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Old 03-10-2012, 05:58 PM   #46
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Is a splint and a gauntlet the same thing? Before surgery I wore a soft black wrist brace with a thumb holder and it velcroed around my wrist. It was for carpal tunnel and my sore thumb. They called it a gauntlet.

Surgical cast was taken off at 13 days and stitches removed. I then got a hard cast and another appointment in 13 days. This Tuesday will be 26 days from surgery and I'm hoping this cast comes off and they replace it with something removable. It's really irritating my wrist bone. Is it too early for something softer to be put on?
I don't think the 'gauntlet' is stable enough at this point. That's why I'm wondering if a splint is different. AKA Lady, yours sounded ideal....

Janet 20, you were in your cast 4 weeks? I don't think my wrist bone can handle 2 more weeks of this hard cast. Did you wear the same cast for 4 weeks, or did they remove it to take more x-rays and put a new one on?

How long until you were able to drive a car?

Thanks for your input!
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Old 03-11-2012, 06:31 AM   #47
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Quote:
Originally Posted by gingertea View Post
Is a splint and a gauntlet the same thing? Before surgery I wore a soft black wrist brace with a thumb holder and it velcroed around my wrist. It was for carpal tunnel and my sore thumb. They called it a gauntlet.

Surgical cast was taken off at 13 days and stitches removed. I then got a hard cast and another appointment in 13 days. This Tuesday will be 26 days from surgery and I'm hoping this cast comes off and they replace it with something removable. It's really irritating my wrist bone. Is it too early for something softer to be put on?
I don't think the 'gauntlet' is stable enough at this point. That's why I'm wondering if a splint is different. AKA Lady, yours sounded ideal....

Janet 20, you were in your cast 4 weeks? I don't think my wrist bone can handle 2 more weeks of this hard cast. Did you wear the same cast for 4 weeks, or did they remove it to take more x-rays and put a new one on?

How long until you were able to drive a car?

Thanks for your input!
Hi Gingertea,
I never heard of a gauntlet but I know what you mean. I had the surgical cast for 10 days, had the stitches out and then the hard cast for 3 wks so 4 weeks total of something not removable. It was hard but looking back that was the easy part. I had two pins in my thumb too to hold the new joint in place. That was annoying. One of my friends who had the same Dr as I did went back to have a new cast as it was so tight it irritated her wrist. The day I had the cast off and the pins out, they gave me a removable splint that was very stiff and held my wrist steady. I started PT the next day after the cast came off. The black splint the Dr gave me hurt to put on as I had to slip my hand in it. The Ptherapist made me a molded cast that had velcro to remove it. It was ugly but more comfortable at that point. I started driving to my PT appts and just around the neighborhood after a few weeks of having the cast off.I had a hard time getting my seatbelt on and turning the steering wheel with just my left hand.
I never had more x rays and now wondering why. The Dr saw me in Jan.before I left to go away for the winter and he said to use my hand as much as possible. I have to see him in April when I get home. Everyone on this board seems like they are healing quickly. I am getting worried cause my hand is still a little swollen and my thumb is still sore and my wrist is still somewhat stiff. I guess I just want to be 100%. It's hard to be patient. You sound like you're right on track. I think if I had had more PT I'd be further along. This made my trip more difficult packing and unpacking. We went to several places this year and I had to use my thumb a lot!!
Good luck and let me know what your Dr says and when you have the cast off. Do you have pins in? It is a good feeling to have the removable splint that's for sure. Hang in there.

Janet

 
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Old 03-11-2012, 07:41 PM   #48
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Quote:
Originally Posted by gingertea View Post
Is a splint and a gauntlet the same thing? Before surgery I wore a soft black wrist brace with a thumb holder and it velcroed around my wrist. It was for carpal tunnel and my sore thumb. They called it a gauntlet.

Surgical cast was taken off at 13 days and stitches removed. I then got a hard cast and another appointment in 13 days. This Tuesday will be 26 days from surgery and I'm hoping this cast comes off and they replace it with something removable. It's really irritating my wrist bone. Is it too early for something softer to be put on?
I don't think the 'gauntlet' is stable enough at this point. That's why I'm wondering if a splint is different. AKA Lady, yours sounded ideal....

Janet 20, you were in your cast 4 weeks? I don't think my wrist bone can handle 2 more weeks of this hard cast. Did you wear the same cast for 4 weeks, or did they remove it to take more x-rays and put a new one on?

How long until you were able to drive a car?

Thanks for your input!
Sorry Ginger,

I think I missed this post.

