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Old 07-26-2011, 07:28 AM   #46
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Hi Again,

I've got another question for those of you who have been through this. I'm waiting until after a family reunion July 30 - Aug. 7 before scheduling my surgery. Now I'm wearing thumb spicas on both thumbs and a splint on one fingertip. So, I'm "compromised," to put it mildly!

My question is that I'm now having pain in my wrist, away from my right thumb - going from the OTHER side of that right hand from the wrist about half-way up my palm. Now, my hands are a mess arthritis-wise; I know that. I'm sure there's degeneration in these areas I'm speaking about, but I'm wondering if anyone has a guess of whether this is alarming?

I have NO TIME this week since we're leaving Sat. morning. But I did call my doc, (hand surgeon), and he'll probably want me to come in...groan...there goes several more hours. You can imagine how slow I am at getting myself, a hubby, and 2 pets ready to be gone for 10 days. Plus taking our online business with us 'cause we can't leave it since it's just us.

Also, any opinions on one's own tendon being used for the LRTI as opposed to animal? Or something synthetic? (My daughter is sure I'll have more trouble with the tendon issue than the actual surgery. Silly girl, but she's an adult, so I have to at least pretend to take her seriously. )

TIA!

 
Old 08-02-2011, 01:01 PM   #47
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Hi ladies. I have read nearly every single entry here spread out over 10 pages and want to thank each of you for being so open and helpful! I have suffered with basal joint pain in both thumbs for 5-6 years. I did try the cortisone shots, which of course helped in dwindling degrees over time. I tried a splint (right hand at the time) but found it cumbersome so I never really used it much. I take Celebrex every day for my arthritis (have some in my left knee, too) and this year I finally knew I had to have the basal joint arthroplasty, starting with my less dominant hand (the left one).

I found an excellent surgeon via my family doctor - I live outside Columbus Ohio. I had the surgery two weeks ago today, and a tendon was taken from that same arm and put in the space where the bone was removed. I was in a half cast/half bandage for 10 days. (I am simply stunned that so many people say they are wearing a cast for 4-6 weeks!!!) I was fitted for a custom made splint of a plastic material, and velcro closures, on Friday last week. I took Percoset only until the first Friday after my Tuesday (July 19) surgery, and was driving by the next week. I only drove into town and back - nothing crazy. Now in my splint I am back to work (I'm an Executive Assistant at a liberal arts college) half time this week, and full time next week.

My doctor said I probably will not have physical therapy. I'm not sure why but that's what he said. I have been a quilter for 25+ years, knitting for two years, crocheting for 40 years or so. I also have a large flower garden and when I've been weeding this year, that is when I realized I had to have this surgery - my fingers just ACHED when I'd weed. Plastic ziploc bags, bumping my thumbs into anything, opening jars - all that stuff has been nearly agony for me. I am turning 54 the end of this month.

I am SO glad I had this surgery, even though I was really terrified to do so. I don't know where the courage came from. My husband had colon cancer surgery in January and he told me he thinks he'd rather have that again instead of what I just had done, because it makes him squeamish to think of having a bone removed from his hand! So I don't mean to come off as Super Woman, but I think I"m going to be pleased with the end of pain once I get through the healing process, and I have to tell myself over and over to be patient. Eventually I'll get much of my hand use back. It won't be like when I was 20 years old, but the thumb pain will be gone.

I do plan to have the right hand done eventually. I just want to let a year go by before I do. I missed 9 days of work (well, 11.5 if you count my half days this week.) My boss is thrilled - she thought I was going to be off for a month. Not sure which of you stated this, but I have to agree wholeheartedly that you need to stay away from the negative stuff on message boards. I think people with gripes have a tendency to post more than those who had good outcomes. But this board leads me to think otherwise!

 
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Old 09-21-2011, 01:44 PM   #48
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Hi Ohio Quilter,
I have just read your last message here & am wondering how you are doing after your operation??
I hope all is well with you.
Haydena.

 
Old 09-22-2011, 10:58 AM   #49
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Haydena,

You were addressing someone else, but wanted to say I'm 2.5 weeks out - typing with other hand only. I don't have enof patience with this process...if I use my fingers on right hand, my operated/dominent hand, I have pain. I'm so anxious to get back to my life, it's very frustrating. Had "a lot" of surgery 'cause arthritis & calcification was severe. But almost no need for heavy duty pain killers now. Ice & Tylenol works.Lots of movies on TV. Keep telling myself time will heal it. So anxious to do my beading again! Best to all,
Susan

 
Old 09-22-2011, 11:17 AM   #50
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Jazzmine View Post
Haydena,

You were addressing someone else, but wanted to say I'm 2.5 weeks out - typing with other hand only. I don't have enof patience with this process...if I use my fingers on right hand, my operated/dominent hand, I have pain. I'm so anxious to get back to my life, it's very frustrating. Had "a lot" of surgery 'cause arthritis & calcification was severe. But almost no need for heavy duty pain killers now. Ice & Tylenol works.Lots of movies on TV. Keep telling myself time will heal it. So anxious to do my beading again! Best to all,
Susan
Hi Susan,
Great to hear you had your operation & are over it.
Its best not to use your right hand at all so it can heal well. Be patient, & be kind to yourself. You will getyour life back, it just takes time.
You are very lucky in that you did'nt need strong pain meds. Ice was my best friend!!
I am 4 1/2 months post surgery & am able to use my left hand 100%. The operation was a great success & I'm pleased I had it.
Are you now in a cast or a splint?
Let us know how you are doing & I wish you a speedy recovery.
Haydena.

