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Old 01-11-2012, 04:28 PM   #1
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going through the basal joint surgery process - my story

I had my thumb surgery Nov. 14th and am in PT twice a week. I am slowly able to do more but still no strength. I had my right hand done and it is a slow and painful recovery. I plan on going away in 2 weeks and will have to do the exercises while away for 2months. Did you have the surgery? I needed help cooking and dressing for a long time. After reading this site, looks like I have a few more months to go.

 
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Old 01-11-2012, 05:43 PM   #2
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

OMG Janet ...I bet we have the same hand surgeon. My consultation was in Baldwinsville. My surgery is scheduled for 1/26. This board has been very helpful and I'm sure you will get answers to all your questions. I did learn here that this is a very tough surgery and that information wasn't translated at all during the initial consultation. Hope things get better for you. (((hugs)))

 
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Old 01-11-2012, 05:55 PM   #3
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

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Originally Posted by csidney View Post
OMG Janet ...I bet we have the same hand surgeon. My consultation was in Baldwinsville. My surgery is scheduled for 1/26. This board has been very helpful and I'm sure you will get answers to all your questions. I did learn here that this is a very tough surgery and that information wasn't translated at all during the initial consultation. Hope things get better for you. (((hugs)))
My Dr is Dr. Short. He's with SOS. My PT is at Physical Therapy Plus on Rt 31. Her name is Beth. It is the hardest surgery I've ever had but mostly because you really need help for so long. I'm coming along but the hard cast really is tough on your wrist. I noticed here that some don't have a hard cast. Who is your Dr? Good luck to you. I pray this is all worth it. The first 2 weeks are rough then it gets better. Just plan on a long slow recovery. it'll be 2 months this week for me and I still have no strength but I'm doing more and more each day. Good Luck!

 
Old 01-11-2012, 06:58 PM   #4
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Thanks Janet. My Doc is Nancollas from SOS. I saw him at the Radisson office in B'ville. My physical therapy will be in east Syracuse. Not looking forward to this surgery at all. I haven't heard anyone say it was easy.

Good luck to you too !

 
Old 01-12-2012, 06:03 AM   #5
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Janet20: you are a week ahead of me, post-surgery. I also have very little strength in the thumb, fingers or wrist. I expected by now that I would have enough flexibility in my wrist that I could use that hand for personal hygiene purposes--ahem, sorry if this is indelicate subject matter--but still cannot quite master it. I still have to be careful even holding a coffee cup with that hand. Is your wrist still weak? Have you regained the flexibility in your wrist? Thank you.

 
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Old 01-12-2012, 06:04 AM   #6
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet20 View Post
I had my thumb surgery Nov. 14th and am in PT twice a week. I am slowly able to do more but still no strength. I had my right hand done and it is a slow and painful recovery. I plan on going away in 2 weeks and will have to do the exercises while away for 2months. Did you have the surgery? I needed help cooking and dressing for a long time. After reading this site, looks like I have a few more months to go.
Hi Janet,

The operation I had at the beginning of May, 2010 is called, ''Carpo Metacarpal Joint.'' ''Arthoplasty. CM1''
The tendon was taken from my wrist & wrapped around the bones in my left thumb as I had lost all the cartilage there due to having arthritis in the thumb area. I had a general anaestetic & stayed overnight at hospital as the surgeon gave me a cocktail of pain killers which included morphine.

I was not in a hard cast but left with the original ball of hard cast which was placed in my palm of the hand to keep the hand open, covered by bandages,
for 6 days. The stitches were removed after 13 days.(My surgeon did not want to cause more trauma to my hand by removing the original hard cast ball & bandages) I was then put into a short micro-pastic splint that kept my thumb & fore-finger spread apart. This micro plastic reached the top of my wrist, where the thumb ends. It was held together with velcro & bandages & I wasnt allowed to remove it. The micro plastic splint was removed after 6 weeks & I then started physio once a week at the surgeon's rooms with his hand therapist & once a week at home with a private hand therapist. After 5 or 6 sessions I decided I could manage the hand & wrist exercises alone.
Seeing that the operation was performed on my non dominant hand I managed very well to shower with a plastic sleeve, brush my teeth & even dress myself with a sports-bra, elasticated all round, pull on trainer trousers, extra large sized T-shirts & slip on shoes. I started cooking with 1 hand after 2 weeks, which took much longer. I think I did this out of boredom!

