have had great relief from the surgery and that is definitely encouraging.

You are right, the pain won't go away and surgery is the only option for relief. Knowing that is good, but I dread the recovery. I keep going back and forth in my head weighing the pain now against the recovery pain (which some people have said is horrible). I know I'm driving myself crazy but I can't stop thinking about it! I guess I'll know more after my appt tomorrow.

I have several work deadlines a month and hope to schedule my surgery during a 'down' time. My dr had told me that I could type within a few days which surprised me but he said my fingers would be free, just not my thumb. I have a ton of sick leave saved up, so could take off as much time as I need, but hate to get so far behind and impose on my colleagues. I will have to make the decision to put myself first before work though; it'll be hard because I'm such a perfectionist!

Thank you again - I'll keep you posted.
Hi Lori,

Yes, there is a load of helpful information on the internet but one needs to know where to draw the line & not read the negative stuff, because it just doesnt help you.

Once you come out of the anesthetic, depending on the cocktail of pain killers you get, which I hope for you will be adequate, you wont feel any pain at all. I did not. I was told to keep my arm raised as much as I can & even sleep with it raised. I used 3 large pillows & managed to keep my arm raised whilst asleep. Whilst I was awake, my arm was also raised.

Lori, there will be pain for about 4 days to 1 week, but it is not constant pain. You will have pain killers for this. It really is not as bad as you think. Remember an ice pack really helps & even works through a hard cast. The swelling needs to come down, this is where ice is recommended also.
The pain I had before my op was much more than the recovery pain. I knew the post op pain would ''go away.''

For the first 2 weeks I was doing everything with my right hand, including typing. (I am ambidextrous)
If you use the fingers on your operated hand & you feel any kind of pain, you need to STOP. You must give your hand time to heal.

I too am a perfectionist ! though I decided to put myself first after my op so I could gain my strength back & heal properly. I can assure you that once you have all the info from your doctor & you decide on your surgery date, you will
get your head round to thinking only about yourself & your needs. Try to be less negative & more possitive....it sure helps.

Let me know how your appointment goes today & I wish you good luck.

Haydena.

 
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Old 07-13-2011, 08:51 AM   #25
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Lori,

I don't know if you had a chance to read my post about the surgery, "at least my story", as it related to this surgery. I am contemplating surgery on my right hand now. I have had one cortisone shot in it which lasted for a couple of months but it is now starting to ache again.

You will be able to type rather soon after the surgery but hopefully, you are not a transcriptionist as you won't be up to speed immediately.

I had the pain meds but didn't need to take them that long. Ice and Ibuprophen helped. The cold permeates the cast and it does help.

You are no rookie when it comes to surgery, so you know how your body works with anesthesia. Worry serves no purpose, however. It changes nothing.

As far as work...just as Haydena says, "take care of your health first". This condition will not go away. You will have to deal with it sooner or later and the later. As it progresses, it will affect your ability to work so it could be that your productivity will be affected. The question really is, Is the pain bad enough that it is affecting your quality of life? If so, you need to do something to change it.

Keep your head up. You and your health are important. Good luck
Dawn

 
Old 07-13-2011, 12:32 PM   #26
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

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Originally Posted by dajo View Post
Lori,

I don't know if you had a chance to read my post about the surgery, "at least my story", as it related to this surgery. I am contemplating surgery on my right hand now. I have had one cortisone shot in it which lasted for a couple of months but it is now starting to ache again.

You will be able to type rather soon after the surgery but hopefully, you are not a transcriptionist as you won't be up to speed immediately.

I had the pain meds but didn't need to take them that long. Ice and Ibuprophen helped. The cold permeates the cast and it does help.

You are no rookie when it comes to surgery, so you know how your body works with anesthesia. Worry serves no purpose, however. It changes nothing.

As far as work...just as Haydena says, "take care of your health first". This condition will not go away. You will have to deal with it sooner or later and the later. As it progresses, it will affect your ability to work so it could be that your productivity will be affected. The question really is, Is the pain bad enough that it is affecting your quality of life? If so, you need to do something to change it.

Keep your head up. You and your health are important. Good luck
Dawn

Hi Dawn,

It's always good to hear from you. You did say a few months ago that you may have to have surgery on your right hand. Please let us know what you decide as your input here is much appreciated.

All the best to you.

Haydena.

 
Old 07-19-2011, 12:52 PM   #27
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Hi Haydena and Dawn

I apologize for my delay in updating you. I hope you are all well and Haydena, I hope your healing continues to so well.

After seeing my dr. last week, I scheduled surgery for August 8th. He walked me through the process and, happily, his incisions are quite small - about an inch incision at the base of the thumb and approx a 1/4" horizontal incision on the inside of my arm to retrieve the tendon. He doesn't use a pin.
I will have a bandage/splint until my post op visit on the 17th and then a hard cast for four weeks (hope they have hot pink) and then a splint and therapy. The surgery coordinator told me he had done her surgery and it was very 'clean.' She said it was a breeze.

