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Old 03-28-2013, 04:28 PM   #16
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Re: 4 more days until CMC Arthroplasty!

Hey guys! Hi greengal! Sorry its been so long since i posted. I am 9 days post-op today. I starting using some of my fingers a few days ago. Pain is totally manageable. Im not taking anymore pills, though i still throb a little and swell. I still have to elevate my arm a lot. I am completely managing on my own. Except i had to have my husband zip my jacket. Im still wearing yoga pants, sports bras, and t shirts. I had to cut one of my cheapo zip up hoodies to fit my arm through because i needed a jacket this morning. My husband is the cook in my family so that part is good. Like Haydena, i have pillows next to me on my bed to elevate my arm, but have even been laying on my side at night for a couple of days. Things are really looking up! I move my fingers around a ton and am even able to mske a fist, minus thumb of course. Im still icing a TON too. It helps the itching and feels soooo good. I have a gel icepack that covers fingers to elbow legth. My sis in law who is a physical therapist gave it to me. I am heading back to work Monday. I think 2 weeks is totally doable. Thats what i took off. I will bring some ice packs to work too. I get my hard cast on Wednesday. I will probably take a bath at night times and just wet my hair mornings because i can take twice as long to get ready and frankly, it just wears me out.

Greengal, i think we have youth on our side with this one!!! The first two days and nights were the worst. After that, i felt a tiny bit better each day. The fact that i am using my fingers a bit, i can wiggle my thumb, and im making a fist is HUGE! My ace bandage is actually a bit loose now because of how much swelling has gone down. I have to still rest a lot because my arm will throb and swell if i do too much around the house. Its Sooooo hard to sit around and not do anything. Just take it real slowand listen to your body. I get so tired, so fastbecause my body is using so much energy to heal.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

 
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Old 03-28-2013, 11:15 PM   #17
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Re: 4 more days until CMC Arthroplasty!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mschloe View Post
Hey guys! Hi greengal! Sorry its been so long since i posted. I am 9 days post-op today. I starting using some of my fingers a few days ago. Pain is totally manageable. Im not taking anymore pills, though i still throb a little and swell. I still have to elevate my arm a lot. I am completely managing on my own. Except i had to have my husband zip my jacket. Im still wearing yoga pants, sports bras, and t shirts. I had to cut one of my cheapo zip up hoodies to fit my arm through because i needed a jacket this morning. My husband is the cook in my family so that part is good. Like Haydena, i have pillows next to me on my bed to elevate my arm, but have even been laying on my side at night for a couple of days. Things are really looking up! I move my fingers around a ton and am even able to mske a fist, minus thumb of course. Im still icing a TON too. It helps the itching and feels soooo good. I have a gel icepack that covers fingers to elbow legth. My sis in law who is a physical therapist gave it to me. I am heading back to work Monday. I think 2 weeks is totally doable. Thats what i took off. I will bring some ice packs to work too. I get my hard cast on Wednesday. I will probably take a bath at night times and just wet my hair mornings because i can take twice as long to get ready and frankly, it just wears me out.

Greengal, i think we have youth on our side with this one!!! The first two days and nights were the worst. After that, i felt a tiny bit better each day. The fact that i am using my fingers a bit, i can wiggle my thumb, and im making a fist is HUGE! My ace bandage is actually a bit loose now because of how much swelling has gone down. I have to still rest a lot because my arm will throb and swell if i do too much around the house. Its Sooooo hard to sit around and not do anything. Just take it real slowand listen to your body. I get so tired, so fastbecause my body is using so much energy to heal.

Let me know if you have any other questions.
Good to hear from you Mschloe! I was quite curious to see how you were doing since you and I have so much in common in regards to this surgery. And I am glad to read your post, I had a mini panic attack again tonight about the surgery. Every time I go online and read about the procedure and see pictures it freaks me out again, so why in the world do I do it lol. So reading how well you are doing was just what I needed tonight!

Was your surgery on your dominant hand? Mine will be, and so I am not so much worried about how I will dress but more worried about how I will be able to write, will I be able to anytime soon? I plan to go back to work 2 weeks after as you are, but my job involved a decent amount of writing, which I am sure will be difficult to do with a cast on. But I will find a way to manage and hopefully people will be able to help me out.

Did they use a pin in your joint to stabalize things? I don't know if they will for me, but I was told my surgery would be basal joint arthroplasty with MP stabilzation. So I am thinking there might be a pin. If you have one did they say when it would be removed? How long will you be needing the hard cast?

