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Old 02-18-2012, 06:44 PM   #1
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Question Basal joint arthroplasty

Hello everyone! I'm scheduled for thumb (basal joint) arthroplasty with FCR tendon transfer on March 6. I've read in these posts (but can't find the reference) about a blue foam configuration which should be used to elevate and stabilize the arm and hand. I remember reading that it costs about $45.

Can anyone tell me where to order this from?

Thanks so much.

Mommyk1

 
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:45 PM   #2
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Re: Basal joint arthroplasty

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Originally Posted by MommyK1 View Post
Hello everyone! I'm scheduled for thumb (basal joint) arthroplasty with FCR tendon transfer on March 6. I've read in these posts (but can't find the reference) about a blue foam configuration which should be used to elevate and stabilize the arm and hand. I remember reading that it costs about $45.

Can anyone tell me where to order this from?

Thanks so much.

Mommyk1
Hi, I had both thumb basal joints done and am not sure what blue foam thing you are speaking of. Is this something for before surgery or after? Is it the big foam block? Anything needed should be provided by your surgeon I would think. My surgeon did not recommend the big foam block for elevation, he felt too many people became dependant on it and it weakened their arm muscles. Every doctor is different though. I used to just use a pillow, bed pillow folded. good luck!!

 
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:51 PM   #3
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Re: Basal joint arthroplasty

Hi, mellow, and thanks for your response. The blue foam block, an arm elevator, was discussed in a couple posts back in December, I think, for use after surgery. I guess I'll call my surgeon and ask whether or not he recommends its use. I appreciate your taking the time to respond to my question. Best from mommyk1.

 
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:13 AM   #4
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Re: Basal joint arthroplasty

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Originally Posted by MommyK1 View Post
Hi, mellow, and thanks for your response. The blue foam block, an arm elevator, was discussed in a couple posts back in December, I think, for use after surgery. I guess I'll call my surgeon and ask whether or not he recommends its use. I appreciate your taking the time to respond to my question. Best from mommyk1.
MommyK1,

I would definitely let your doctor recommend after care treatment. I know sometimes we hear of other's using one thing or another, but our own doc's don't. I would go with your doc's plan since he/she is doing the surgery. Since I was casted for 4-6 weeks as it was, my surgeon wanted me to keep my elbow bending and my shoulder moving as much as possible to avoid any other problems. But as I said, it may not be the case for everyone. Some people wear diferent types of casts, have different kinds of physical therapy afterwards too!

I know one thing, you will be so happy afterwards!! Nothing like that basal joint pain! Of course I have had 10 surgeries between both hands, so it is hard to remember which is which for me, but I do remember the pain b4 the surgery!!! Let me know how you feel afterwards!!

 
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:04 AM   #5
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Re: Basal joint arthroplasty

Mallow,

Thanks again...I'll post after the surgery to let you know how it went. I'll follow the surgeon's directions for after-care. He's a hand surgeon, so he certainly knows more than me!!! Holy mackeral---10 surgeries---you're a pro too! Best, mommyk1

 
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:45 PM   #6
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Smile Re: Basal joint arthroplasty

Hi everyone. Had thumb surgery (first carpometetacarpel arthroplasty with FCR tendon transfer) last Tuesday. Surgeon said it went fine with no surprises. I had to have the cast/splint removed and another fitted on Friday because it was too tight. Pain is moderate; not as severe as I had anticipated. Everyday tasks are somewhat difficult. For showering, bought a plastic arm sleeve at the medical supply house to keep the cast dry. Without my husband helping me, this would be impossible to put on and take off, but it does work--but is uncomfortable. I've been taking occasional pain meds--maybe 2 per day; resting and sleeping with the arm elevated on pillows. I'm using my fingers as much as possible, and the thumb less easily. Surgeon's office told me today I'll be out of work for 4-6 weeks--much longer than I had anticipated. I got some arnica gel at a health food store before the surgery and have been rubbing it on my fingers and the top of my thumb which are not encased in the cast. Haven't tried to drive because I know I can't hold the steering wheel. Will post more--typing is tough, but I'm trying to exercise the fingers! Would appreciate hearing from others who are further along in the healing process. Thanks very much.

 
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Old 03-18-2012, 02:33 PM   #7
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Re: Basal joint arthroplasty

