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Old 10-19-2013, 08:11 AM   #31
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Re: Male, 53, Basal Joint CMC Arthroplasty

8 months post op report.

Wow, I just read this thread from the start. Been a long 8 months with some really positive results.

As I have said, I'm a heavy duty auto mechanic. My hands are my paycheck. The improvement from the first week back to work to now is ten fold. When I look back, it probably wasn't a good idea to go back to work only 11 weeks post op. My job is way too tough on hands, esp after surgery like this.

I did have a set back about 8 weeks ago when I struck my thumb base directly over the repair area with a 3 lb hammer. The pain was huge. I worked several more days, but had to stop due to the pain getting worse not better. Visit with the surgeon showed no damage, just bruising. Had to take a week and a half off work to heal.

The repaired thumb does have a few limitations. If worked too hard it will swell up and become sore in the repaired area. I will have to ice it down after work, altho that has become less frequent. Ibuprofin helps with pain mgmt. If I stub my thumb it can still hurt very sharply. I seem to be able to do just about every task well except rotate my thumb to hit the horn button on my motorcycle while still holding the hand grip. Tough lesson to learn on a crowded expressway at the last second. I think my brain has adjusted to any other movement limitations.

I did underestimate how much forearm strength is lost due to the tendon harvested and the muscle release. Working out in the gym has helped over come that loss some. I've adapted as best I can and call on the apprentices to lend a hand less and less.

Only now can I say the hand feels close to perfect. I had no choice but to have this surgery. No regrets. My quality of life is much improved. My career is still intact. Life is good.

 
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:56 PM   #32
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Re: Male, 53, Basal Joint CMC Arthroplasty

Thank you DJ for taking the time to share with us your journey from beginning to end. It is the best information I have found searching all over the web!! I will be having this surgery in two days! Dec. 9th. I can say I feel alot more at peace about it after reading your posts! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I hope everything is still going great for you!

 
Old 12-08-2013, 04:54 AM   #33
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Re: Male, 53, Basal Joint CMC Arthroplasty

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Originally Posted by hopeschool View Post
Thank you DJ for taking the time to share with us your journey from beginning to end. It is the best information I have found searching all over the web!! I will be having this surgery in two days! Dec. 9th. I can say I feel alot more at peace about it after reading your posts! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I hope everything is still going great for you!
I'm glad my posts have helped. Hope all goes well for your surgery.
Stay positive. There is light at the end of the tunnel for this condition. The surgery is a solid repair and will serve you well into old age with good results.

I'm now 10 months post op. Hand feels great. It doesn't swell up any longer. I can work with out regard to protecting it from injury. Altho I'd serve myself well to be more cautious.

At the time I stopped working, to have my left thumb repaired, my right thumb felt as if it would need the same repair within months of returning back to work. It has been pain free so far. Weird, but fine by me!

 
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Old 01-22-2014, 03:26 PM   #34
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Re: Male, 53, Basal Joint CMC Arthroplasty

It has been six weeks since my surgery. Saw my doctor today and he put me off work for another six weeks! I hope these next six weeks go by better than the first half. The hardest part for me by far has been not being able to work or drive or do anything! I am so used to working two jobs and taking care of my self that for that to come to a complete stop has been very depressing. The highlight for me came at four weeks when I began therapy and got out of the house!! I just feel so all alone. I am not one to ask for much help so that could be a big part of it. My daughter and her fiance and my 2 1/2 grandbaby live with me but I stay in my bedroom and am pretty much invisible to them. My sister is retired and she has been a blessing driving me to all my appointments. I don't mean to be complaining, but no one has talked about the depression that can happen while recuperating. It really took me by suprise!! On a good note, healing is going very well and it is so nice not to be in pain 24 hours a day! Doctor says I can begin strengthing exercises with putty. Things are moving along. Have a great day.....