Anyway, thanks for keeping in touch. Hearing your experience has helped ease some of my fears, so thanks for blazing the trail for us

 
Old 03-29-2013, 04:48 AM   #18
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Re: 4 more days until CMC Arthroplasty!

Greengal, its my non dominant hand. I guess that makes me lucky. I dont have any pins, that i know of. Doc never mentioned it. My surgery was just called CMC Arthroplasty. Thats it. I will have the hard cast on for 4 weeks. I will then wear a brace. Not sure for how long though.
Stop looking up stuff! . Im sure you know everything there is to know about the surgery by now. Looking it up online is what gave me my anxiety as well. I would stick to info on these boards. There is a lot of positivity here!



Linda, welcome to the boards! I am sorry to hear you are struggling with recovery. Have you told your doc that the second cast feels too tight as well? You are lucky to be retired. I have to go back to worknon Monday.

Last edited by mschloe; 03-29-2013 at 04:53 AM.

 
Old 03-29-2013, 11:12 AM   #19
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Re: 4 more days until CMC Arthroplasty!

Haydena, what was it like when you got your hard cast off? Was your hand/thumb normal looking? Was it uber sire and sensitive? Was it just crazy sore?

 
Old 03-30-2013, 07:16 PM   #20
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Re: 4 more days until CMC Arthroplasty!

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Originally Posted by mschloe View Post
Haydena, what was it like when you got your hard cast off? Was your hand/thumb normal looking? Was it uber sire and sensitive? Was it just crazy sore?
Hi, please forgive me for not answering you sooner.

I did not have a hard cast, but a half cast, the original banage with a ball like hard cast in the palm of my hand. I could not look at my hand! when the half cast came off. I was told by my surgeon that all was well & clean looking.
I went into a micro-plastic-splint, which covered the thumb & half the hand until the wrist. I know this sounds crazy. The splint was closed at the lower end, around my wrist by velcro. I think this is a Japanese invention. My surgeon studied in Europe & uses the Japanese methods of splinting.

Of course my hand hurt, my thumb more. I elevated it all the time. I walked around with my arm up at the elbow. I could not find comfort in a sling. At night my hand was elevated by pillows. Ice was my best friend. Traumeel was my best friend! The swelling went down real fast, the bruising looked awful, but faded slowly thanks to Traumeel. I also used a healing cream called Calendula
ointment. This really helped the itching. I was not allowed to remove the splint, but I did after the first week, to oil my hand, to apply Calendula & after 15 minutes, apply Traumeel. My son helped me as I still could not look at my scar. I used pieces of guaze under the splint, to cover the scar & stop the splint from rubbing against it. I then gently placed the splint over my thumb & onto my hand. Closed the velco & breathed a huge sigh of relief because my thumb, hand, scar & wrist felt, oh, so much better.
The more you hydrate you hand the better you feel. Your skin needs to be moisturized.

I am 7 weeks & 5 days post surgery. My scar has healed beautifully. The scar itself is about 9 centimeters long, very, very thin & my surgeon is a genius.
No infection at anytime.

I am now doing physio. My hand is in- as hot as I can take it- water, 3 times a day. I can move my fingers & the tip of my thumb. I am not yet ready to move my thumb inwards to my palm. That will come later as it did 2 years ago when I had my left hand surgery with the same surgeon. I am able to rotate my wrist, though my thumb & scar are still slightly numb. I am not worried at all because this is normal & will fade soon.

All along I have listened to my body. When I need rest, I rest. When I need to eat, I eat. I drink loads of water & eat good healthy food. Today I was able to cook an entire meal for the first time. YES, everything does take much much longer, but the fact that I am able to do stuff is so rewarding & I thank my lucky stars that I have the power to cope. I refused to go online to read all that is written about this surgery as my surgeon told me, ''don't believe all you read online.''

I made notes before my surgeries, I asked my surgeon all the questions I had on my mind. He is not ''famous'' for his bedside manner, but his technique is respected throughout the world. I trusted & still trust his judgement & I told him so.

I read posts here about this surgery, I asked questions, I got answers
& I am still here to tell my tale & help others who need help & support.
It gives me satisfaction to know that I am able to help others facing this operation.

It is not a good idea to worry too much about pre & post operation times.
Our bodies cope more than we realize. I asked a friend how I would write with my left hand, his reply was, '' you will teach yourself how to write with your left hand, like I did, when I broke my arm & was in plaster.'' Though my writing looks like the writing of a 6 year old, so be it, I am able to write, I am able to brush my teeth with my left hand, I am able to do anything I want to do with my left hand. Where there is a will, there is a way. I firmly believe in this.

Haydena.

