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Old 07-14-2012, 11:12 PM   #72
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 452
gingertea HB Usergingertea HB Usergingertea HB Usergingertea HB Usergingertea HB Usergingertea HB Usergingertea HB User
re: going through the basal joint surgery process - my story

Originally Posted by positiveP View Post
Hi Ginger,
Thank you.
Wow I will be having the exact same operations as you. Left hand first as this one seems to be the worst. I am so relieved to be able to discuss this with all of you. Some questions if I may, are you not allowed to use your hand at all after the operation? How long before you can drive, cook, write etc. etc.

Hi Paola,

All doctors seem to have their own ideas on how to take care of your hand after surgery. Mine said nothing heavier than a coffee cup for 6-8 weeks.
I had a surgical cast (big & bulky) for two weeks. You can't do anthing with that lump. I have a plaster cast for 3 weeks, but I'm not supposed to do anything except wiggle my fingers. After that I will be in a removeable gauntlet style brace for 4 weeks. That has to be worn 24/7 except to take a shower and still no lifting. After that I start physical therapy. My recovery from the second surgery is going well. I had to see the incisions to believe they really did the surgery. My hand is strong and I feel like I could probably use it.

My first surgery is more of a problem. I'm having trouble getting my hand to do anything. It is still very stiff and it feels like the nerve endings are on the surface of my skin, especially in the scar area. My surgeon is sending me back to physical therapy to work out the kinks.

As for driving, my surgeon would prefer you didn't for 8 weeks or after all casts, braces are removed. I know some people drive with their cast on, but you will have to look up the driving laws where you live. You could be charged with driving impaired. This wasn't a problem for hand wouldn't move enough to drive after the 1st surgery.

I am right handed, and I cannot write at all. My cast is positioned so my thumb is isolated from the rest of my hand. There is no way to grip a pen.
As far as simple household chores, I've been able to do most everything that doesn't involve getting my hand in water, or heavy lifting. I do have to be careful not to use my right hand is so much stronger than my left after only 2 1/2 weeks I forget it's the 'bad' hand!

I also had carpal tunnel release surgery on both hands with the basal joint surgery. Except for the fact I have 2 scars on each hand I don't think it hampers the recovery.

I opted to have my surgeries closer together rather than spreading them out. The first was done in winter and it was too cold to get out. I wanted to have warmer weather for this recovery and not worry about slip sliding in the snow and ice.

Hope all goes well for you! Let us know when you schedule surgery, we'll be watching for your posts.
Ginger Tea