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Old 11-25-2011, 05:24 PM   #1
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cmc joint surgery

I'm new to this board but have been reading some of the previous posts. I am a mail carrier with severe cmc joint damage. I have tried everything from NSAIDS to splints to steroid shots to no avail. I also have the added bonus that I am so sensetitive to pain meds we can't seem to find one that I can tolerate.

My hand surgeon wants to do surgery. This scares me no end!! At this point I can still do my job, but it's so painful I can hardly stand it some days. I know I need to have the surgery, but am terrified that I won't have the strength or dexterity to continue to do my job afterward. Does anyone out there have any experience with this type of work. How long did it take to get back to work? I'm going to have the right hand done first, then need to have the left done later.

Thanks

Last edited by annemarie828; 11-25-2011 at 06:14 PM. Reason: clarity

 
Old 02-14-2012, 05:44 PM   #2
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Talking Re: cmc joint surgery

Quote:
Originally Posted by annemarie828 View Post
I'm new to this board but have been reading some of the previous posts. I am a mail carrier with severe cmc joint damage. I have tried everything from NSAIDS to splints to steroid shots to no avail. I also have the added bonus that I am so sensetitive to pain meds we can't seem to find one that I can tolerate.

My hand surgeon wants to do surgery. This scares me no end!! At this point I can still do my job, but it's so painful I can hardly stand it some days. I know I need to have the surgery, but am terrified that I won't have the strength or dexterity to continue to do my job afterward. Does anyone out there have any experience with this type of work. How long did it take to get back to work? I'm going to have the right hand done first, then need to have the left done later.

Thanks
I, too am a mail carrier. I had the surgery on Jan 13,2012. I was in a splint for 10 days and have now been in a cast for 3 weeks. I see my dr. tomorrow. I think he is going to take the cast off. I don't know exactly what to expect, but I also worry about being able to do my job when all is said and done. I had the left hand done, and I am right-handed, but as you know we need to use both hands to do our job. did you have the surgery? I will post tomorrow about what happens.

Thanks

 
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:19 PM   #3
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Re: cmc joint surgery

Hi Ladies,

I am having the basal joint surgery along with carpal tunnel release tomorrow. There is a board on this site with over 200 posts regarding surgery and recovery from the procedure. I believe it is called basal joint surgery and it was started by 'Dajo'. It is very informative and you can probably get any of your questions answered. It's helped me a lot!
Gingertea
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Old 02-19-2012, 04:46 PM   #4
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Re: cmc joint surgery

Gingertea....how did your surgery go?

 
Old 02-23-2012, 11:41 AM   #5
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Re: cmc joint surgery

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Originally Posted by pokeybird2 View Post
Gingertea....how did your surgery go?
my surgery went fine...took longer than expected because i had so many bone spurs to work on. bad pain for 1/2 a day, but that was due to poor circulation. the doctor told my husband to loosen up the ace bandaid that was wrapped over the hard cast. the relief was almost immediate and the pain subsided over a few hours. my fingers pinked up, they were purple squares, and i had a huge bruise where the wrap was tight. it's been healing very quick. i am retired so don't have to worry about work, but i think it's going to be at least 3 months before i do anything with that hand. i can't drive until the stitches come out, and even then he wouldn't commit to a date. it depends on the healing, the type of cast he uses when the stitches come out.... i'll keep you posted. the anesthesia worked well and i felt fine when i woke up. we even stopped at subway on the way home to pick up sandwiches.
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:15 PM   #6
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Re: cmc joint surgery

