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basal joint arthroplasty results and recovery time? (Page 1)

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what was one's recovery time like and the pain?
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First Helper User Profile Gaelic
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replied May 8th, 2013
Especially eHealthy
azdee5712,

Arthroplasty of the CMCJ of the thumb (the basalar thumb joint) is a very significant surgery. There is a lot of tissue manipulation, depending upon what specific procedure is done.

The most common procedure is an LRTI (ligament reconstruction and tendon interpositional) arthroplasty. In this procedure, the trapezium is removed, the FCR tendon is harvested and rerouted to reconstruct the beak ligament, and the left over tendon is rolled up and placed into the hole left from the removal of the trapezium (to act as a bumper).

This is a lot of tissue dissection and manipulation.

Post-op, sometimes it is necessary to pin the joint. So, there may be a K-wire across the base of the thumb for about six weeks. But, usually, in all cases, the thumb is immobilized for about 4-6 weeks post-op. The immobilization will be up to the surgeon, who knows how strong the tissues and the repair are. If the tissues/repair are very strong, it may be possible to shorten the immobilization period.


Then, the fun starts. Getting the range of motion and strength back. This usually takes a minimum of several months (3-6). But, it is not uncommon for it to take much longer for a patient to reach the final recovery point. We usually tell patients that it may be a year to 18 months before a patient knows the final outcome.


The discomfort from any surgical procedure is hard to determine. Many patients say that this is a painful procedure. But, others state that it is not too bad. Pain is a very personal thing and varies greatly between patients.


Again, this is a major joint arthroplasty, just like a knee or hip replacement. Just because the joint is small does not mean that the surgery is small (it's not).


If you have any concerns about the procedure, speak with your hand surgeon at length, before the operation.


Good luck.
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Users who thank Gaelic for this post: thymenagarden  pcb123  carlee26  replay62  martyjo1  HealthAnge  mart1234 

replied June 29th, 2013
Hi azdee,
The recovery time of this surgery is between 4-6 months.
For some people, it may take a few months longer, depending on their healing time. No 2 people heal at the same pace & no 2 people feel the exact same pain. It also depends on how high or low your threshold for pain, is.
After the stitches are removed, you go into a cast or a plastic splint for 5-6 weeks.Once the cast or splint is removed, physiotherapy begins on a regular basis. You are taught exaclty what you need to do to get your thumb, hand & wrist back to normal working order.
I have had this surgery on both my hands & I am very satisfied with the outcome.
No surgery is easy & I have never heard of a surgery without pain afterwards.
I wish you well.
Ricola.
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Users who thank Ricola for this post: markieblue 

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replied May 4th, 2014
I had this surgery four days ago and I am regretting it. I wish the consultant had taken time to talk to me in person when I was considering the surgery over another injection. Instead I was seen by the registrar and he did not spell it out like the consultant did just before the operation. I signed but really was thinking "oh no I don't want it now"...why did I just not say I had changed my mind??
I am in a lot of pain it is my dominant hand and I'm feeling very upset.
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replied June 4th, 2014
I had LRTI, left thumb, no pins last Thursday May29, 2014. I am getting the initial half hard half soft cast removed as well as sutures this Friday 8 days post op. I play guitar and am a bit worried about recovery times I have been reading as well as range of motion restrictions. Anyone else play guitar? I am right handed so the surgery was done on my fret board hand. I thought that I was getting a removable cast Friday, but it sounds as if this comes later. Any thoughts or tips on getting me back in the game as quickly as is feasible? Thanks.

1G
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Users who thank 1guitar for this post: ndes1  oledad 