Last edited by Administrator; 04-29-2014 at 05:09 PM.

 
Old 04-02-2013, 11:26 PM   #21
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Re: 4 more days until CMC Arthroplasty!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mschloe View Post
Your tip about the pads is fantastic! That is a great idea!

I am 13 days post-op today and getting my hard cast tomorrow. I have been back to work for 2 days now. Its not as bad as ivthought it would be, but i still have to ice and keep my arm elevated. I am really going to miss ice once the hard cast is on. I ordered my traumeel and it should be here tomorrow. Wish i would have ordered it earlier, but will be bringing lotionvto my appt to apply before my cast goes on.

Ill keep you guys posted!!!
Mschloe, hi,

Even with your cast on, you can use an ice pack. Though I did not have a hard cast, I have read from others that ice packs helped them.
Use lots of traumeel & wait about 5 minutes before you cover with gauze pads ( so the traumeel is absorbed into your skin)
I found the glue on the pads irritated my skin, so I used plain large gauze pads that opened up. I folded them to cover my thumb & scar.
I still use these gauze large pads covered by a medium sized loosely tied simple bandage to sleep at night, as any rubbing of my scar causes pain.
Good luck to you.
Haydena.

 
Old 04-03-2013, 07:13 PM   #22
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Re: 4 more days until CMC Arthroplasty!

Got my green cast today! Doc was super impressed with how well I'm healing. I only need my hard cast for 2 weeks!!!! Unfortunately that two weeks is right begorecthecweekend and I have too busy of a schedule. Therefore it will end up being "almost" 3 before I get it off. My hand looked great! I got extracts and everythingbsblined up perfectly! My hand looks like it sinks in just a bit, but I think it's because the positioning and the swelling in my thumb. I really only have swelling in the thumb and a wee bit in fingers. That's it. My scar looks a lot different of what I've seen online. I have two actually. One that runs from the base of my thumb to my wrist area. Pretty straight down. And another small one under my wrist from where he took the ligament piece. I wish I could upload the pic I took . I actually had an x-ray, then sat there about 15 minutes before the cast was put on. It was 15 minutes of heaven. I lotioned up, itched and had a chance to test it out a bit. Doc moved my thumb around quite a bit and i didn't have pain. The cast is quite snug, with little breathing/itching room, but quite comfy. He put lots of padding underneath.

 
Old 04-04-2013, 11:24 AM   #23
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Re: 4 more days until CMC Arthroplasty!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mschloe View Post
Got my green cast today! Doc was super impressed with how well I'm healing. I only need my hard cast for 2 weeks!!!! Unfortunately that two weeks is right begorecthecweekend and I have too busy of a schedule. Therefore it will end up being "almost" 3 before I get it off. My hand looked great! I got extracts and everythingbsblined up perfectly! My hand looks like it sinks in just a bit, but I think it's because the positioning and the swelling in my thumb. I really only have swelling in the thumb and a wee bit in fingers. That's it. My scar looks a lot different of what I've seen online. I have two actually. One that runs from the base of my thumb to my wrist area. Pretty straight down. And another small one under my wrist from where he took the ligament piece. I wish I could upload the pic I took . I actually had an x-ray, then sat there about 15 minutes before the cast was put on. It was 15 minutes of heaven. I lotioned up, itched and had a chance to test it out a bit. Doc moved my thumb around quite a bit and i didn't have pain. The cast is quite snug, with little breathing/itching room, but quite comfy. He put lots of padding underneath.
Way to go mschloe!

Wonderful to read that your hand looks great.I am very pleased for you. The swelling you have will go down.

When you feel itchy in your cast, try using a hairdryer on cold, aim it down into your cast, careful not to touch your skin. Or for a quick relief, stick your entire arm, if you can, into the freezer! You can also place 1 large ice pack under your cast & 1 on top, if it does'nt weigh too heavy on your scar.

Good to know your doctor put padding under your cast, that does help!

I wish you happy healing & a good recovery.

Haydena.

