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  • Mini Tightrope Surgery Basal Joint Surgery

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    Old 03-11-2015, 05:38 PM   #1
    theroxanna
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    Mini Tightrope Surgery Basal Joint Surgery

    After reading about the surgical options for basal joint thumb surgery I was freaked out about the recovery time. My doctor offered two options ligament transfer and fusion. I did not want the ligament surgery because of the recovery period and hardships associated with rehabilitation. My doctor then offered a third option, the mini tightrope surgery. She said I could be back at work in two weeks.

    I had dominate right hand surgery February 16, 2015. Placed in a soft/hard cast. Doctor went on vacation week after surgery so soft/hard cast was removed March 3 (could have been removed 7 to 10 days after surgery). Placed into removable splint. No physical therapy required. Hand and thumb slightly swollen and bruised. Range of motion slightly limited and stiff. Doctor commented several times about how thin the skin was. Which equates to one of the incisions opening up after the stitches were removed. The tech applied steri-strips to close wound. Released to go back to work with limitation of no lifting or pushing of more than 5 pounds with hand.

    After surgery I used ice on the hand 20 minutes every hour I was awake for 2 days. I kept the hand elevated at all times, propped up on the back of the couch when awake. I also put the hand in a Carter pillow when sleeping. The hand was elevated above the head constantly for 3 days. Swelling was controlled and the difference from day one to day four was noticeable.

    Started using the fingers the day after surgery and did 20 reps of each exercise throughout the day. Between the icing, elevation and movement, I believe this resulted in less stiffness and swelling in the fingers and hand.

    Dean Smith MD in Houston Texan has great pre-operative and post-operative instruction sheets. The sheets are not specific to mini-tightrope surgery but are specific to CMC basal joint surgery and are excellent research materials. His material included finger exercises and answers great questions I would never have thought to ask. I found this information superior to what little instruction I received from my own doctor.

    I am almost three weeks post operative and can move my fingers and my thumb. I've have been able to do a little needlepoint which is incredible. I am not able to use nail clippers yet but can pinch and lift a little with my hand. So far this surgery had exceeded my expectations.

     
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    Old 03-11-2015, 06:37 PM   #2
    stamm678
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    Re: Mini Tightrope Surgery Basal Joint Surgery

    Awesome! I looked into tightrope surgery but went with the traditional. It sounds like you're having a great results - congratulations!

    Last edited by stamm678; 03-11-2015 at 06:44 PM.

     
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    Old 03-11-2015, 11:05 PM   #3
    cbl1947
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    Re: Mini Tightrope Surgery Basal Joint Surgery

    Can you keep us informed of your progress over the next year? I'd like to hear how you are doing long-term, how satisfied you are and whether you regain full motion, dexterity, strength.
    Wishing you a full recovery! Catherine

    Last edited by mod85; 03-12-2015 at 02:25 AM.

     
    Old 03-12-2015, 04:40 AM   #4
    theroxanna
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    Re: Mini Tightrope Surgery Basal Joint Surgery

    I shall try my best to update.

    When I was offered this surgery I HAD to do research. I read everything on these boards for months. However, there was little info about tightrope surgery. I thought maybe it was a no news is good news situation since human nature dictates that people will complain more than praise.

    This is my first week back at work as a secretary. The hands hurts, the splint is not comfortable but I can do my job. Slower, but it's possible.

     
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    Old 03-12-2015, 12:45 PM   #5
    Haydena
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    Re: Mini Tightrope Surgery Basal Joint Surgery

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by theroxanna View Post
    I shall try my best to update.

    When I was offered this surgery I HAD to do research. I read everything on these boards for months. However, there was little info about tightrope surgery. I thought maybe it was a no news is good news situation since human nature dictates that people will complain more than praise.

    This is my first week back at work as a secretary. The hands hurts, the splint is not comfortable but I can do my job. Slower, but it's possible.
    theroxanna, I suggest to relieve the pain you are experiencing in your hand,
    that you place your entire hand in a large bowel of as hot as you can take water. If you are able to do this before you leave home for work & when you return home & then again before you retire for the night.
    Whilst your hand is immersed in the water, gently move your fingers & wrist
    for at least 5 minutes, if you have the time, 8-10 minutes is desirable.
    The water eases muscles, tendons & ligaments & is superb against stiffness.
    Dry your hand & cream it as the skin on your hand needs as much moisture
    ( from any good hand cream)
    If your splint is not comfortable you should invest in 1 that is comfortable for your hand. There are many kinds of different splints on the market.
    (It is advisable for you to continue sleeping with your arm raised, above your heart, so that the blood goes back to your heart)
    I wish you well.
    Haydena.

