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Old 08-05-2010, 02:58 PM   #1
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Cool Thumb surgery for arthritis

Having a really hard time deciding which surgery to have for arthritis in my thumb. I have seen two specialist who agree that I need it done but one wants to do tendon replacement and the other wants to do fusion. Has anyone had either of these done?

 
Old 08-05-2010, 05:52 PM   #2
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Re: Thumb surgery for arthritis

Check out the thread on "Basal Joint Surgical Treatment..Effective?" and see what others have to say about it.

That's one surgery I haven't had to have...yet.

good luck.............Jenny

 
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Old 08-05-2010, 06:18 PM   #3
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Re: Thumb surgery for arthritis

Quote:
Originally Posted by luvguam View Post
Having a really hard time deciding which surgery to have for arthritis in my thumb. I have seen two specialist who agree that I need it done but one wants to do tendon replacement and the other wants to do fusion. Has anyone had either of these done?
The fusion will limit the flexibility of your thumb. the tendon graft is a bit more recovery time. Depends on what you do with your hands.
I had to have a lot of movement in the thumb joint I had surgery on....so....

good luck!

 
Old 08-06-2010, 05:28 AM   #4
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Re: Thumb surgery for arthritis

Which type of surgery did you have? I'm leary of the tendon replacement simple because it sounds so invasive. I do need full use of my thumb due to my job thou so I question having the fusion done also. My best friend had the fusion and she is doing really well.

 
Old 08-06-2010, 05:56 AM   #5
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Re: Thumb surgery for arthritis

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Originally Posted by luvguam View Post
Which type of surgery did you have? I'm leary of the tendon replacement simple because it sounds so invasive. I do need full use of my thumb due to my job thou so I question having the fusion done also. My best friend had the fusion and she is doing really well.
I had the tendon graft. And it has been no picnic, I'll tell you! But no surgery is.
I'm 3 months out now and am just exercising it to build strength.

I am an artist and this is my dominant hand, so I needed the flexibility. I do very fine work. My surgeon didn't even bring up the fusion with me, he believes so strongly in the tendon graft.

I really can't say what you should do. Some people have alot of pain, some don't. I did.
Just try to not be alone. I was and it was very hard, with my dominant hand incapacitated.
You have to decide: Movement or strength.
It's a drag either way, I'm sure

 
Old 09-16-2010, 07:30 PM   #6
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Re: Thumb surgery for arthritis

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Originally Posted by luvguam View Post
Having a really hard time deciding which surgery to have for arthritis in my thumb. I have seen two specialist who agree that I need it done but one wants to do tendon replacement and the other wants to do fusion. Has anyone had either of these done?

 
Old 09-16-2010, 07:32 PM   #7
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Re: Thumb surgery for arthritis

I am scheduled for surgery on my left thumb Sept. 28, using the tendon method. My Sister-in-law has had both her hands operated on and is just delighted that she is now free of the pain she has had for years. I will try and let you know how mine works out.
If you have had either done since you posted, please let me know.

 
Old 09-17-2010, 01:35 PM   #8
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Re: Thumb surgery for arthritis

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I am scheduled for surgery on my left thumb Sept. 28, using the tendon method. My Sister-in-law has had both her hands operated on and is just delighted that she is now free of the pain she has had for years. I will try and let you know how mine works out.
If you have had either done since you posted, please let me know.
hello, Had surgery with tendon replacement on July 15th on my left (non dominant) thumb. I was in a soft cast the first week then went into a hard cast. The doctor only gave me one week off for recovery, and then it was back to work. The hard cast rubbed the incision, so my doctor removed that and put me in the splint early. I almost never use my splint now other then when I drive and I have just started physical therapy today. I know pain levels are different for everyone but for me, the pain is soooo much less that what I had before. Even my most painful days after the surgery were no comparison to what I had before. That being said, I have very little range of motion in the lower part of my thumb. Top joint is great and has really takin up most of the slack for the rest of the thumb.
Going into this, just remember it is truly different for everyone, expect the worse and if its not so bad then its a bonus, if it is bad, well you expected it to be..Does that make sense? oh and listen to your body, if you start to feel tired, take the pain meds and sleep. Try not to over do it, and that is when it helps to have someone there to help.
Also, some tips, as a last resort, I ended up stuffing my hair dryer handle into a full paper towel roll, to hold it, so I could dry my hair. Also, buy spray deodorant, its hard to hold a roll-on with your recovering hand. Pants and shorts with elastic, or don't button the ones you have(made this mistake one day). There are sleeves you can buy to cover your cast when you shower but you can also use a small trash bag, my pharmacist said to wrap the open end with regular saran wrap to keep the water from getting in and this you will need help with.