 
Old 04-06-2013, 01:41 PM   #24
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Re: 4 more days until CMC Arthroplasty!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mschloe View Post
Got my green cast today! Doc was super impressed with how well I'm healing. I only need my hard cast for 2 weeks!!!! Unfortunately that two weeks is right begorecthecweekend and I have too busy of a schedule. Therefore it will end up being "almost" 3 before I get it off. My hand looked great! I got extracts and everythingbsblined up perfectly! My hand looks like it sinks in just a bit, but I think it's because the positioning and the swelling in my thumb. I really only have swelling in the thumb and a wee bit in fingers. That's it. My scar looks a lot different of what I've seen online. I have two actually. One that runs from the base of my thumb to my wrist area. Pretty straight down. And another small one under my wrist from where he took the ligament piece. I wish I could upload the pic I took . I actually had an x-ray, then sat there about 15 minutes before the cast was put on. It was 15 minutes of heaven. I lotioned up, itched and had a chance to test it out a bit. Doc moved my thumb around quite a bit and i didn't have pain. The cast is quite snug, with little breathing/itching room, but quite comfy. He put lots of padding underneath.
Its great to hear you are doing so well. Your hand may look different because of the position being a little bit off, but it is also probably due to loosing muscle from being immobile. My thumb looked kind of caved in on the palm side, but now with strengthening exercises and stretching it is almost back to a match with the other one. I have the little straight scar as well and the small incision on my forearm about 7 inches down from my wrist. I agree- that lotion was heaven!

At this point you should be moving the top joint of your thumb as much as you can to avoid having it stiffen. My cast was too high on my thumb to get proper motion, so I checked with the surgeon's office and they okayed my filing it down a bit. I just used a nail file and worked on it bit by bit-a little messy but worth it. I also took off a bit by the knuckle of my index finger because I have arthritis there and the pressure got painful after a few days.

You will find that after a few days when more swelling is down you will have a little wiggle room in your cast. If you drape a thin piece of cloth(I used a men's handkerchief and remember to hold the ends) over a drinking straw and put lotion on it you can itch and lotion your palm inside the cast.

Good healing!

Margarita

 
Old 04-15-2013, 08:32 AM   #25
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Re: 4 more days until CMC Arthroplasty!

Haydena,

when did you actually stop swelling every day?

I am 4 weeks post-op and STILL have swelling issues. Shouldnt I be passed this by now?

 
Old 04-22-2013, 08:40 AM   #26
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Re: 4 more days until CMC Arthroplasty!

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Hello MsChloe,

I know I am not the person you were wanting a response from, but I am glad to see your post as I was curious how you were doing.

You and I are so similar. We are about the same age, had similar past hand surgeries prior to this, and like you, I plan to return to work after a few weeks. So, if you are up to it, I am hoping you won't mind answering a few questions for me. My surgery is next week, and as I think you did, as the day gets closer I grow more anxious about it lol!

Other than the swelling issue, are you coming along ok? How is your pain now? Are you able to manage it at this point without using the heavy duty drugs? I can't afford to take more than a few weeks off work, have you found returning to work with your cast on and some continuing healing issues doable? Have you driven yourself yet? I don't really have someone to drive me around and to work, so I am hoping that even with a cast on I can drive myself after a few weeks. Lastly, are you still glad you did this? Do you have any regrets about it?

Thanks again. I know that's a lot of questions, but it would help me anxiety a lot to hear from someone like me about it. I do appreciate it!

Hey Greengal! sorry it took me so long to respond. I have been super busy. I am still glad I did the surgery. I am still getting a bit of swelling in my fingers, but there isnt anymore pain. I am using my hand all the time. I still keep it elevated or it will swell. i feel like the swelling is taking FOREVER to go away. It really is just minor at this point. I was driving after 2 weeks. I could have driven earlier, probably after 1 week, but being on pain pills I didnt feel comfortable. I stopped the big pain pills right when I got my full cast on. Although once in a while I would take one at night.

I get my cast off tomorrow!!!! YAY!!!

I have been doing just fine at work! I returned 2 weeks after the surgery. I just kept it elevated and kept using ice. completely doable!

 
Old 04-23-2013, 09:02 AM   #27
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Thumbs up Re: 4 more days until CMC Arthroplasty!

Way to go MsChloe!

Its great to hear you are doing so well. Once you are in therapy you will find that you have less swelling because you will be moving your hand a lot more.

Hi to Greengal as well. You will be in my prayers tomorrow as you go through your surgery. I hope we hear from you soon that everything went well and you are on the mend.

Margarita

 
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Old 05-11-2013, 06:38 PM   #28
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Re: 4 more days until CMC Arthroplasty!

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Haydena,

when did you actually stop swelling every day?

I am 4 weeks post-op and STILL have swelling issues. Shouldnt I be passed this by now?
Hi mschloe,
I missed your question as I was away & could not access the internet.
Sorry about that.
By now your swelling has gone down & I hope you are progressing well.
The swelling of my fingers & hand was reduced once I got into physio.
Not all patients of this surgery are the same.Some progress with their healing faster than others.
Do let us know how you are doing.
I wish you well.
Haydena.

 
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