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Old 09-05-2011, 09:20 PM   #1
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susette HB User
lrti basal thumb surgery

Hi everyone,
I am new to this board, and i am seriously considering LRTI basal thumb surgery. I need it in both hands. would love to get some insight from those who have had it regarding possibly having both done at same time, the process, recovering, therapy, how long you wear cast, splint and when you can go back to work/computer, driving etc I would appreciate any insight and advise you all have.
Thank you so much!
susette

 
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Old 12-12-2011, 11:40 AM   #2
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Re: lrti basal thumb surgery

I would NOT recommend that you have both thumbs done at the same time as you will be an invalid without any way to care for yourself at all. And, unless you are prepared to be an invalid in diapers with fulltime home health care for several months, I would also be surprised if any surgeon would do both thumbs at the same time.

I had my right thumb done on November 2 and am scheduled to do my left thumb done December 19. I hope I will be ready for it as the holiday time is the best time for me to be away from work. I got my pin out and cast off and began physical therapy last Thursday (4 days ago). I am doing well, I think and have been told, but it is difficult and also somewhat scary. It's hard not to wonder, at this point, if the decision to have surgery was a good one. Of course, my thumb joints are shot and nothing short of surgery can help. Also, my surgeon is tops and has done many of these surgeries. He tells me that it is an extremely successful procedure--so I am (fairly) confident that the pain and lack of strength and ability that I am experiencing now are temporary. If this week doesn't go REALLY well though, I may decide to postpone surgery on my left thumb--even though, timing-wise, it's the best time for me to have it done.

I'm hoping to hear back from people who have had cmc joint surgery (lrti) on both thumbs to help me with my decision.

Last edited by wendyray; 12-13-2011 at 08:59 AM. Reason: omitted date

 
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susette (12-12-2011)
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:48 PM   #3
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susette HB User
Re: lrti basal thumb surgery

Hi Wendyray
Yes you are right my dr would not do both at the same time, and im sure glad I did left 9/21 and right 11/2. Have an awesome dr too. But its a long hard road to complete recovery. I think i would have waited a little longer in between, but wanted to do it for insurance reasons. Let me know if u have any specific ?'s be happy to answer them for u.

 
Old 12-13-2011, 10:11 AM   #4
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Re: lrti basal thumb surgery

Quote:
Originally Posted by susette View Post
Hi Wendyray
Yes you are right my dr would not do both at the same time, and im sure glad I did left 9/21 and right 11/2. Have an awesome dr too. But its a long hard road to complete recovery. I think i would have waited a little longer in between, but wanted to do it for insurance reasons. Let me know if u have any specific ?'s be happy to answer them for u.
Hi, Susette,

Thank you so much for responding. You are definitely who I'd like to be in contact with as our situations seem quite similar--except you've had your surgeries about 6 weeks ahead of me. I'd love to know more about how things are with you now (and between your two surgeries) so I can know what to expect and how close to "normal" you are now.

I had lrti thumb surgery on my dominant hand (right hand) on November 2 and am scheduled to have my left thumb done this Monday, December 19. I'm sort of scared because my right hand isn't that great yet and it will soon be my solo hand. I could postpone, but this is really the best time for me to do this, workwise and insurancewise. I am off of work until February 1, and I do have a wonderful husband who will be off with me again initially and who has and will continue to do lots for me throughout my recovery.

Any chance we could actually speak? I'd really like to have a conversation with you if at all possible. I just looked up how to do that so I'm going to try to request you as a friend which, if you are agreeable, would allow us to have contact off-board. If you'd rather not have off-board contact, I certainly understand. But, if you are open to it, I promise it could be one phone call only.

Thanks for your consideration,

wendyray

 
Old 12-13-2011, 07:37 PM   #5
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susette HB User
Re: lrti basal thumb surgery

sure Wendyray I am open to that, I wished I had someone to talk to before I had my surgeries....how does it work? What do I need to do?

 
Old 12-13-2011, 08:27 PM   #6
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susette HB User
Re: lrti basal thumb surgery

Wendyray.....I accepted you as a friend....how do we communicate offsite?
Suzette

 
Old 12-19-2011, 01:24 PM   #7
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snl1952 HB User
Re: lrti basal thumb surgery

Hi,

I had a call\\ from a friend who is contemplating the surgery.

I have had LRTI on both thumbs. The first on Sept 28 and the second last Wednesday, Dec 15. I did my left hand first, I am right handed, and I am glad i did. It gives you an idea of what you can and cannot do with your non dominant hand. I would have waited but I did not want to pay another deductible and the next 3 weeks are much quieter.

I highly recommend the surgery. I have suffered for years from debilitating pain in both thumbs. I have several more months to go, but already can tell that the surgery worked. I still do not have complete strength or range of motion, but the pain is gone. I still have some pain from the procedure, but it very different than the pain I had before. It is getting better everyday.