I was not allowed to drive (automatic shift) for 6 weeks as we are not insured here to drive with one's hand in a splint.

I did not find this operation to be very hard to recover from as I did my exercises 3-4 times a day.I also placed my hand & wrist in a deep bowel with warm water & did hand & wrist movements, 3 times a day. The warm water helped to loosen up the muscles. The pain lasted for 1 week. I used ice packs, Arnica cream which is a homeopathic remedy to reduce swelling, pain & bruising. For pain killers I used the equivalent of your Tyrenol.
(This cream can be purchased online)

I am 8 months post surgery now & I have the full use of my hand without any pain whatsoever.
I hope this post has helped you Jane. If you need more information, please ask me.
Haydena.

Last edited by Haydena; 01-12-2012 at 07:27 AM.

 
Old 01-12-2012, 12:48 PM   #7
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Yes, I know your Dr and heard he is very good. He does not use a cast. You might heal faster. I went to Dr Short today and he said for me to just do as much as I can. I'll start strengthening it soon. It's not fun but in 6 mos. we'll both be pain free.

Again good luck and heal quickly.

Hugs

 
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Old 01-12-2012, 12:53 PM   #8
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

I have no strength in my wrist or thumb yet. So hard doing anything. I saw my Dr today and he said the stiffness is due to the cast and also he attaches the tendon tightly to the wrist as well as it will loosen. He said this is good at this stage and to just continue with PT. I'm in the same boat. This has not been easy but reading these posts does make me feel better. Good luck with your recovery too.

 
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Old 01-16-2012, 06:51 AM   #9
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Smile Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

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Originally Posted by csidney View Post
Hi everyone. Just a shout out to say thanks to all the kind people here who have taken the time to advise and help prepare me for my upcoming surgery. I had all my pre op workup on Friday and was cleared for the surgery on the 26th of January. Not looking forward to what's ahead but at least I am much more prepared for whats to come. Special thanks to Haydena and a few others that helped encourage and enlighten me. I promise to check in as soon as I'm able.

ADKLADY and Janet ....hope you both find some relief sooner than later or that time flies so so you can wake up and look forward to a pain free day.

I am still having some pain at night. I wore a brace for activities and at night until last week when I saw my Dr. It did help. I still use heat and ice. My Dr sent gave me a brace when the cast came off, then the therapist make me a more comfortable one to get on and off. I'm at 2mos. now and see an end. To others having it done soon, you do need help the first week especially. You need to have food prepared, loose clothes, etc. My therapist gave me an icepack that looks like an ace bandage. I love it. I keep it in the fridge not the freezer and it's ice cold and easy to wrap around. After you're off the pain pills, it gets a little easier. I felt once the cast came off, it was just the beginning. My hand didn't move at all. I had screws or pins in as well so having them out was a relief but painful. I need my left hand done but it won't be too soon. Good luck to everyone here. We'll all have our quality of life back in 6 mos. Good luck to all and accept all help! http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/icons/icon7.gif

 
Old 01-22-2012, 12:41 PM   #10
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Haydena,
You always make me feel good when I read your posts. You give me hope when I'm down. It's so hard to wait for the healing. Thank you!

Janet

 
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Old 01-22-2012, 01:14 PM   #11
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

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Haydena,
You always make me feel good when I read your posts. You give me hope when I'm down. It's so hard to wait for the healing. Thank you!

Janet
Thanks you Janet for your kind words.

No need to feel down; honest. I have been where you & Adklady are & I do understand what you are going through. You need to be kind to yourself Janet & to your hand & wrist, to allow them to heal in their own time. Some of us
take longer to heal than others & there is absolutely nothing you can do about that.

