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  • Thumb CMC Arthroplasty with FCR Transfer

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    Old 07-09-2015, 06:19 PM   #1
    KatW
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    Question Thumb CMC Arthroplasty with FCR Transfer

    I had Total Knee Replacement three weeks ago. I found out this morning, I will be having Thumb CMC Arthroplasty with FCR Transfer with most likely Carpal Tunnel Release.

    Help! This is not unexpected, but I am not sure what to expect. I have many questions. LOL

    How long does the surgery take?
    It is outpatient or possibly one night, correct?
    It is my left hand and I am right handed. Do I start out with a cast or brace? Will it be water-proofed?
    How long will it be before I go back to work? I work in Corporate Customer Service for a large Midwest hospital system. Will I be able to type at work? Right now I am on short-term disability and then FMLA for my TKR.

    Any other advice or input would be appreciated.

     
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    Old 07-10-2015, 08:55 AM   #2
    stamm678
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    Re: Thumb CMC Arthroplasty with FCR Transfer

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KatWrangler View Post
    I had Total Knee Replacement three weeks ago. I found out this morning, I will be having Thumb CMC Arthroplasty with FCR Transfer with most likely Carpal Tunnel Release.

    Help! This is not unexpected, but I am not sure what to expect. I have many questions. LOL

    How long does the surgery take?
    It is outpatient or possibly one night, correct?
    It is my left hand and I am right handed. Do I start out with a cast or brace? Will it be water-proofed?
    How long will it be before I go back to work? I work in Corporate Customer Service for a large Midwest hospital system. Will I be able to type at work? Right now I am on short-term disability and then FMLA for my TKR.

    Any other advice or input would be appreciated.
    There are some good threads here that detail people's experiences with this surgery so I recommend you read those.

    But, to try to answer your questions:
    - Most times, surgery is outpatient and you go home that day. Some people stay overnight but that's uncommon.
    - Surgery usually takes an hour or two.
    - Most people have a surgical dressing with a rigid support for 7-10 days. That protects the thumb and keeps it and the wrist from moving. Then you go in to have sutures removed and either get a cast or a rigid splint. That typically stays on until 6 weeks post surgery. You'll take another 1-2 weeks to wean out of wearing the splint.
    - Some people go back to work within a week or two but many stay out as long as 12 weeks if they have an active job. You'll be able to type with your right hand but not your left.
    - Ideally, you will keep your hand elevated above your heart for 6 weeks. Yes, I know that seems like forever, but trust me, you will have swelling and swelling causes pain. Even putting your hand in your lap for a few minutes will allow fluid to build up and cause pain.

    You didn't mention when you'll be having surgery - will it be soon?

    Good luck!

     
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    Old 07-10-2015, 09:36 AM   #3
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    Re: Thumb CMC Arthroplasty with FCR Transfer

    Thank you so much!

    I found out this morning I am scheduled for this Wednesday at 9 am.

    I am still out on short-term disability for my TKR. I was hoping to go back in about 2 weeks. I think right now it was tentative for the end of this month. But that is based upon my knee.

    I need to practice typing one handed at home. :-)

    I will search the forum for others that are having or have had this surgery.

     
    Old 07-10-2015, 11:02 AM   #4
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    Re: Thumb CMC Arthroplasty with FCR Transfer

    One more point - after surgery, you will need occupational therapy with a hand specialist. That will start around week 6. Expect to go 2-3 times a week for 6-8 weeks.

    There's a lot you can and should do now to prepare. Think about what clothes you can wear - no buttons or zippers for a while, and the surgical dressing will be big, so that means no tight-fitting sleeves. Look at these threads to learn more about preparation and what to expect during recovery. I will warn you, it is a long haul. You won't regain full strength and flexibility for as long as a year, but you will be highly functional after 3 months.

    Last edited by Administrator; 07-10-2015 at 11:16 AM.

     
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    Old 07-10-2015, 12:04 PM   #5
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    Re: Thumb CMC Arthroplasty with FCR Transfer

    Kat, Stamm has given you excellent advise. The surgery part is the easiest, recovery is doable as long as you don't use your hand for the quoted time.Remember not to turn your thumb into the palm of your hand, nor try to move your index finger.
    Keep your arm raised as much as possible, sleeping with pillows to rest your raised arm on. Get yourself ice packs, at least 2, whilst using 1 the 2nd one is in the freezer. When you experience pain, place ice pack on/over bandages, splint or hard cast. Ice will be your best friend! Your doctor should perscribe pain meds, if not, ask for them before you go home. Drink a lot of water & eat sensible food.
    Thumb CMC arthroplasty is know to be a very successful surgery.
    I wish you good luck. Let us know how you are doing.
    Wishing you well. Haydena.

     
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    Old 09-03-2015, 09:54 AM   #6
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    Re: Thumb CMC Arthroplasty with FCR Transfer

    Healing well from surgery. Started Occupational Therapy this week.

    But guess what, I am having identical surgery on my right hand later this month. Oh boy. :-(

     
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    Old 09-03-2015, 12:01 PM   #7
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    Re: Thumb CMC Arthroplasty with FCR Transfer

    Good to hear you are doing well after your surgery on your left hand & wishing you good luck & all the best for the surgery on your right hand.
    Let us know your progress.
    Haydena.

     
    Old 09-03-2015, 12:19 PM   #8
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    Re: Thumb CMC Arthroplasty with FCR Transfer

    Thank you! You have been very helpful.

     
    Old 09-03-2015, 12:22 PM   #9
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    Re: Thumb CMC Arthroplasty with FCR Transfer

    Kat, if you have any questions, dont hesitate to ask me.
    I wish you well.
    Haydena.

     
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