My most important recommendation is to take the pain meds offered. I went home from the last surgery with a pain pump and 20 M Vicodin every four hours. I turned down the Percocet, although I was highly encouraged to take it. As soon as the surgical block wore off, the next morning I was back at the hospital getting the script for the Percocet. Once i was on the stronger meds, I was fine. In fact, I took a 2 hour flight to Disneyworld with my grandkids 10 days after surgery. No problems. I had cut down considerably on pain meds by then. Maybe 2x's per day, generally at night after activity. In all honesty, I was probably too active. This time I have done nothing but emails.

This time I took the Percocet every 4 hours for the first 2 days. Then switched to Vicodin every 4 hours. My surgery was this past Thursday and my pain is totally managed, today Monday. I am even typing with one finger of my right hand. Because of all the nerves in your hands it is a painful surgery.

Cosmetically, the scare looks like a thin line, almost invisible. My surgeon is exceptional.

Last edited by moderator2; 12-19-2011 at 03:06 PM.

 
Old 12-21-2011, 09:21 AM   #8
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Re: lrti basal thumb surgery

I had surgery last week and just wanted to share my experience with anyone who might have questions about it. I have osteoarthritis (and bone spurs) in both hands. I'm left handed and have had more problems with that hand which began a few years ago. I wore a splint for a while, then had a cortisone shot about a year ago. Since this problem only gets worse with time, I went ahead and opted for the surgery which I had last week on 12/13/2011. The last week has seemed like a month, but I do believe I'm coming along well, especially since I still have the hard cast on. If this is successful, I will have the other hand done probably same time next year as this is the easiest time for me to be away from work for a few weeks. I just wanted to put myself out here in case anyone had any questions or comments about my "adventure." I've had some ups and downs, but keeping fingers crossed that all will turn out alright.

My hairdresser has had both hands done over the last year, so I went to the same doctor who did hers since she's very happy with the results. I felt very good about having that referral and hearing of her experience so I was pretty prepared for the procedure. We have a place nearby that works only on hands/shoulders, so finding the right place that specializes in this kind of surgery is also important.

They removed the small bone at the base of my thumb and replaced it with a tendon from my forearm. So far so good, but I'm getting stir crazy. I've been at home a week and plan on venturing out tomorrow for the first time to run a few errands.

If anyone has questions or comments, feel free. I'm happy to help others, especially if you had a lot of questions like I did prior to surgery. So that's my story. Look forward to hearing from you. Mary

Last edited by moderator2; 12-21-2011 at 09:43 AM.

 
Old 12-21-2011, 11:36 AM   #9
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wendyray HB User
Re: lrti basal thumb surgery

Just a quick note to all to report that my second thumb surgery (this past Monday, December 19) went well. My left hand still hurts, of course, but the rest of me seems to have now recovered from the trauma of the surgery. My right hand (on which I had the same lrti thumb surgery November 2) is not normal yet but it is feeling more normal and I feel very good about that progress. I am so looking forward to having all of this behind me and having two good working hands soon. And, I'm glad to have both surgeries over with.

Thanks so much for your hugs and prayers.

XOXOXO wendyray

 
Old 12-21-2011, 02:51 PM   #10
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susette HB User
Re: lrti basal thumb surgery

Hi Everyone!
Thank you all so much for posting your experiences....its so helpful to others looking for information and encouragement.
I have previously posted my experience, but in a nut shell I had LRTI in left nondominant hand sept 21 and right hand done nov 2. Both surgeries went really well. I have a very experienced Dr and he says it couldnt look any better. He doesnt use pins and casts anymore you go directinly into a splint after the first week.
I agree with whoever said the big key with getting through the beginiing is to take the meds they give you...its important for the healing process.
I really need help solving a problem. I have a sort of residual issue that has developed that my dr says he has never seen before. I was hoping that someone out there has had this issue and can shed some light on how it was resolved in an effort to try to help me figure this out. I am very frustrated and discouraged because the surgery area (base of the thumb) is doing great; but the knuckle just above the base called the MP joint is inflamed, swollen, painful, and is limiting my range of motion. It also feels like the tendon on the inside of the thumb is inflammed and there is a small bump (my therapist says is a sesmoid??). I had MRI's on both thumbs that showed inflamation in the bone marrow, so my Dr put me on oral cortisone. I am on the second day of 6. I pray this works....I'm very sad over this.
If anyone can shed any light on this issue I am having I would greatly appreciate it.

 
Old 12-21-2011, 08:18 PM   #11
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wendyray HB User
Re: lrti basal thumb surgery

I don't have any answers for you, Susette, but you are in my prayers.

Hugs,

wendyray

 
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