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Old 09-06-2012, 07:54 PM   #1
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Thumbs up Severe basal joint arthritis - surgery 9/11/12

I had bilateral Carpal Tunnel Surgery in 2011 (right in March then left in April). Did well but had increasing right thumb joint pain. Steroid injection in July hurt like crazy and didn't work. So I'm having the basal joint arthroplasty with tendon reconstruction next Tuesday. The technique is very interesting, and I won't loose any range of motion or strength. 4 wk in a cast then 4 in a removable splint

Anyone had this? Suggestions during recovery? Etc.

I'm continually on pain meds due to multiple other orthopedic conditions and surgeries, so my hand doc offered 1 night in the hospital, as opposed to outpatient, to provide continual nerve sheath numbing. I am so excited for that as I am opiod tolerant and don't do well in the first 1-4 days after hand surgery and would have loved more numbing during recover from my total knee rplcmt last year!
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Rt&Lt thumb arthroplasty 2012 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS 2011
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Old 09-08-2012, 07:42 PM   #2
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Re: Severe basal joint arthritis - surgery 9/11/12

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Originally Posted by SpineAZ View Post
I had bilateral Carpal Tunnel Surgery in 2011 (right in March then left in April). Did well but had increasing right thumb joint pain. Steroid injection in July hurt like crazy and didn't work. So I'm having the basal joint arthroplasty with tendon reconstruction next Tuesday. The technique is very interesting, and I won't loose any range of motion or strength. 4 wk in a cast then 4 in a removable splint

Anyone had this? Suggestions during recovery? Etc.

I'm continually on pain meds due to multiple other orthopedic conditions and surgeries, so my hand doc offered 1 night in the hospital, as opposed to outpatient, to provide continual nerve sheath numbing. I am so excited for that as I am opiod tolerant and don't do well in the first 1-4 days after hand surgery and would have loved more numbing during recover from my total knee rplcmt last year!
I had basal thumb joint reconstruction in 2007. Best thing I ever did. If I had known that I would have less pain in the first 5 days of recovery than I did before surgery, I wouldn't have waited as long as I did. I had great results--90% function restored and NO PAIN> YaY!

 
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:05 PM   #3
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Talking Re: Severe basal joint arthritis - surgery 9/11/12

THANK YOU SO much for your response. I feel much better. I have "heard" from my doctor that it provides relief but to hear it from someone who has been through it makes me a bit calmer. I'm at the point where if I carry my purse wrong and it's in the crook of my thumb the wrong movement causes unbelievable pain. People don't understand how such a tiny bone/area can cause such remarkable pain!
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Rt&Lt thumb arthroplasty 2012 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS 2011
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Old 09-09-2012, 01:09 PM   #4
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Re: Severe basal joint arthritis - surgery 9/11/12

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Originally Posted by SpineAZ View Post
THANK YOU SO much for your response. I feel much better. I have "heard" from my doctor that it provides relief but to hear it from someone who has been through it makes me a bit calmer. I'm at the point where if I carry my purse wrong and it's in the crook of my thumb the wrong movement causes unbelievable pain. People don't understand how such a tiny bone/area can cause such remarkable pain!
I know! People would try to shake my hand and it would almost bring me to my knees. Carrying groceries, unlocking a door, even using tape brought tears to my eyes. I tried everything to relieve my pain, but when it started waking me up multiple times at night I knew I couldn't go on with it. I actually have pretty bad arthritis in both thumbs. When my dominant hand was so inflamed, I had to start doing everything with my left hand, including writing and using scissors. Not very well, might I add. Because I was guarding the right hand, the left hand got stirred up and we thought I would have to have both thumbs done! Thankfully, once the right hand got more functional the left hand settled down. It's been 5 years and I'm happy to say the left thumb no longer gives me trouble and the right thumb is amazingly pain free.

 
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:05 PM   #5
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Re: Severe basal joint arthritis - surgery 9/11/12

I also feel the left one starting to have symptoms. We'll see how it does during the next 8 weeks! Or it's next!
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Old 09-20-2012, 12:07 PM   #6
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Re: Severe basal joint arthritis - surgery 9/11/12

So far all went well. They kept me two nights to keep the arm numb. I am already on pain meds so I'm opiod tolerant. They didn't want to send me home in pain and/or with heavy hitting meds. This has been much better than I thought. The hand looks good, I see him tomorrow and a new bandage I hope.