If you feel your cast is too tight you need to return to your doctor for him to give you a new cast that does not hurt any point on your hand or wrist.( You should not be in any pain now) It happens alot that casts are often too tight & need to be changed. There is no need for you to suffer any kind of pain & discomfort.

I was not allowed to drive for 6 weeks as one is not insured to drive with a cast or even a soft splint here in Israel.

Please continue letting us know how you are recovering.

Hugs,
Haydena.

 
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:04 PM   #49
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Hi Ladies,

Finally somebody talked about the pain...I thought you all must be superhuman because nobody complained! Now I don't feel so bad.

Haydena, I go to the doctor this Tuesday and I'm hoping this cast comes off. Actually this cast will come off because it's rubbing my wrist bone raw. If they think I need a hard cast they will have to put more padding on my wrist bone.

I know I am crazy, but I am going to have surgery on my right hand as soon as my surgeon gives the okay. I can't write or even move my right hand without it making clicking sounds. It's worse than ever now since it's had so much use. I'll talk to the surgeon on Tuesday and see if he can give me a time frame.

Happy healing to all!

Ginger
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:27 AM   #50
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Hi Gingertea,
I agree with Haydena. You shouldn't be in pain like that. My friend had a new cast put on cause the first one hurt her so. I told the nurse when she put mine on about her. She put extra padding on my incision and I think was more careful. But right now you need to heal and not hurt. They told me not to lift or use it as it needs to heal. You'll know when it's time to drive. It took me a while as I'm right handed and had that hand done. I had to drive one handed at first. I still don't grip the wheel like I normally would. But it does get better. Like everyone says here it's 4-6 months. Take care and just think spring is here. Sun always makes me feel better.

Janet

 
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:10 AM   #51
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet20 View Post
Hi Gingertea,
I agree with Haydena. You shouldn't be in pain like that. My friend had a new cast put on cause the first one hurt her so. I told the nurse when she put mine on about her. She put extra padding on my incision and I think was more careful. But right now you need to heal and not hurt. They told me not to lift or use it as it needs to heal. You'll know when it's time to drive. It took me a while as I'm right handed and had that hand done. I had to drive one handed at first. I still don't grip the wheel like I normally would. But it does get better. Like everyone says here it's 4-6 months. Take care and just think spring is here. Sun always makes me feel better.

Janet
Gingertea,

Janet is of course right. I dont want to sound like a broken record but its your body & you have the right to tell them to change the cast as it hurts you.

Dont be meek & mild & speak up for yourself. The doc cant feel the pain you feel.

Good luck for tomorrow & please return to let us know.
Haydena.

 
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:12 PM   #52
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Hi Ladies,

I did get my cast off on Tuesday! Another x-ray showed everything in place, the scar looked good (their opinion) so they fitted me with the black brace with the steel bars and thumb spica. My other choice was a moldable plastic splint that was wrapped with an ace bandage...(similar to the post surgery wrap) I'm to keep that on 24/7 except for showering for 4 weeks and no hand activity. I so wanted to go home and soak my hand in warm water, but they said NO immersement yet. The doctor said I could remove the brace for a little while each day as long as I was sitting down doing absolutely nothing. Here's my problem....my stomach just turns when I see the thumb scar and the scar from the carpal tunnel, and my wrist is so tender it's uncomfortable without the brace. It's only been 4 weeks so I guess I should expect the weak and sore part. The nausea and anxiety is not my normal reaction, I am usually the opposite and really check out the area! I had a fairly large spot of skin cancer removed from under my eye and cheek and I was always checking out the bruising and stitches. I finally worked up the courage to swab the area with alcohol, apply lots of cream, cover it with gauze and put the brace on. I had big plans for driving the car and doing some shopping, but I'm not comfortable driving with my wrist so sore. Maybe I am expecting too much too soon....how long until you felt comfortable with your hand?
Ginger the wimp!
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Old 03-16-2012, 06:08 AM   #53
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Quote:
Originally Posted by gingertea View Post
Hi Ladies,