I read your post where you write that due to packing your hand & wrist are hurting. I advise you to buy a soft splint & wear it when you use your hand for the packing you need to do.(You can buy the soft splint from any good drug store) For typing & for anything else you may have to do with your hand. The soft splint will give your hand & wrist the support they need. Just dont wear it all the time & never sleep with it on.

I dont know if you read one of my posts to Adklady suggesting her to order a homeopathic cream online called Arnica. It helps the swelling go down, it helps the bruising fade, it helps with the pain aswell. I used it 3-4 times a day & I swear by it. All you do is rub it on your thumb & well into your wrist.

Also I suggest you continue, no matter how utterly boring it is, with your hand exercises at least 3 times a day.

Have a wonderful 2 months break down south & enjoy the sunshine. Please continue to let us know how you are doing as we are always interested to hear from you.

Hugs & continue your healing with ''patience''

Haydena.

 
Old 01-22-2012, 01:38 PM   #12
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

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Originally Posted by Haydena View Post
Thanks you Janet for your kind words.

No need to feel down; honest. I have been where you & Adklady are & I do understand what you are going through. You need to be kind to yourself Janet & to your hand & wrist, to allow them to heal in their own time. Some of us
take longer to heal than others & there is absolutely nothing you can do about that.

I read your post where you write that due to packing your hand & wrist are hurting. I advise you to buy a soft splint & wear it when you use your hand for the packing you need to do.(You can buy the soft splint from any good drug store) For typing & for anything else you may have to do with your hand. The soft splint will give your hand & wrist the support they need. Just dont wear it all the time & never sleep with it on.

I dont know if you read one of my posts to Adklady suggesting her to order a homeopathic cream online called Arnica. It helps the swelling go down, it helps the bruising fade, it helps with the pain aswell. I used it 3-4 times a day & I swear by it. All you do is rub it on your thumb & well into your wrist.

Also I suggest you continue, no matter how utterly boring it is, with your hand exercises at least 3 times a day.

Have a wonderful 2 months break down south & enjoy the sunshine. Please continue to let us know how you are doing as we are always interested to hear from you.

Hugs & continue your healing with ''patience''

Haydena.

PS.

Janet.

I forgot to tell you how to find the homeopathic cream called Arnica online.
You google ''homeopathic remedies'' you will find Arnica cream or Arnica montanna or montana. It's a cream with herbs from the mountains.
Its worth it to order it.

Haydena.

 
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Old 01-22-2012, 03:02 PM   #13
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

Thanks Haydena! I will get the Arnica cream. I've been using Vitamin E oil and massaging with cocoa butter before I do the exercises. I do have splints and do wear them occasionally. I bought them from my Dr and from the therapist for my left hand that is so sore right now. My right is the one I had operated on. Thanks for your encouragement.

Janet

 
Old 01-22-2012, 03:13 PM   #14
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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 Haydena! I will get the Arnica cream. I've been using Vitamin E oil and massaging with cocoa butter before I do the exercises. I do have splints and do wear them occasionally. I bought them from my Dr and from the therapist for my left hand that is so sore right now. My right is the one I had operated on. Thanks for your encouragement.

Janet
Janet,

You can still use the Vit E oil & cocoa butter, which are both excellent to cream your hand/wrist/scar whilst using the Arnica, of course not at the same time.

Its very good that you hydrate your scar as much as you can as it keeps your skin from dryness, which hurts.

Do you also need surgery on your left hand?

Best to rest your left hand now & not strain it.

Hoping you will feel better tomorrow.

Haydena.

 
Old 01-22-2012, 03:22 PM   #15
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

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Originally Posted by Haydena View Post
Janet,

You can still use the Vit E oil & cocoa butter, which are both excellent to cream your hand/wrist/scar whilst using the Arnica, of course not at the same time.

Its very good that you hydrate your scar as much as you can as it keeps your skin from dryness, which hurts.

Do you also need surgery on your left hand?

Best to rest your left hand now & not strain it.

Hoping you will feel better tomorrow.

Haydena.
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

 
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