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Old 01-23-2012, 06:56 AM   #16
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

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Originally Posted by Janet20 View Post
Hi Haydena,
Yes, I do need my left hand done but not until my right hand is completely healed. This is not an easy surgery as you well know. I think just relying so much on others has been difficult as well. It was difficult to not have use of my hand through the holiday as well. My husband has been a huge help but I love being able to do more and more as you know. I'll take your advice and be patient!!

How long ago was your surgery?

Janet
Hi Janet,

My surgery was 8 months & 3 weeks ago (May 2nd) By the end of July I travelled abroad wearing a soft splint. I was completely pain free after 2 months. I guess I was lucky in that I healed rather quickly when I compare myself to others here on this thread.

I know someday I will have to have my right hand done; I only have slight pain when I stretch my fingers & thumb, but I have full use of the hand & thumb. As of yet there is no loss of cartilage (reason for the operation on my left hand)

Just keep telling yourself that you will recover fully & will have the full use of your hand.

Hang in there Janet.

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Haydena.

 
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Old 03-11-2012, 06:32 AM   #17
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Smile Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

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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, 06:50 AM   #18
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

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Originally Posted by Janet20 View Post
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
Hi Janet,

I am sorry to hear that your hand is still swollen & your wrist is stiff.
If I remember rightly I suggested you order Arnica cream online to take down & greatly reduce the swelling. Arnica should also help the stiffness in your wrist. You can apply this cream, which is a homeopathic remedy, three times a day (even more if you wish) & before you go to sleep at night.

You can ask Adkalady what she thinks of Arnica as she followed my advice.

Wishing you well.
Haydena.

 
Old 03-11-2012, 06:56 AM   #19
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Hi Haydena,
My daughter sent me Traumeel cream after I told her what you suggested. It has arnica in it. I do use it but maybe I should have gotten the real Arnica cream. I'm anxious now to see my Dr when I get home April 1st. Thank you for all the help on this board. It was helpful.

Janet

 
Old 03-11-2012, 09:26 AM   #20
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Hi everybody. Janet, I am not yet completely healed at 4 months. My wrist is still a little stiff, my thumb also a little numb on the left top side, and sometimes I still have the throbbing ache. When I press my hand flat, it hurts at the base of the hand. Like yourself, I also have severe osteoarthritis in my other fingers so, although I can make a fist, it is very loose and hurts! I do think that the Arnica helps me, along with putting my hands in a sink full of warm water and letting them soak. I don't do the hand exercises any more, as they just aggravate my other fingers. I'm going to try to rely more on the Arnica and start to experiment with homeopathic remedies as I wean myself off the Celebrex, which hardly seems to help anyway. Somehow I don't think the pain you are having in your pinkie is related to the surgery, though. And I'm surprised that you didn't have an X-ray. I had one after the first 10 days and another at 2 months out. My last appointment is 3/13, and then it is back to work! Next winter, I plan to have the same procedure on my left thumb. I'm glad that I had this surgery!

 
Old 03-11-2012, 10:04 AM   #21
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Thanks for this post. You are right on the pain in my other fingers. I had some of that pre surgery and I do have arthritis in the other fingers. I'm probably where you are then. I'm going to get arnica cream. I use heat on my wrist all the time and it does help. I'm allergic to most pain killers except Tylenol and I stopped taking it as my liver counts were up in January. I took a lot the past 4 years. Thanks for talking me through this. I'm not ready yet for my other hand. It'll have to be really painful before I do this again! Take care.
Janet

 
Old 03-11-2012, 10:42 AM   #22
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet20 View Post
Hi Haydena,
My daughter sent me Traumeel cream after I told her what you suggested. It has arnica in it. I do use it but maybe I should have gotten the real Arnica cream. I'm anxious now to see my Dr when I get home April 1st. Thank you for all the help on this board. It was helpful.

Janet
Hi Janet,

Traumeel is the BEST, I use it & used it on my thumb & wrist. I did'nt know you could but it in the US thats why I told you to get Arnica instead. Traumeel contains the most amount of Arnica that I know,so do use it at least 3-4 times a day.