Hi Mommy,

I had basal joint arthroplasty and spur removal combined with carpal tunnel release on my left hand on Feb. 15. For 13 days I had a molded plastic splint covering my hand and thumb. It was kept in place by an ace bandage that came almost to my elbow. Two days after surgery I had the worst pain. Turns out it wasn't from the surgery, it was the ace bandage. It was wrapped so tight it started to cut off my circulation. My fingers turned purple, I itched all over and after the wrap was loosened I had a giant bruise. The doctor told my husband to loosen the wrap and the relief was almost immediate! After that the pain was controllable. On the 14th day I went in and the splint, ace bandage and stitches were removed. An x-ray showed everything was in place and all looked good. They put on a hard cast at the same appointment. I wore that for 13 days also. I hated it, but I almost wish I had it back now....last week they took the cast off, took more x-rays and replaced it with a gauntlet style brace, reinforced with metal bars and a thumb spica. I wear that for 4 weeks, and it can be removed for showers and to rub cream into the scar area. My problem with that, is the look of the scars turn my stomach. Very weird for me because I don't get grossed out easy. My wrist is weak, but I can't say there is really any pain from the surgery. I don't like the brace rubbing on the scars so I rub in the cream, cover the scars with cotton discs and wrap my hand with surgical tape before I put the brace back on. I use Mederma and Arnica....Mederma can only be applied once a day, so I supplement with Arnica cause that can be applied up to 4 times a day. As far as every day care, I still keep my hand elevated and iced and I wear a sling if I go out. I drove for the 1st time yesterday, but only a couple of miles to see if it was comfortable. It wasn't too bad, didn't hurt. I just like having more control of the steering wheel than the brace allows. I still have quite a bit of swelling if I stress it too much. From the very beginning I was told it would be 8 weeks before I could begin to use my thumb. (Nothing heavier than a coffee cup.) My next appointment is about 3 1/2 weeks away. I haven't really known in advance what the next step is, my doctor makes the decision according to the progress. If everything looks good, it will probably be physical therapy. I have to have the same surgery on my right hand (dominant). It is in worse condition than the left, especially since I've had to use it so much. I guess I can say it hasn't been terrible, I plan to have surgery as soon as my doctor gives the okay. I'm really anxious to be done with everything.

Hope you are doing well! Keep me posted with your progress.....especially since I'll be doing it again in a few months. Always helps to have a few tips to make the recovery easier.
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:58 PM   #8
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Smile Re: Basal joint arthroplasty

hi ginger tea,

thanks so very much for your great reply. it has given me a good picture of what i might also encounter over the next few weeks. i'm sorry you have to go through this again--i'm still in the stage of "why did i do this?"

i stopped my pain meds as first the hydrocodone and then vicodin were upsetting my stomach--the vicodin not as much as the hydro--but now just taking ibuprophen, and stomach is so much better. i go on wednesday to have pin removed and recasted. i'll post more to keep you in the loop!

i've had to go back to just typing with one hand...using my left hand's fingers causes some significant pain...so i'll wait a while to try that again.

best from mommyk1

 
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:45 AM   #9
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Re: Basal joint arthroplasty

Mellow, hello. tomorrow will be 2 weeks since my surgery. doing better every day--pain has subsided well. get pin out and another cast on wednesday. typing with one hand is so slow. Highly recommend to anyone who does not live alone to get the seal tight cast/bandage protector to cover the cast while showering--it's a joy to be able to take a nice hot shower every morning, but this aid is impossible to get on and off without help--it has a rubber diaphragm that takes three good hands to get on and off over the thumb/cast. will be out of work for another 2-3 weeks, depending on what the doc says. best to all, and i'll continur to enjoy hearing from all, mommyk1

 
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Old 03-24-2012, 06:23 PM   #10
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Re: Basal joint arthroplasty

How are you doing with the new cast? I didn't have a pin so haven't experienced that. This black brace is making me crazy! It keeps rubbing against my scar and it's tender. I was using cotton discs, but now I am using mini-pads LOL (3 thick) and it's a little better. I still don't have the knuckles at the base of my fingers. My hand is a fat piece of meat! I'm having a lot of swelling even tho I keep it iced. It's been over 5 weeks, and this past week I have been able to hold my arm and hand under warm running water.
It's heaven to take a shower and let the water run all over the surgery area! I've been keeping my fingers loose and exercised but I really thought I'd be much further along than I am. I didn't expect the brace would be as restricting and I still have 2 1/2 weeks left of the 4 weeks I'm supposed to wear it 24/7.

Hope you are doing well!

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Old 03-24-2012, 07:27 PM   #11
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Cool Re: Basal joint arthroplasty

hi ginger,

so good to hear from you. tonight i just said to my husband that i'm pretty tired of this recuperation--i sat all day with my hand elevated because my fingers swelled so bad. the pain in the surgical areas continues to improve. i was wrong in my earlier post--on this past wednesday i did not have the pin out--just had stitches out and a new cast put on-- i chose bright purple -- the pin is in until april 11, at which time the cast comes off too and i start physical therapy. i'm sorry--i guess i'm just bored so i'm complaining.

i'm happy you can shower easily--good for you! i can't wait.

i told the doc on wednesday that i was not prepared for the complexity and difficulty of this recovery. he then took the time to show me and my husband the newest xrays and outlined what he had done, and he said "this was a serious, involved surgery, and it'll take a while to get through it." I felt better -- i was starting to think i was being a wimp, which i never have been-- (3 kids -- all with natural deliveries and not one word of complaint during any of them). I've had skin cancer removed on my forehead, two cataract surgeries, rotator cuff repair surgery, bladder lift, knee arthroscopy...but this thumb surgery takes the cake! i'm 61--what will the next few years bring? I'm turning into a bionic woman!

tomorrow will be a better day...and you made me laugh...3 pantiliners in your brace!!! good thinking!

Try elevating your hand for several hours on two fat pillows--it helped me today. The swelling is almost gone.

i'll look forward to hearing about your progress.

best, mommyk1

 
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