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Arm, Wrist & Hand Message Board

  • CMC Arthroplasty

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    Old 05-19-2014, 07:18 AM   #1
    RedBird51
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    CMC Arthroplasty

    I am writing to find out what I can about the CMC Arthroplasty surgery to the thumb with tendon transplant. I have been browsing threads today for comments and found it to be somewhat involved and for the most part disappointed results. If you had it to do all over again, would you just live with the original pain in your hand rather than the effects following the surgery? I am set to have this surgery May 24, 2014. Appreciate any advice I may receive here.

     
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    Old 05-19-2014, 10:21 AM   #2
    gingertea
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    Re: CMC Arthroplasty

    Hi,

    I had the CMC Arthroplasty w/tendon transfer and carpal tunnel surgery done together in February 2012 on my left hand and the same surgery in June 2012on my right hand. Now that I am 2 years down the road, I'm very pleased with the results. If you would have asked me at the time, I would have said big mistake!

    The doctors say 3 months to recover from surgery, so everybody expects that everything will be back to normal in that time. It just doesn't happen that way! I had surgical cast for 2 weeks, hard cast for 3 weeks on one hand and 4 weeks on the other. Then came the brace that had to be worn 24/7 for another 4 weeks. After the cast and the brace came off I started Physical Therapy. That took another 3 months. At six months you can use your hand, but full recovery takes about a year.

    It seems each case is different.....some experience problems, some don't have any. My second surgery was so much easier than the first. I think most of that was because I knew what to expect. Problems can crop up here and there. A lot has to do with nerve pain. They cut through a cluster of nerves and some people have more problems than others. I had trouble with that after my 1st surgery, but not after my second. I also overworked my hand the first time around, but knew better than that the second.

    I think the more informed you are the better off you will be. Don't expect your hand to be normal at 3 months post surgery. I'm still making progress and it's been over 2 years for me. I can do so much more now! I love gardening, and no more sore hands! I can pick up my grandkids! I have 5 age 6 and younger, so they need a lot of cuddling.

    Believe me, mostly it's a matter of time and patience.

    I'm happy with the results.....good luck to you! Hope all goes smoothly!
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    Old 05-19-2014, 10:56 AM   #3
    RedBird51
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    Re: CMC Arthroplasty

    Thank You, Gingertea, for your reply. I have been reading through Health Boards all morning for any suggestions about this surgery and your comments are very encouraging. I have been seeing a lot of comments on people going through it and one or two months into it, but you have given me what I was hoping to hear. Two years down the road and happy about it. I do have one question. I read in a post about how one person was advised to use a cold therapy machine which required wrapping a pad in the bandages at the surgery site for icing during recovering. Do you think this would be helpful? Did you use anything like this throughout your recovery process?

     
    Old 05-19-2014, 08:54 PM   #4
    Ravin835
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    Re: CMC Arthroplasty

    Red bird, I am 15 months post op on nondominant hand. I am happy with the outcome because the oa pain is completely gone, thumb is a little stiff but I have good strength and grip. I had lrti which is an extensive procedure that uses the fcr tendon from forearm to reconstruct the ligament, tether the metatacarpal to the index finger and then positioned where the trapezium was removed. Now I am going to have to do my right hand.

    Cast, splint then Ot for months...takes at least 3 months to realize there is light at the end of the tunnel. Icing and elevation are ESSENTIAL, for many weeks.
    Get a good hand lotion with chamomile and lavender. Don't use the fingers that stick out of the surgical dressing...rest the entire hand for two weeks, except you may be advised to gently wiggle the fingers.

    Stretch pants, step in shoes, prepared foods....plan to really take easy for a few weeks. You will cope with one hand much better than you might think. Take the pain meds as ordered and as you need them.

    If you have more questions, please ask. Also read through all of Haydenas posts, even the closed ones. I will be sending healing wishes your way, and hope to hear how you are doing when you feel up to it.

    Last edited by Ravin835; 05-19-2014 at 08:59 PM. Reason: typo

     
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    Old 05-19-2014, 08:54 PM   #5
    gingertea
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    Re: CMC Arthroplasty

    I've never heard of cold therapy. How does that work? I never had access to the surgery sight until all the casts came off. I just used the ice packs with the gel in them. For my second surgery, I invested in one of the Carter Arm Elevation pillows. Your arm slides into it and it keeps your hand elevated whenever you are lying down. It's great for sleeping, and your hand doesn't swell as much when it's elevated. I think it made a real difference for me. There's so much info in the health boards about this surgery. People suggest ideas they used to cope with the problems that come up.
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    Old 05-20-2014, 02:05 PM   #6
    stamm678
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    Re: CMC Arthroplasty

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gingertea View Post
    I've never heard of cold therapy. How does that work? I never had access to the surgery sight until all the casts came off. I just used the ice packs with the gel in them. For my second surgery, I invested in one of the Carter Arm Elevation pillows. Your arm slides into it and it keeps your hand elevated whenever you are lying down. It's great for sleeping, and your hand doesn't swell as much when it's elevated. I think it made a real difference for me. There's so much info in the health boards about this surgery. People suggest ideas they used to cope with the problems that come up.
    The arm elevation pillow was wonderful for me, too. I used it at night and during the day when I was sitting on the couch or at the table eating. After 2 weeks, I switched to nighttime use of the pillow contraption made with 2 rolled bath towels which I find more comfortable but less likely to keep my hand fully elevated.

     
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