My physio told me to place my entire hand in a bowel of hot water 3 times a day & do gentle hand & wrist movements. This helps ease the stiffness & tension.
Your pinkie could be hurting you from when you had the cast on just like my pointer finger was very sensitive.

The numbness you & Adkalady are feeling now does subside. Trust me, it really does. It just may take a bit longer for some. Dont worry about that.
Try your hardest to do your hand movements twice a day, it will help you.

Let us know please how you are doing & what your doctor tells you on 1st April. I may not answer you straight away as I will be away then for 1 week.

I wish you continued healing.
Haydena.

 
Old 03-11-2012, 06:41 PM   #23
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haydena View Post
Hi Janet,

Traumeel is the BEST, I use it & used it on my thumb & wrist. I did'nt know you could but it in the US thats why I told you to get Arnica instead. Traumeel contains the most amount of Arnica that I know,so do use it at least 3-4 times a day.

My physio told me to place my entire hand in a bowel of hot water 3 times a day & do gentle hand & wrist movements. This helps ease the stiffness & tension.
Your pinkie could be hurting you from when you had the cast on just like my pointer finger was very sensitive.

The numbness you & Adkalady are feeling now does subside. Trust me, it really does. It just may take a bit longer for some. Dont worry about that.
Try your hardest to do your hand movements twice a day, it will help you.

Let us know please how you are doing & what your doctor tells you on 1st April. I may not answer you straight away as I will be away then for 1 week.

I wish you continued healing.
Haydena.
Thanks so much Haydena. I can't tell you how much it means to have people who understand. Thanks again.

Janet

 
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Old 03-11-2012, 06:55 PM   #24
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

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Originally Posted by Janet20 View Post
Thanks so much Haydena. I can't tell you how much it means to have people who understand. Thanks again.

Janet
You are welcome Janet.

I am pleased to be able to be of help to you & do feel free to come here & ask about anything concerning your hand surgery, recovery etc. Because I have been through the same surgery or very much like it, I understand exactly what you are going through.

I also received loads of support from quiet a few members on this thread who helped & encouraged me so much that I am indebted to them.

In a few months you are going be be ''right as rain'' (a British expression) so
please try to keep your chin up.

Hugs,
Haydena.

 
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Old 04-12-2012, 04:10 PM   #25
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

I really shouldn't complain cause I've got a great husband. We've been married almost 44yrs!! He just golfs everyday!! We live on a course. But I leave notes with xxoo on the bottom with all the honey "dos". I do feel badly for women alone. This has been hard.
I did better at PT today. I do like the ultrasound. I'm doing desensitization exercises now. Something new each day!!
Thanks- Janet

 
Old 04-12-2012, 07:36 PM   #26
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

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Originally Posted by Janet20 View Post
I really shouldn't complain cause I've got a great husband. We've been married almost 44yrs!! He just golfs everyday!! We live on a course. But I leave notes with xxoo on the bottom with all the honey "dos". I do feel badly for women alone. This has been hard.
I did better at PT today. I do like the ultrasound. I'm doing desensitization exercises now. Something new each day!!
Thanks- Janet
What are desensitization exercises? I could sure use some today. I haven't ached as bad as I do today in weeks. I'm taking ibuprofen every 4 hours. Even tho the PT seemed gentle, it sure woke something up in my hand. I can barely do the simple exercises my hand is so stiff & swollen.

I ordered the Traumeel cream today. I was looking on-line for a lightweight brace for my hand. (The doctors PA said I should wean off the brace into something lighter.) I found a glove that crafters with arthritis use. The reviews were great, so I ordered one of those too.

Janet, your husband must be retired? My husband is in 'getting ready to retire' phase. We live on a lake, and he loves to fish! If fishing season were open I know that is where he'd be! He'd stay home from work to help, but I couldn't keep him from the dock or the boat! Priorities, you know.

