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Old 01-12-2012, 07:04 AM   #6
Join Date: Mar 2011
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Re: going through the basal joint surgery process - at least, my story

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.

Last edited by Haydena; 01-12-2012 at 08:27 AM.