     
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    Old 03-12-2015, 04:12 PM   #6
    theroxanna
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    Re: Mini Tightrope Surgery Basal Joint Surgery

    Thanks for the great suggestions. I read this hint before but didn't apply the knowledge. My incision is not fully healed so I hesitate to soak my hand but did get out the buckwheat pillow and heated that up. I will start using the Crater pillow again. I keep thinking when the incision is healed the splint will not rub and aggravate. Keeping good thoughts. Thanks again for the support. This board has been an amazing source of information.

     
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    Old 03-12-2015, 04:37 PM   #7
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    Re: Mini Tightrope Surgery Basal Joint Surgery

    I did not take into account that your incision has not healed yet.
    Your splint is rubbing against your incision which gives off pain & discomfort.
    You can place a piece of sterile gauze on top of your incision before putting your splint on. There is a healing homeopathic cream/ointment which you can purchase from a health food shop, or order online. Calendula cream is a skin healing cream.
    Traumeel made by Heel of Germany is for swelling, bruising & pain & healing, once your incision has closed. I swear by both! As I wrote in my previous post, your hand needs moisturizing, do not allow your skin to become dry.
    Haydena.

     
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    Old 03-12-2015, 06:08 PM   #8
    theroxanna
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    Re: Mini Tightrope Surgery Basal Joint Surgery

    Haydena, I appreciate your advice. The heat is helping. I will get the cream too. Thanks again!

     
    Old 03-13-2015, 08:01 AM   #9
    sapers
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    Re: Mini Tightrope Surgery Basal Joint Surgery

    Do you know what stage basal arthritis you had? My understanding is that mine is too advanced, i.e. they won't do arthroscopic surgery with filaments except for lower stages (I'm at stage 3 and 3.5 respectively, out of 4 stages.).

    Thank you!

     
    Old 03-14-2015, 03:22 AM   #10
    theroxanna
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    Re: Mini Tightrope Surgery Basal Joint Surgery

    I do not know what stage the arthritis was at. I imagine lower numbers would be right. Good thoughts coming your way. Hope the doctor can do something to help you.

     
    Old 05-06-2015, 04:28 AM   #11
    theroxanna
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    Re: Mini Tightrope Surgery Basal Joint Surgery

    My first week back at work was too much. If you are a busy secretary ask to go back part time for at least one week. Lost some range of motion. Increased the swelling in the hand. Increased pain. Two steps back.

    Had my six week appointment with the doctor. No more wearing the splint / brace unless I am doing something "heavy". Lifting is now as tolerated. The doctor is allowing physical therapy to get guidance with exercises and recovery.

    Did a month of therapy sessions. Each session I saw improvement. Decided to stop therapy and do the exercises at home. I have continued to improve. I am 11 weeks post open and have much of my mobility back. Still need to improve on strength. Can drive my stick shift car, turn the key in the ignition, use scissors, lift weight, do needlepoint, etc. I have switched back to using my thumb on the spacebar. The spacebar thing sounds like a small accomplishment but I must hit that bar hundreds of times each day. Pain levels are at a dull ache with times of not noticing any pain.

     
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    Old 05-06-2015, 11:29 AM   #12
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    Re: Mini Tightrope Surgery Basal Joint Surgery

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by theroxanna View Post
    My first week back at work was too much. If you are a busy secretary ask to go back part time for at least one week. Lost some range of motion. Increased the swelling in the hand. Increased pain. Two steps back.

    Had my six week appointment with the doctor. No more wearing the splint / brace unless I am doing something "heavy". Lifting is now as tolerated. The doctor is allowing physical therapy to get guidance with exercises and recovery.

    Did a month of therapy sessions. Each session I saw improvement. Decided to stop therapy and do the exercises at home. I have continued to improve. I am 11 weeks post open and have much of my mobility back. Still need to improve on strength. Can drive my stick shift car, turn the key in the ignition, use scissors, lift weight, do needlepoint, etc. I have switched back to using my thumb on the spacebar. The spacebar thing sounds like a small accomplishment but I must hit that bar hundreds of times each day. Pain levels are at a dull ache with times of not noticing any pain.
    Good to hear all about your recovery Roxanna. The fact that you can do so much, with your hand, is a very good sign that your full strength will return. 11 weeks post surgery, you've done well.
    Keep up the good work.
    Haydena.

     
    Old 05-06-2015, 12:56 PM   #13
    stamm678
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    Re: Mini Tightrope Surgery Basal Joint Surgery

    Congrats on the continuing good recovery! I know what you mean about the space bar. I remember when I could finally do that with my thumb instead of my finger.

    I understand about stopping therapy once you've learned the exercises and are headed in the right direction. My only advice would be to continue to pay attention to how you're feeling; if you find yourself feeling more pain, then cut back on what you're doing for a while until you feel better. You'll continue to make progress for many weeks to come, then it will slow down but you will still get better and better as the months go by.

     
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