 
Old 09-22-2011, 02:42 PM   #51
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Haydena,

So glad your surgery was successful - that's great. I did have a lot of pain at the beginning, but meds controlled it well - I'm not fearful of doing my left thumb some day. Got out of initial cast/bandage after 10 days. Now in cast for 4 weeks. It's so very hard not to use even my right fingers - realize I need major attitude adjustment. Will make one, however. Lots of good movies in Lifetime to watch, & can hunt & peck a little for work. Have our own biz from home. Thx for reply!

 
Old 09-22-2011, 02:52 PM   #52
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Jazzmine View Post
Haydena,

So glad your surgery was successful - that's great. I did have a lot of pain at the beginning, but meds controlled it well - I'm not fearful of doing my left thumb some day. Got out of initial cast/bandage after 10 days. Now in cast for 4 weeks. It's so very hard not to use even my right fingers - realize I need major attitude adjustment. Will make one, however. Lots of good movies in Lifetime to watch, & can hunt & peck a little for work. Have our own biz from home. Thx for reply!
Susan,
The more you allow your hand to rest & recover,the better it will be in the end.
Trust me, I am really talking from experience. I didnt use my left hand at all & I am thankfull I was sensible about that.
1 month isnt too long a time to wait, so please be patient & rest up.
So far my right thumb is not causing me any pain, but you never know, I just may have to have it done 1 day in the future. I too am not fearful of that.
What kind of biz are you in?
Remember to be a good girl & rest up !!
Hugs,
Haydena.

 
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:25 AM   #53
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

I'm gonna wait to reply more 'cause having one of those painful days. Guilty that hubby having to hold down fort. We sell products not allowed on this board for discussion, but thx for asking. my best for a while, Susan

 
Old 09-23-2011, 12:39 PM   #54
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

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Originally Posted by Black Jazzmine View Post
I'm gonna wait to reply more 'cause having one of those painful days. Guilty that hubby having to hold down fort. We sell products not allowed on this board for discussion, but thx for asking. my best for a while, Susan
Sorry to read that you in pain Susan. Are you using your ice pack & meds?
Remember to raise your entire arm above your heart. This helps with the swelling & also allows the blood to circulate properly.
You'd do the same for your hubby if he was in your position, would'nt you?
In life it's give & take !!
Wishing you better real fast & hang in there.
Hugs,
Haydena.

 
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Old 09-23-2011, 06:11 PM   #55
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Thanks for asking, Haydena. At my first p.t. in early September my splint was reduced to just a thumb splint (it no longer kept my wrist immobile). I gradually worked on getting my wrist stronger and then this past Monday I was told I did not need to wear the thumb splint anymore at all, unless my hand was tired or sore. I slept that night without it and felt so liberated! I actually cast on a new pair of socks (knitting) on Tuesday evening and am making good progress. I talked to my therapist today and she was delighted to hear this, and asked me to shoot a couple of still pictures and a short video of me knitting so she could share it in talks she gives to students or doctors. Tuesday was 9 weeks since my surgery. I feel terrific and am really, really glad I had the surgery.

 
Old 09-24-2011, 08:10 AM   #56
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

I am pleased to read about your wonderful, fast & good progress OhioQuilter.
Bravo to you. Fantastic that you started knitting again.
Continue healing well & good luck to you.
Hugs,
Haydena.

 
Old 09-26-2011, 07:27 AM   #57
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

I am sorry I forgot to sign my messages with my real name. It's Dorothy! All the best to you this rainy Monday....


Dorth

 
Old 09-27-2011, 05:18 AM   #58
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioQuilter View Post
Thanks for asking, Haydena. At my first p.t. in early September my splint was reduced to just a thumb splint (it no longer kept my wrist immobile). I gradually worked on getting my wrist stronger and then this past Monday I was told I did not need to wear the thumb splint anymore at all, unless my hand was tired or sore. I slept that night without it and felt so liberated! I actually cast on a new pair of socks (knitting) on Tuesday evening and am making good progress. I talked to my therapist today and she was delighted to hear this, and asked me to shoot a couple of still pictures and a short video of me knitting so she could share it in talks she gives to students or doctors. Tuesday was 9 weeks since my surgery. I feel terrific and am really, really glad I had the surgery.
Hi Dorothy,
Fantastic to hear that you are doing so well & making such wonderful progress.
As we heal we tend to forget all the pain we had to go through! Your hand will only go from strength to strength now & I wish you all the very best for your continued recovery.
Hugs,
Haydena.

 
Old 10-26-2011, 05:47 PM   #59
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

I am getting ready to have my surgery Dec 1st. Does anyone have ideas of good stuff to wear? I have to go back to work on Dec 19th.

 
Old 10-27-2011, 07:31 AM   #60
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Palmerh,

I'd like to hear from you after the surgery, especially since you are going back to work so early. I'm having carpal tunnel surgery Dec. 28 on my left hand, and three weeks later my right hand will be done. When both hands are healed from that surgery I am supposed to have bilateral basal joint surgery. My doctor is telling me all 4 surgeries can be finished by summer 2012. After reading all these posts, I'm thinking that seems pretty ambitious!

Thanks, Ginger
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