Well, I'm going to soak my arm in a hot bath....I've been thinking about it all day.
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:55 AM   #27
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Hi Ginger,
First, yes we are both retired. My husband does consult but does a lot of that from home on his computer. He volunteers a lot too. We live in a planned community and he's held every office. That is all good and he did put me first like I said for the first few months. But now that I'm doing almost everything, he feels his freedom again. Some of my kids and grandkids are on their way now. My son, wife and baby will stay the weekend and the two older kids the whole week. So I won't be resting as much as I should!
Second, desensitization was totally new to me as well. I'm having pain in the scar and fatty part of my hand plus the wrist is still stiff. The exercises help to decrease the hypersensitivity of the nerve endings in my hand and scar. I have to use various textures starting with soft cotton and rub the scar/area with it for 5 min 4 times a day. It's annoying at first then feels better. Or I can use rice in a bowl and swirl my hand in it.When it no longer feels abnormal, I have to progress to other fabrics etc. like flannel, terry cloth, etc. I know it sounds weird but seems to work. I'm willing to try anything at this point!! I have to gear up now to hold my one year old grandson and play with him today. Can't wait!

Janet
What you're feeling is so normal. I had all of the feelings and pain you have. You are just beginning so just do what they say. It does get better. I can't believe how far I've come. I just am longing to be 100%

 
Old 04-14-2012, 09:55 PM   #28
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

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Originally Posted by Janet20 View Post
Hi Ginger,
First, yes we are both retired. My husband does consult but does a lot of that from home on his computer. He volunteers a lot too. We live in a planned community and he's held every office. That is all good and he did put me first like I said for the first few months. But now that I'm doing almost everything, he feels his freedom again. Some of my kids and grandkids are on their way now. My son, wife and baby will stay the weekend and the two older kids the whole week. So I won't be resting as much as I should!
Second, desensitization was totally new to me as well. I'm having pain in the scar and fatty part of my hand plus the wrist is still stiff. The exercises help to decrease the hypersensitivity of the nerve endings in my hand and scar. I have to use various textures starting with soft cotton and rub the scar/area with it for 5 min 4 times a day. It's annoying at first then feels better. Or I can use rice in a bowl and swirl my hand in it.When it no longer feels abnormal, I have to progress to other fabrics etc. like flannel, terry cloth, etc. I know it sounds weird but seems to work. I'm willing to try anything at this point!! I have to gear up now to hold my one year old grandson and play with him today. Can't wait!

Janet
What you're feeling is so normal. I had all of the feelings and pain you have. You are just beginning so just do what they say. It does get better. I can't believe how far I've come. I just am longing to be 100%

Janet

I had that too. I told the therapist I was having hypersensitivity of the skin and she kept telling me it wasn't from the surgery. Well I know I never had this BEFORE the surgery. It hurts for anything to touch my skin there. Good to know I'm not crazy. I still have it but not as bad and not as often.

I also get these pains like I'm being electrocuted and only lasting 10-15 seconds.......... but very intense to the point I yell out loud. Hubby always comes running. I am also having a problem with numbness on one side of my thumb.

I just want to say that I get better answers from this board than I get from the people involved with my care. It's been so helpful. had it not been for this board I would have been so ill prepared for this surgery. It helped so much to know what to expect.

 
Old 04-17-2012, 05:36 PM   #29
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

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Haydena,
Yes,I'm worried about Sidney as well. When i read her post, it bothered me. We are very lucky to have this sounding board. You are always so upbeat. I feel I may be turning the corner in another month or so. I so long to use my wrist and have more strength. I feel fortunate to have a great therapist.
You are so right with the fact we all heal at different levels. All of our surgeries were a little different. I think I'm the only one who had a hard cast for 3 weeks after the initial hard bandage I had after surgery for 10 days. I started the PT in 4 wks from my surgery.
Off to rub on some traumeel!
Have a good night1
Janet
Janet, hi,

I forgot to ask you if you feel the Traumeel is helping your hand?

Thanks, you have a good night aswell & enjoy your grandkids.
I am becoming a granny in July!!!

Haydena.

 
Old 04-18-2012, 03:56 PM   #30
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Haydena,
The traumeel feels great just temporary! I use it often. I'm so glad my daughter sent it and I can find it in my grocery store as well. Love it.
I'm pooped from being with my grandkids but we're having fun. Congrats on getting a new grandchild soon. There's nothing like it.

Janet

 
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