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Basal thumb surgery


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Old 11-27-2017, 12:16 AM   #1
Annathy
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Basal thumb surgery

Hi. I have advanced secondary ostio arthritis in my left thumb joint (luckily Im right handed). I am listed for surgery 1st Feb (8 weeks away).

My Dad keeps asking me to reconsider having surgery as he feels if the problem burns itself out, I would be pain free and therefore would not need the surgery any more. Is this correct? As I thought it would only get worse, not eventually stop hurting?

Also, im not in constant pain. It comes and goes throughout the day and night. And some days arnt to bad but some days its agony. Should I not be in constsant pain before I consider surgery? I do have growths on and inside my bones though.

Your advise would be much appreciated.

 
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Old 11-27-2017, 11:27 AM   #2
tess201
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Re: Basal thumb surgery

"burns itself out"? Arthritis is usually degenerative, a wearing away (in this case) of the thumb joint. You could try OT first. Sometimes a brace helps along with hand therapy. You say that you also have bone spurs. They would have to be removed by surgery. What did your surgeon advise?

All the best with figuring this out,

Tess

Last edited by Administrator; 03-08-2018 at 12:50 PM.

 
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Old 11-27-2017, 12:15 PM   #3
Annathy
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Re: Basal thumb surgery

Thanks Tess. I had a steroid injection into the joint earlier this year. I got total releif but only for 5 weeks. The pain has been steadily increasing since then.

Surgeon didnt suggest OT. After examining me, he said he was willing to try one more injection. But doubted it would work as the last one didnt last long.

He said I would just be putting off the inebitable as I need the surgery.

He mentioned arthritis in other hand joints can "burn itself out" and then the patients pain free. But not likely in this thumb joint. My Dad says he used to have pain in his thumb joint but says he doesnt now. Thats why I was asking really.

I did ask the surgeon if it would get worse if I didnt have surgery now? And he said "yes" its degenetative. As you said.

I just want to be sure Im doing the right thing as the revovery is so long.

Good luck with your op in Jan. We will have to swap notes.

Ann

 
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Old 11-28-2017, 08:06 AM   #4
tess201
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Re: Basal thumb surgery

Hi Ann,

Do you know which type of CMC surgery you will have? I am going for a different, less invasive, surgery than my first one on the left hand, which actually failed. That was where they take a tendon from the wrist and make a thumb joint out of it. Not meaning to scare you as this only happens in a small percentage of cases. I wear a brace on that hand. I'm hoping for better results with this Mini Tightrope surgery. You could always ask the surgeon (unless you already know) what his preference is and then research that method.

All the best. Let us know how it goes.

Tess

 
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Old 01-24-2018, 01:12 PM   #5
jeris
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Re: Basal thumb surgery

Hi Ann
I wanted to share my experience with you & see how you're doing. When I was 48, I was dx with basal joint (cmc) arthritis in both hands, I am now 63. It began in left, but got worse in right quicker. By 2006 I had little cartilage left in rt thumb. My PT molded small splints for me to wear while washing dishes, gardening & doing other things that had become painful. I had returned to school and was doing work that called for a lot of small detail and manual dexterity.

In 2008 I went to an ortho surgeon expecting to schedule surgery but walked out w/ a prescription for piroxicam, which was like a miracle drug! Had to switch when it got too expensive (had no ins) & have been on diclofenac ever since. The hand therapist made a wonderful molded brace for each hand. Tess, these are precursors to the PUSH brace. I recently tried a PUSH b/c I thought I lost my other, but found limitations and pinching, whereas the molded is very specific to your own hand. Ins. should cover it.
In the last 8 months or so my thumb has begun to collapse & it is time for surgery in right hand (dominant). I am seeing my Dr. Feb 5th to discuss/set date. He does the mini & I am hoping for quicker recovery than the trapeziectomy.

Both my surgeons, said that surgery should be determined by pain & quality of life. I learned coping methods over the years, meds helped, braces helped but now the pain & damage are severe enough. It's time.

Last edited by Administrator; 01-24-2018 at 05:04 PM.

 
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Old 01-30-2018, 03:25 AM   #6
juro
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Re: Basal thumb surgery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Annathy View Post
Hi. I have advanced secondary ostio arthritis in my left thumb joint (luckily Im right handed). I am listed for surgery 1st Feb (8 weeks away).

My Dad keeps asking me to reconsider having surgery as he feels if the problem burns itself out, I would be pain free and therefore would not need the surgery any more. Is this correct? As I thought it would only get worse, not eventually stop hurting?

Also, im not in constant pain. It comes and goes throughout the day and night. And some days arnt to bad but some days its agony. Should I not be in constsant pain before I consider surgery? I do have growths on and inside my bones though.

Your advise would be much appreciated.
57 y.o. female.

After 15 years of cortisone shots in both thumbs which got closer and closer between injections as the years went on from every 6 months to every 3 weeks, my arthritis doc finally said, "Enough is enough. Time for surgery." and sent me to an orthopedic.

For the last couple years before surgery I had to wear a brace during the day and sometimes at night to keep the joint stationary and give them time to calm down. The meds that helped the pain also made me bruise BADLY, so I wouldn't take them anymore after my daughter, who was spray tanning me, saw me in my underwear and exclaimed, "MOM!! WHO'S BEEN HITTING YOU!!!" The pain was excruciating and my hands were so weak I couldn't open jars, and I would constantly drop things.

I had my left CMC joint replaced with a tendon from my arm in 2016. It's called "The Anchovy Method." I wish I had it sooner! My hand feels like it's 20 again! I couldn't wait to get the other done which was done on Halloween 2017 with the same great results!

I can lift dumbbells at the gyms, I'm opening jars and pill bottles again. It's still not at 100%, but it's only been 3 months.

You won't be sorry if it's the Anchovy Method you're having.

On a side note, I met with a client who also had CMC joint surgery, but NOT the Anchovy Method. He worked for the railroad and was left with 20% use of his thumb. He had to go out on disability retirement in his late 40's. I referred him to my surgeon to see if it can be fixed.

 
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