 
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Old 01-24-2014, 02:02 PM   #35
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Re: Male, 53, Basal Joint CMC Arthroplasty

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Originally Posted by hopeschool View Post
It has been six weeks since my surgery. Saw my doctor today and he put me off work for another six weeks! I hope these next six weeks go by better than the first half. The hardest part for me by far has been not being able to work or drive or do anything! I am so used to working two jobs and taking care of my self that for that to come to a complete stop has been very depressing. The highlight for me came at four weeks when I began therapy and got out of the house!! I just feel so all alone. I am not one to ask for much help so that could be a big part of it. My daughter and her fiance and my 2 1/2 grandbaby live with me but I stay in my bedroom and am pretty much invisible to them. My sister is retired and she has been a blessing driving me to all my appointments. I don't mean to be complaining, but no one has talked about the depression that can happen while recuperating. It really took me by suprise!! On a good note, healing is going very well and it is so nice not to be in pain 24 hours a day! Doctor says I can begin strengthing exercises with putty. Things are moving along. Have a great day.....
Good to know you are progressing with your healing & that you are without pain, which indicates that your surgery was a success.
Recuperating from any surgery can be very boring & lonely. Watching videos, reading, being on your computer all help to pass the time. If you are able you could try going on short walks, the fresh air will do you good. Occupying oneself is also very helpful.
Things will be better & will move along for you & I wish you well.
Haydena.

 
Old 01-24-2014, 06:01 PM   #36
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Re: Male, 53, Basal Joint CMC Arthroplasty

I don't know how to answer the subject of depression and dealing with the before and after of CMC arthoplasty but to just relate how it has affected my story.
Let's face it, the trials and tribulations of how the extreme pain we have all had to endure takes a toll on our everyday lives. It casts a gray cloud over our every day tasks. It tears you down both physically and more importantly, mentally.
I knew my mood was way down by the time I had finally went thru all the steps to finally have surgery scheduled. I was worried about continuing my trade as a auto mechanic. I had to refinance my home to take out enough money to get thru 3 months without income. That process alone was difficult to say the least with the current economy.
So here goes. My surgery was in early February 2013. The middle of the cold, gray Chicago winter. I was 3 weeks post op. I had decided it was time to get moving again so I joined a health club. It felt great to get out of the house and start doing something positive towards improving my health. PT was to start at 5 weeks post op, so I had felt as if things were moving forward.
I was awaken one night with a rapid heart rate. Scary stuff, esp only 3 weeks post op. Over the next 2 weeks this happened more often and with more intensity. A visit to the ER showed no heart related issues. I scheduled a appt. with my regular doctor to follow up. She ordered more tests to verify no heart related issues and the results came back clean.
I was doing just cardio exercise at that time. I had thought that it was the cause of my symptoms along with a recent surgery. I felt fine during the day and felt as if I was staying positive with being productive with my time off. That was not the cause. I had a long talk with my doctor about my whole situation at a office visit after all the results were in. Evidently, I was suffering from classic anxiety symptoms as well as depression. To say the least, that was like a ton of bricks dropped on my head.
OK, time to deal with this new situation head on. I was prescribed a anti depressant. After the initial adjustment I have to say it has been a godsend. My wife, coworkers, and friends have all said that I am a much happier person. Everything in life is much better. I feel 100% better mentally.
I can't say why I never mentioned this as part of my story before this. I feel, now, it is important to have related this part of the process.

 
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Old 02-11-2014, 12:09 PM   #37
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Re: Male, 53, Basal Joint CMC Arthroplasty

Hello,
I am a 51 yr old male just completed Basal Joint Surgery on my left non dominant hand.
I am told I need the right hand done as well.
Can you tell me at this time how is the strength in your hand and what are some limitations you have?
Any feedback would be helpful,
Cliff

 
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Old 02-11-2014, 02:07 PM   #38
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Re: Male, 53, Basal Joint CMC Arthroplasty