Quote:
Originally Posted by gingertea View Post
my surgery went fine...took longer than expected because i had so many bone spurs to work on. bad pain for 1/2 a day, but that was due to poor circulation. the doctor told my husband to loosen up the ace bandaid that was wrapped over the hard cast. the relief was almost immediate and the pain subsided over a few hours. my fingers pinked up, they were purple squares, and i had a huge bruise where the wrap was tight. it's been healing very quick. i am retired so don't have to worry about work, but i think it's going to be at least 3 months before i do anything with that hand. i can't drive until the stitches come out, and even then he wouldn't commit to a date. it depends on the healing, the type of cast he uses when the stitches come out.... i'll keep you posted. the anesthesia worked well and i felt fine when i woke up. we even stopped at subway on the way home to pick up sandwiches.
Hi Gingertea...happy you came through surgery ok. Too bad about the bandage. I am now 6 weeks post op. After my cast came off (almost 4 weeks post-op) I was given a splint to wear at all times except when showering and doing exercises. I started PT the next day. Dr. wants me to go for 6 weeks, 3X a week. I have had 3 sessions so far and the thumb is very stiff and sore. Wrist is also sore. They told me it is best to go slow with this therapy, because if you are too aggressive, you will be really sore. So we have done stretching exercise(ouch), heat, and cold with stimulation. Also a bit of laser therapy. Tomorrow we will be doing strengthening exercises and who knows what else. I also do all of that at home, except for the laser, on my off day. I guess it's going to be a slow, painful recovery, but am hoping at the end of 6 weeks I will be good enough to go back to work. I hope you have a smooth recovery, and not to much pain. Let me know how it goes.
@Annmarie...would love to hear from you as we are both mail carriers.

 
Old 02-23-2012, 01:17 PM   #7
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Re: cmc joint surgery

Quote:
Originally Posted by pokeybird2 View Post
I, too am a mail carrier. I had the surgery on Jan 13,2012. I was in a splint for 10 days and have now been in a cast for 3 weeks. I see my dr. tomorrow. I think he is going to take the cast off. I don't know exactly what to expect, but I also worry about being able to do my job when all is said and done. I had the left hand done, and I am right-handed, but as you know we need to use both hands to do our job. did you have the surgery? I will post tomorrow about what happens.

Thanks
Annmarie....how did it go?

 
Old 03-25-2012, 10:23 PM   #8
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Re: cmc joint surgery

How are you doing Pokeybird? I'm almost 6 weeks post op and still have a lot of swelling. I should start pt in 2 weeks. Right now I can't imagine doing anything with my hand. I am wearing the brace 24/7 too.
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:43 PM   #9
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Re: cmc joint surgery

Hi Gingertea, I guess your surgery was a bit more involved than mine. After the cast came off(3 weeks with it on)I started therapy the very next day. I have been going for therapy for 6 weeks now, 3X a week. I saw my doc today and he is clearing me to go back to work on apr. 9th. I am a bit concerned because PT has been a painful process, and I'm not sure I can do my job. Still have pain and some swelling in the fingers. Wrist is also sore. Grip strength and dexterity not really good. Needless to say I am worried. Doc still wants me to continue therapy for another 6 weeks. Hope your swelling stops and therapy goes well for you. Did you have a cast? I only wear the splint for sleeping. Keep me updated on your progress. Good Luck!

 
Old 03-29-2012, 11:07 AM   #10
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Re: cmc joint surgery

Hi Pokey Bird, You are exactly a month ahead of me on surgery. Yesterday was 6 weeks out. I wore a surgical cast for 2 weeks and a hard cast for 2 more weeks. Now I'm wearing a brace with thumb spica for 4 weeks.
You said you were still swelling...darn, I was hoping that was almost over! The top of my hand doesn't have the knuckle defination at the base of my fingers. My wrist is lumpy and my thumb and forefinger still swell. The other 3 fingers are great. I've learned to grip with them. I am dreading physical therapy. If I have to be in pain I'd rather be by myself. I bought a palm size spongy ball this week and I have been squeezing it to strengthen my hand. I think it's helping my thumb and forefinger. I was going to use playdough like some of the others suggested, but this ball is perfect.

It looks like your doctor is letting you go back to work after three months. Keep me posted on that! I need my other hand fixed, and my surgeon said we could discuss it at 2 months, but I had to wait for at least three months.
I want to be able to use my left hand completely, because my right is my dominant hand. It's bad enough to have a bum hand on the non-dominant side! Have you been applying cream to your scar? The nurse suggested Mederma and I use that once a day. I also have some arnica gel I can use up to three times a day. The carpal tunnel scar is pretty good, but the thumb scar is ugly and there is an indent in it. Must be where they removed the bone.

I hope everything goes okay when you head back to work. Do you continue as usual with your regular job, or do they have some light duty work you can do? Being a mail carrier I imagine you use both hands, ALOT! Do you have to deliver packages too? Keep me posted, my best to you.

Ginger
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