K
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Rt&Lt thumb arthroplasty 2012 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS 2011
Fusions: L5-S1 (87), L4-S1 (93), C5-C7 ('06), L3-S1 ('10)
C5-C7 foraminotomy 08

 
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Old 11-10-2012, 06:03 PM   #7
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Re: Severe basal joint arthritis - surgery 9/11/12

could you play the piano if you were a pianist? does your thumb still work the same as when it had the arthritis?

 
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:02 PM   #8
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Re: Severe basal joint arthritis - surgery 9/11/12

You'd have to practice a bit. I have had a good result and it hasn't impacted my ability to type wtihout looking at the keyboard. I do feel a "stretch" when going to a further key. However, I chose to end hand rehab instead of going on since I'm having the other hand done soon. Have you seen a well qualified surgeon? If so ask who they use for hand therapy (also referred to as Occupational Therapy since it's fine motor skills) and ask the therapsit. I found my OT to be very very knowledgeable about my procedure, outcome, etc. She knows what my doc likes to see in rehab so it helps that I go to a facility the surgeon likes.
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Rt&Lt thumb arthroplasty 2012 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS 2011
Fusions: L5-S1 (87), L4-S1 (93), C5-C7 ('06), L3-S1 ('10)
C5-C7 foraminotomy 08

 
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:03 PM   #9
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Re: Severe basal joint arthritis - surgery 9/11/12

WOW! That's good news. I have it too. Who is your surgeon?

 
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:08 PM   #10
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Re: Severe basal joint arthritis - surgery 9/11/12

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Originally Posted by dgarafa1 View Post
could you play the piano if you were a pianist? does your thumb still work the same as when it had the arthritis?
dgarafa 1 I just accepted your friend request. Tried to send you a message personally but I wasn't able to. Do you have questions? I had combined carpal tunnel/basal joint surgery on my left hand Feb/2012 and right hand June/2012. Same surgery you are thinking of....removal of the trapezium and ligament transfer. I was also bone on bone.
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:29 PM   #11
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Re: Severe basal joint arthritis - surgery 9/11/12

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Originally Posted by gingertea View Post
dgarafa 1 I just accepted your friend request. Tried to send you a message personally but I wasn't able to. Do you have questions? I had combined carpal tunnel/basal joint surgery on my left hand Feb/2012 and right hand June/2012. Same surgery you are thinking of....removal of the trapezium and ligament transfer. I was also bone on bone.

 
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:48 PM   #12
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Re: Severe basal joint arthritis - surgery 9/11/12

Do you think you could press keys on a piano? I'm a pianist needing full joint reconstruction ?

 
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:52 PM   #13
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Re: Severe basal joint arthritis - surgery 9/11/12

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Originally Posted by mustlovepoodles View Post
I know! People would try to shake my hand and it would almost bring me to my knees. Carrying groceries, unlocking a door, even using tape brought tears to my eyes. I tried everything to relieve my pain, but when it started waking me up multiple times at night I knew I couldn't go on with it. I actually have pretty bad arthritis in both thumbs. When my dominant hand was so inflamed, I had to start doing everything with my left hand, including writing and using scissors. Not very well, might I add. Because I was guarding the right hand, the left hand got stirred up and we thought I would have to have both thumbs done! Thankfully, once the right hand got more functional the left hand settled down. It's been 5 years and I'm happy to say the left thumb no longer gives me trouble and the right thumb is amazingly pain free.

 
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:54 PM   #14
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Re: Severe basal joint arthritis - surgery 9/11/12

Do you think I could play piano after such a surgery? Can you hold a glass now ?

 
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:02 PM   #15
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Re: Severe basal joint arthritis - surgery 9/11/12

There's nothing I can't hold. A glass, a pitcher, a baby's hand, a hammer, a screwdriver, a suitcase, etc. If piano is your hobby, it will take time to refine your technique. Talk to a Occupational Therapist (hand therapist) to discuss your post-op goals.
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Rt&Lt thumb arthroplasty 2012 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS 2011
Fusions: L5-S1 (87), L4-S1 (93), C5-C7 ('06), L3-S1 ('10)
C5-C7 foraminotomy 08

 
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