Quote:
Originally Posted by d j View Post
I don't know how to answer the subject of depression and dealing with the before and after of CMC arthoplasty but to just relate how it has affected my story.
Let's face it, the trials and tribulations of how the extreme pain we have all had to endure takes a toll on our everyday lives. It casts a gray cloud over our every day tasks. It tears you down both physically and more importantly, mentally.
I knew my mood was way down by the time I had finally went thru all the steps to finally have surgery scheduled. I was worried about continuing my trade as a auto mechanic. I had to refinance my home to take out enough money to get thru 3 months without income. That process alone was difficult to say the least with the current economy.
So here goes. My surgery was in early February 2013. The middle of the cold, gray Chicago winter. I was 3 weeks post op. I had decided it was time to get moving again so I joined a health club. It felt great to get out of the house and start doing something positive towards improving my health. PT was to start at 5 weeks post op, so I had felt as if things were moving forward.
I was awaken one night with a rapid heart rate. Scary stuff, esp only 3 weeks post op. Over the next 2 weeks this happened more often and with more intensity. A visit to the ER showed no heart related issues. I scheduled a appt. with my regular doctor to follow up. She ordered more tests to verify no heart related issues and the results came back clean.
I was doing just cardio exercise at that time. I had thought that it was the cause of my symptoms along with a recent surgery. I felt fine during the day and felt as if I was staying positive with being productive with my time off. That was not the cause. I had a long talk with my doctor about my whole situation at a office visit after all the results were in. Evidently, I was suffering from classic anxiety symptoms as well as depression. To say the least, that was like a ton of bricks dropped on my head.
OK, time to deal with this new situation head on. I was prescribed a anti depressant. After the initial adjustment I have to say it has been a godsend. My wife, coworkers, and friends have all said that I am a much happier person. Everything in life is much better. I feel 100% better mentally.
I can't say why I never mentioned this as part of my story before this. I feel, now, it is important to have related this part of the process.
d j I want to thank you for filling in your history. I can relate to having anxiety and depression surrounding the impact the pain has had on me previous to surgery and even now 10 months post surgery.. My surgery was in April of 2013 on my left non dominant hand. I believe I have been adapting and am continuing to make adjustments on how I manage my osteoarthritis of my thumbs. It is so nice to have a man speak up with candor.

onesage - Welcome to the club. I used to do yoga putting weight on my wrists and I can no longer do that kind of yoga. I have found another way by doing a more restorative approach and after an initial period of denial and frustration I am learning to let go of what is no longer appropriate for me to force myself to do. I suggest not ignoring limitations and becoming more adaptive. My right hand has it's issues too but I am not going to run to surgery. It took several years for me to commit to the first surgery. I do not have the pain in the right as I did in the left so what I am attempting to do is learn my lessons to respect that I am 62 and not 22 anymore! Wishing you a healthy recovery from your recent surgery

 
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:04 PM   #39
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Re: Male, 53, Basal Joint CMC Arthroplasty

Onesage: I had my dominant right hand done April 30, 2013 and I can hammer a nail. I can do everything. My hand is normal and I am an advanced pianist and can play better than before the operation and my hand is not deformed anymore. Hope this gives you some assurance! Good luck. Make sure you do the simple small set of exercises when PT starts every day. I did them more than I was told and my hand was back to normal at about 5 months! (Donna)

 
Old 02-11-2014, 03:09 PM   #40
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Re: Male, 53, Basal Joint CMC Arthroplasty

pcb123 I know you still have pain after your surgery----onesage---wanted you to know most experience no more pain after surgery. I know I was told there was a chance of nerve damage, but my Dr. is also the Dr. who is a nerve damage specialist. He fixes other Dr. operations where they damaged ones nerve. So I was blessed to have one of the finest surgeons in his field for this operation. My nerve pain was intense after the operation to the point I thought I had made a mistake to even get the operation. Once PT started, the nerve pain slowly went away and I again gained all the feeling back into my hand and thumb! And I am PAIN FREE

Last edited by dgarafa1; 02-11-2014 at 03:11 PM.