 
Old 10-04-2010, 02:30 PM   #9
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Re: Thumb surgery for arthritis

I am scheduled for LRTI surgery on October 25th and am really hoping to be back at work on the 26th. Is this completely unrealistic? Maybe this isn't going to be the easy peasy recovery that I thought I was in for?

Thanks,
Patty

 
Old 10-04-2010, 04:00 PM   #10
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Re: Thumb surgery for arthritis

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I am scheduled for LRTI surgery on October 25th and am really hoping to be back at work on the 26th. Is this completely unrealistic? Maybe this isn't going to be the easy peasy recovery that I thought I was in for?

Thanks,
Patty
I think my problems are due to using my hand too soon and doing hard things like driving my stick shift car.
It took a week just for the swelling to go down and the bruising nearly all the way to my elbow took abouta month to go away.
this is MAJOR surgery, no matter what the doctors may say. It changes the entire anatomy of the hand.
I'd suggest re-thinking returning to work the next day.
You need to keep it up, resting above your heart on a pillow or the back of a couch; not holding it straight up in the air like some I've heard doing...then they get shoulder problems as well!
Maybe you'll feel well enough to go back to work in a couple of weeks, but certainly not the next day!

This is no walk in the park surgery.
You'll need elastic waist pants; no buttons.; a short, easy to take care of haircut and easy meals to prepare unless someone else cooks in your house. Try to get help if you live alone.and talk to your doc about when to go back.
My doctor acted like this was no biggie and I'd be back to full usability by the time my brace came off! WOW! was he ever wrong!
Be careful or you'll wind up with a hand that doesn't work

Last edited by Kass490; 10-04-2010 at 04:02 PM.

 
Old 10-05-2010, 07:49 AM   #11
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Re: Thumb surgery for arthritis

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Originally Posted by Patty0513 View Post
I am scheduled for LRTI surgery on October 25th and am really hoping to be back at work on the 26th. Is this completely unrealistic? Maybe this isn't going to be the easy peasy recovery that I thought I was in for?

Thanks,
Patty
I don't think you will be able to go back the next day. My doctor allows for only one week off but I took 2, using a week of vacation time. I have read others say they were not allowed to go back to work for 6-8 weeks. I have a long commute and even though my sugery was on my non dominent hand, it is the hand I drive with the most. Driving and with typing on a computer all day, it was painful in the begining but nothing like before the surgery. My surgery was July 15 and although I don't wear my brace any more, I have limited movement in my thumb. I am going to Physical Therapy and that is helping but just not fast enough for me. The pain is mostly gone with the exception of when I over do it and then its more of an ache and the occasional sharp pain the comes out of no where. I am still trying to figure those pains out but assume that its me over doing it or moving a way my hand doesn't like. As tough as this surgery was, it was definitely worth it.

 
Old 10-05-2010, 12:11 PM   #12
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Re: Thumb surgery for arthritis

Thank you both for the replies. I guess I was comparing this to knee replacement surgery and figuring it would be easy compared to that, but forgetting that it is still major surgery. I will tell my boss to plan on me being off work for a week, or more. I will find out what my surgeon recommends when I see him on the 19th for the pre-op stuff. Thanks again for the info.

Patty

 
Old 10-05-2010, 01:36 PM   #13
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Re: Thumb surgery for arthritis

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Originally Posted by Patty0513 View Post
Thank you both for the replies. I guess I was comparing this to knee replacement surgery and figuring it would be easy compared to that, but forgetting that it is still major surgery. I will tell my boss to plan on me being off work for a week, or more. I will find out what my surgeon recommends when I see him on the 19th for the pre-op stuff. Thanks again for the info.

Patty
I am surprised your surgeon didn't tell you that already. Other things to think about. Get your nails done before you go in for surgery. I am just now able to use a nail clip with my left hand without sitting on the table and struggling to get it to work. Also, deodorant, I know that sounds funny but I use a stick and well you won't be able to grasp anything tightly enough to put on stick deordorant...at least I wasn't able to for about a week. Also, I was home alone on day 2 and needed to dry my hair, which is long. To hold the dryer up I used a paper towel roll to put the dryer handle down into, so I could use my good hand to brush my hair. But they do sell dryer stands, which I am sure would work much better.

 
Old 10-05-2010, 04:36 PM   #14
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Re: Thumb surgery for arthritis

We discussed the actual surgery in detail, but did not discuss rehab/post-op protocols. Thanks for the tips for making post-op life easier. I am looking forward to getting the surgery done and being able to use my left hand again. Please feel free to pass along any more tips/advice.

Patty

 
Old 01-17-2011, 06:05 PM   #15
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Re: Thumb surgery for arthritis

Make sure you ask your surgen about RSD BEfore you deside on surgery.

 
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