I did get my cast off on Tuesday! Another x-ray showed everything in place, the scar looked good (their opinion) so they fitted me with the black brace with the steel bars and thumb spica. My other choice was a moldable plastic splint that was wrapped with an ace bandage...(similar to the post surgery wrap) I'm to keep that on 24/7 except for showering for 4 weeks and no hand activity. I so wanted to go home and soak my hand in warm water, but they said NO immersement yet. The doctor said I could remove the brace for a little while each day as long as I was sitting down doing absolutely nothing. Here's my problem....my stomach just turns when I see the thumb scar and the scar from the carpal tunnel, and my wrist is so tender it's uncomfortable without the brace. It's only been 4 weeks so I guess I should expect the weak and sore part. The nausea and anxiety is not my normal reaction, I am usually the opposite and really check out the area! I had a fairly large spot of skin cancer removed from under my eye and cheek and I was always checking out the bruising and stitches. I finally worked up the courage to swab the area with alcohol, apply lots of cream, cover it with gauze and put the brace on. I had big plans for driving the car and doing some shopping, but I'm not comfortable driving with my wrist so sore. Maybe I am expecting too much too soon....how long until you felt comfortable with your hand?
Ginger the wimp!
OMG you are not a wimp!! I think I told you I didn't drive for quite a while 8wks or so. You are very normal with the pain and wrist stiffness. I chose the molded splint as the black one hurt me to slide my hand in and out. I didn't mind looking at my scar but I didn't have carpel too. I was amazed at how quickly my scar healed. I'm 4 months now and see see a scar, have some pain and slight swelling and my wrist is still somewhat stiff although I work it everyday. So you are doing fine. This surgery takes 4-6 mo. for healing.
Take care

Janet

 
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:17 AM   #54
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Thanks for your reply, Janet 20. What type of cream did you use on your scar?
I was told to use Mederma. Even hypoallergenic creams cause skin problems, so I think I'll stick with what I know. The scar on my face doesn't even show. I call it my mini face lift.

I think part of the problem with my scars is the black mark left from the surgeon marking the spots where the stitches were. I wish I could scrub them off, but it's too tender. At least they are covered by the brace. I thought the brace was going to be a problem getting off and on but it's okay. My wrist is sorer than my thumb.

I guess I need to be patient, and remember the improvement I've had each week. I can hold an empty coffee cup in my fingers. My next goal is to get coffee in the cup!

Thanks again, Ginger
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Old 03-16-2012, 08:18 AM   #55
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

I understand completely believe me. I got worried reading these posts cause everyone sounded like they were healing faster than I was. But you do have to be patient. I didn't hold a full cup of coffee for a long time. I still use my left hand for heavy things. I'd cook but ask my husband to lift casseroles and pans in and out of the oven. It'll come. Like I said, I'm still a little sore, numb and weak in that hand. I think by going away for the winter so early I didn't have the PT everyone else had either. I only got in 9 wks. I do it myself but it's not the same. I asked if I should do it in Florida but they said no I was fine! So who knows. I go to the Dr in April when I return to NY.
Have a good day!

Janet

 
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Old 03-16-2012, 03:52 PM   #56
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Quote:
Originally Posted by gingertea View Post
Hi Ladies,

I did get my cast off on Tuesday! Another x-ray showed everything in place, the scar looked good (their opinion) so they fitted me with the black brace with the steel bars and thumb spica. My other choice was a moldable plastic splint that was wrapped with an ace bandage...(similar to the post surgery wrap) I'm to keep that on 24/7 except for showering for 4 weeks and no hand activity. I so wanted to go home and soak my hand in warm water, but they said NO immersement yet. The doctor said I could remove the brace for a little while each day as long as I was sitting down doing absolutely nothing. Here's my problem....my stomach just turns when I see the thumb scar and the scar from the carpal tunnel, and my wrist is so tender it's uncomfortable without the brace. It's only been 4 weeks so I guess I should expect the weak and sore part. The nausea and anxiety is not my normal reaction, I am usually the opposite and really check out the area! I had a fairly large spot of skin cancer removed from under my eye and cheek and I was always checking out the bruising and stitches. I finally worked up the courage to swab the area with alcohol, apply lots of cream, cover it with gauze and put the brace on. I had big plans for driving the car and doing some shopping, but I'm not comfortable driving with my wrist so sore. Maybe I am expecting too much too soon....how long until you felt comfortable with your hand?
Ginger the wimp!
Hi Ginger,

You are not a wimp at all. I also could not look at my thumb nor the scar after my surgery & I did not look at it. I had help in cleaning, creaming & re-wrapping it.

Good that you had the cast removed & I am sure you are more comfortable now. I only removed the moulded micro-plastic cast to change the gauze pieces underneath & my hand also felt very limp & uncomfortable without the micro-plastic mould on. Thats a normal feeling so dont worry about that.
Creaming the scar & your hand is very good as the moisture from the cream helps the tight skin.

As Janet suggested, you should order Traumeel ointment & rub it on your thumb, scar & wrist. Traumeel reduces the swelling, numbness, bruising & pain. I swear by it. Use it 3-4 times a day, especially when you are quietly sitting down without the brace on your hand.

I was comfortable with my hand after 2 months. Before that I did not go out alone as I was afraid of falling. I was only allowed to drive after 6 weeks.