 
Old 02-11-2014, 03:15 PM   #41
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Re: Male, 53, Basal Joint CMC Arthroplasty

CLIFF, I also need surgery in my other hand, for me, the left. All the pain stopped since my operation on my left hand, though it looks deformed. My dr said if no pain, no operation. I am going to see him this month. I am going to ask about the deformity. I don't want my thumb to totally collapse into my hand and not be able to use it playing piano or anything else. I would have a second surgery with this same Dr. I waited many years as I was not convinced the hand would work the same with a bone missing, but I was quite surprised! It seems impossible, but it's great. I would not even know I had an operation now and my hand looks normal!! Id like to hear how things go for you as you go along in your recovery.

 
Old 02-11-2014, 03:48 PM   #42
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Re: Male, 53, Basal Joint CMC Arthroplasty

Quote:
Originally Posted by onesage View Post
Hello,
I am a 51 yr old male just completed Basal Joint Surgery on my left non dominant hand.
I am told I need the right hand done as well.
Can you tell me at this time how is the strength in your hand and what are some limitations you have?
Any feedback would be helpful,
Cliff
Welcome to the club, Cliff.

I'm now almost exactly 52 weeks post op.

For everyday tasks the hand is perfect. No limitations. Great dexterity. No pain. Good hand and arm strength. If I'm doing yard work or chores around the house I feel as if it is as good as new. The only after effect from surgery is the skin is still numb on the outboard side of the thumb from the incision to the top joint. It doesn't swell up any longer nor is there any pain from the repair area. If I didn't do manual labor for a living I would say it is absolutely perfect.

As far as what I notice using my hand daily as a auto mechanic there are a few basic limitations. Loosing the muscle in my forearm did cause some weakness with heavy lifting. I feel the other muscles in the arm have strengthened and my brain has compensated with how I perform tasks so they can still be accomplished. Every now and then my hand gets locked up when doing very fine motor tasks needing fine dexterity. If I strike the incision area on a sharp edge it will send a stinger down the thumb. Grip strength at the very limits is down somewhat. Not enough to keep me from doing my job, just enough to notice I can't do some things I used to but now can't. I just compensate. Basically, I really don't have to think about it any longer, esp having to worry about protecting it.

I, too, will have to have my other thumb repaired. It sends sharp pains into the joint at the smallest movements. Big things don't bother it...yet. I'd have to guess it has a couple of years before surgery is needed.

Overall, I had to have this procedure done. There was no other option for me as I completely wore my joint out and was in severe pain. I'm totally happy with my outcome.

 
Old 02-11-2014, 06:42 PM   #43
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Re: Male, 53, Basal Joint CMC Arthroplasty

Unlike d j I have no numbness or any problems and I'm 9 months post op. My hand/thumb does not ever get locked up and is not tender at all. I am lucky my hand came out totally normal and functions totally normal.

 
Old 02-11-2014, 06:55 PM   #44
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Re: Male, 53, Basal Joint CMC Arthroplasty

D j -- as I just read your post above, I need to mention that I have bi-polar mood disorder and the operation set me into a very deep clinical depression of which I have yet to come out of. The thumb is perfect, but I am still very depressed and no med combination has yet been found to work.

I'm told operations can effect the chemical imbalance I have. For me, this is the down side of the operation. 9 months and some days I feel like giving up on ever having a normal life again.

I'm wondering if any others had depression problems? Or if anyone has bi-polar and how did you fair? I'm just hoping this will pass. It's been a long time. At least the hand is good.

 
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Old 02-11-2014, 07:11 PM   #45
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Re: Male, 53, Basal Joint CMC Arthroplasty

Wow, dj. You went to work quite early doing heavy work! My thumb was not ready at that stage. I'm sorry your arm muscle bothers you. I didn't have that. I hope we all can have normal hands after all of us are done with surgeries and both hands are fixed. This forum is very helpful and supportive. Thank you to all who were with me too in the beginning! Haydena is one who was with me before surgery when I was whining! lol

 
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