Although I'm very anxious about receiving general anesthetia, I think I prefer that to a regional block which I read from someone's post is a really odd sensation - waiting hours to get the feeling back.

I ordered a stand for my hair dryer and have practiced brushing my teeth, washing my face, etc with my left hand, but I know it will be an adjustment. I've been looking for a pillow to prop my hand and Haydena, I found the Vitamin C with rosehips that you recommended. Still haven't found the Amica though, but will look on the internet. Do you know why the Vit. C with rosehips helps the anesthesia?

I'm taking two weeks off of work to heal and rest and the third week I can go in as tolerated (thank you ladies for insisting that I make time for myself). I'll keep you posted!

Thank you!!
Lori

 
Old 07-19-2011, 02:06 PM   #28
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

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Originally Posted by Lori Loisell View Post
Hi Haydena and Dawn

I apologize for my delay in updating you. I hope you are all well and Haydena, I hope your healing continues to so well.

After seeing my dr. last week, I scheduled surgery for August 8th. He walked me through the process and, happily, his incisions are quite small - about an inch incision at the base of the thumb and approx a 1/4" horizontal incision on the inside of my arm to retrieve the tendon. He doesn't use a pin.
I will have a bandage/splint until my post op visit on the 17th and then a hard cast for four weeks (hope they have hot pink) and then a splint and therapy. The surgery coordinator told me he had done her surgery and it was very 'clean.' She said it was a breeze.

Although I'm very anxious about receiving general anesthetia, I think I prefer that to a regional block which I read from someone's post is a really odd sensation - waiting hours to get the feeling back.

I ordered a stand for my hair dryer and have practiced brushing my teeth, washing my face, etc with my left hand, but I know it will be an adjustment. I've been looking for a pillow to prop my hand and Haydena, I found the Vitamin C with rosehips that you recommended. Still haven't found the Amica though, but will look on the internet. Do you know why the Vit. C with rosehips helps the anesthesia?

I'm taking two weeks off of work to heal and rest and the third week I can go in as tolerated (thank you ladies for insisting that I make time for myself). I'll keep you posted!

Thank you!!
Lori

GREAT, Lori, you've done extremely well for yourself. BRAVO to you.
Your doctor sounds really kind. My surgeon is rated the best but has no bedside manner whatsoever!!

The homeopathic cream is called ARNICA & also ARNICA MONTANNA as its a herb grown on mountains. Try searching for alternative medical products, on the internet. Sorry I am unable to give you a link here as thats against the rules of this forum.

Why Vit C helps? the anesthetic takes a very long time to leave our bodies & Vit C helps our bodies recover from it. Rosehips helps arthritis.
I had the tendon removed from my wrist & my scar is very thin & not more than 3 inches long. It is hardly noticeable now.

You wont find that using your left hand is a hardship, it kind of comes naturally when one cant use one's right hand. Just take it slow & be extra patient with yourself. You will be fine. I am doing well & am happy to be able to have 90% use of my left hand now.

Lori, you only have 20 more days to wait for your op which isnt too long.
Dont hesitate to ask any question that may pop into your head.

Take care.
Haydena.

 
Old 07-19-2011, 02:12 PM   #29
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Your note gave me a giggle! My surgeon is very nice but his bedside manner is questionable!! He doesn't remember things but doesn't check my medical chart before the appt. either so its kind of frustrating - its like getting reacquainted each appointment! Our surgeons sound similar - I guess all the brilliant ones are like that!

Take good care!
Lori

 
Old 07-19-2011, 02:26 PM   #30
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

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Originally Posted by Lori Loisell View Post
Your note gave me a giggle! My surgeon is very nice but his bedside manner is questionable!! He doesn't remember things but doesn't check my medical chart before the appt. either so its kind of frustrating - its like getting reacquainted each appointment! Our surgeons sound similar - I guess all the brilliant ones are like that!

Take good care!
Lori
Ha ha Lori, you gave me a giggle aswell !! you could be sweet & innocent & tell him with a huge smile on your face to check your chart.

Actually my surgeon didnt like the fact that I know ''a bit'' about alternative methods,which he is totally against & that I am fiesty & that I can argue at ease!! doctors do not inhibit me at all.His ego is super-inflated which just doesnt impress me.

It was really funny because we had an argument about how I woke up from the anesthetic. I kept on shaking my head from side to side as I was waking up & the intensive care staff called him to come check on me.He asked me if there was anything I wanted & I replied, ''yes, I want to see my son.'' Shame, poor doctor thought I was in pain & didnt like being called away from his lunch. TOUGH on him !!

Problem is he thinks he is brillaint & we laymen have zero brains !!

When he came to release me from the hosptal ( I stayed the night) he told me by shaking my head wasnt the way to come out of an anesthetic. You can imagine how I answered him !! Well, at least I got a laugh out of that & he didnt !!

its hugs, Haydena.

 
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