Ginger everyone heals at a different pace. You will gain the full use of your hand again, just be patient & give yourself time to heal.

Wishing you well.
Haydena.

 
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:06 AM   #57
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Hi Ladies,

I am 7 weeks post op today. I've had my cast off for 3 weeks and have been wearing the gauntlet brace. I was told to wear it 24/7 except for showering, and I could remove it for small amounts of time during the day. I have taken it off for sleeping about half the time. I hold my hand under warm running water a few times a day and apply arnica and mederma to the scars. I have driven alone when needed.

Did you feel like you took one step forward with progress and then lost it? I can hold a cup, but it still has to be empty. My wrist is very weak. The top of my hand and the wrist area are still swollen. I was using a soft squeeze ball to exercise my fingers and they were doing well, but now it seems they have lost their strength and I can't get the grip like I was. When I get the periods of aching bone pain, it travels up to my elbow. Driving makes my hand swell as does using any part of my left arm. I use my elbow and forearm to carry stuff, but not my hand. I'm still icing, heating and elevating.

My scar areas are still sore to the touch, and when I rub the cream into my thumb scar it gets the strangest feeling....almost like my nerves are on the outside of my hand. I can lay my hand flat, that is very easy. Now my carpal tunnel scar has started to feel lumpy. I have trouble with hypertrophic scarring and I suspect that is what is going on there.

I see my doctor again in 6 days. At that time all supports are supposed to come off and physical therapy is to start. I hope PT will take care of the stiffness and swelling and get movement back.

I am hoping someone can tell me PT is the miracle cure! Right now I think it will be more like torture.....

Thanks for your support!
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Old 04-04-2012, 04:37 PM   #58
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Hi Gingertea,
I too went to the Dr. today. I'm almost 5 months out and still feel some numbness in the thumb area and hand. My wrist is still pretty stiff and I can't lay my hand down flat.I have pain in the thumb especially this week since I've been getting ready for Easter. Dr. took X-rays and said it looks OK. Since I'm allergic to most pain relievers, I'm starting steroids tomorrow for 5 days and going back to PT for a month to see if they can loosen my wrist. I've been a little discouraged. I do almost everything except golf but with pain.
You are only 7 wks out so hang in there. My friend called me today and she is 8 mos. out and still is not all healed. Wow, that shocked me.
Good luck to you.
Hope you heal faster than I am.

Janet

 
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Old 04-04-2012, 09:14 PM   #59
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Hi Janet,

Thanks for your post! When I got up today one of my fingers felt like I had jammed it. I wore my brace to bed so I don't think I slammed it in my sleep. My hand has been bothering me all day. Both my daughter and husband noticed it was bruised and swollen. The original bruising was gone, but now it's turning purple again. As long as it doesn't get any worse I'll just wait until my appt on Tuesday....I swear I felt better 3 weeks ago. I was making plans to have my right hand done in June. I don't see that happening now. I hope it doesn't take 8 months to heal! Did your doctor tell you it is normal to still have pain after 5 months? I can't take the pain pills either. They make me sick and then it takes a day to recover from that. Let me know how the steroids work.

Here's to less pain and more healing!
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Old 04-05-2012, 02:45 PM   #60
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Quote:
Originally Posted by gingertea View Post
Hi Janet,

Thanks for your post! When I got up today one of my fingers felt like I had jammed it. I wore my brace to bed so I don't think I slammed it in my sleep. My hand has been bothering me all day. Both my daughter and husband noticed it was bruised and swollen. The original bruising was gone, but now it's turning purple again. As long as it doesn't get any worse I'll just wait until my appt on Tuesday....I swear I felt better 3 weeks ago. I was making plans to have my right hand done in June. I don't see that happening now. I hope it doesn't take 8 months to heal! Did your doctor tell you it is normal to still have pain after 5 months? I can't take the pain pills either. They make me sick and then it takes a day to recover from that. Let me know how the steroids work.

Here's to less pain and more healing!
My Dr. just said that I shouldn't be so stiff but it is a slow healing process. He attaches the new tendon to the wrist rather tightly as it does loosen. He was highly recommended for this surgery but said he uses different approaches after seeing the outcome. Thus a longer healing time. I thought I wouldn't still feel pain and numbness after 5 mos. But tomorrow I'll start the steroids to see if the inflammation subsides and I restart PT on Tues. I need my other hand done but no way after this!! Maybe once this is all healed!!!?? I think being older does not help either. The older we are the healing is much slower. I just want my hand back without pain! Good luck to you as well and stay in touch. Don't know why your hand is turning colors. That seems strange too.

Janet

 
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