replied February 5th, 2015
HI 1guitar-
I am a painter and am scheduled to have the operation on March 18, 2015. Wondering how you are now? I've been dealing with this arthritis and injections for 10 years....wondering if you can play yet? Painting is the foundation of my life and I am scared....
Thanks,
Philly Painter
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replied March 18th, 2015
Hi phillypainter I am on the same boat as you I hang wallpaper for a living. I have done a ton of research on this procedure and would like to follow your journey with this. Today is the 18th and you stated your surgery is today so when you feel better please post your progress. I pray for a speedy recovery for you.
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replied June 3rd, 2015
How are you doing ? I am an RN who starts IV's etc and am a little concerned to have dominate hand done in 2 wks ... On the fence , daily pain and it limits my social activities but that's manageable. Don't have much thumb strength to use it ... Please update if you are able .
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replied January 30th, 2016
I am curious as to how you are doing. I am a nursing student planning to graduate in three months. I have been thinking about having this surgery when I am done with school. I was hoping about a month was enough time for recovery. I have extreme difficulty with small tasks, and obviously need those abilities when I get hired as an RN.
Just curious about your recovery and your nursing abilities, and how quick or not quick those came back for you.
Thanks!
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replied July 26th, 2015
Extremely eHealthy
I hope this went well for you. I am from Philly. Hope that you are back to painting.
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replied May 10th, 2015
Hi 1guitar,
I'm a bassoon/contrabassoonist and want to know if you can play the Guitar with ease?
I'm scheduled for surgery 5/20/15 and am a bit worried my musical career will end.
Please reply.
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replied May 23rd, 2015
I just had this procedure on May 19th, 2015. Wondering how you are doing. I too play guitar. My fretting hand as well. Sounds like I'm in for a long ole summer. Sad
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replied May 29th, 2015
Hi oledad, I also had this procedure done on my left hand the same day that you did. Wanting to compare notes with a surgery buddy. I had my stitches out at one week and cast put on. I had to have two pins as surgeon said it was a mess in there. He normally doesn't have to use pins. Hoping this doesn't delay my recovery, as I need to have the right thumb done this year too. With a $5000 deductible, want to do it in one year. I am off the heavy duty pain pills, they gave me 55 and only too 15 of them. Let me know how you are doing.
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replied July 28th, 2015
Hello - I had broken my right wrist several times, and am a competition shooter - used my right thumb to penis my six-shooter over 30 years. Having the surgery 8/12/2015.

Am also having the Carpal tunnel at the same time.

Has anyone else had both at once? Does it make recovery time longer?
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replied August 26th, 2015
I had a CMC replacement on my R thumb in Nov 2014. I am so angry at the outcome for I feel I have now lost the use of my R hand. I am sorry I had the surgery. It would have been better to put up with the discomfort for at least I could still use it properly. I can't hold a coffee cup nor a pepsi bottle. I can't use a pen for more than a moment before my hand weakens. I can't grasp properly. I have spent7 months in OT. I had it done on my L hand 10 yrs ago, and that was fine.
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replied August 31st, 2016
Has anyone discussed the possibility of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome with you? It is a rare syndrome (formerly RSD) but is not uncommon with this type of surgery and might explain your delay in recovery.
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replied November 24th, 2016
I play bass and keyboards. Both my hands are a mess. I am 62 my left thumb was bone on bone and I was in constant pain. I had the surgery done. I was in a splint for 2 weeks and my are was frozen for about 3 days. I am at the stage where I have the cast on. That is for 3 more weeks. The nerve in your thumb area gets moved and put back it is very sensitive. The pain would travel up my arm an into my other hand weak spots.
I have accepted that I have to take a year off of music for a while.

I quit playing keyboards because my right hand has carpel tunnel and joint problems. I am hoping to get use of my left fretting hand in a few months. The pain has diminished but this is very painful. I worked with my hands my whole life as a UPS driver and painter and a musician. This really sucks. The surgeon was great and the procedure went well. I have been wiped out. Some days I slept for 12 hours. I too will have to do the PT. I had no choice in this really. The bones will fuse together if you do not get it done.

So far everything has gone like they said, so I am hoping for the best. good luck
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replied October 6th, 2015
I have no idea of what I am doing out here. I have just scheduled this surgery for the 13th of November, which "by the way" is FRIDAY the 13th!

I am reading a lot of frustration and discomfort dealing with this surgery and a very long recovery. Right now, the most important thing for me to find out is ... just how bad was your thumb condition when you decided to have the procedure?

I am a 76 yr old male landscaper, who is basically in very good health. Mostly wearing out my joints. Right thumb is worse than the left. Had planned on doing procedure last year at this time but wiped out my right shoulder and needed to tend to that. So this has been delayed a year already; however, I actually got by a whole lot better than I thought I would. I work about 15 to 20 hrs a week. I live alone, maintain a year around garden, have 15 chickens and do my own cooking. I'm an avid salmon and halibut fisherman living on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington.

My thumbs both bother me; right worse than left. Planned on getting right done this year and left next. I must work to pay my bills. Social Sec is not enough to get me by, so I am in survival mode. I do experience a lot of pain and loss of strength, at times, but I AM able to do what I need to do. At this age, you learn "work arounds". Since my thumbs have actually been holding up better than I thought they would, I am wondering, especially after what I am hearing here, if I would not be better off continuing until they cause me more problems. I am not in any constant pain nor do I take any kind of pain killer. I work, fish, garden year around but I would not want to be forced into the surgery in spring, summer or fall when I am the busiest, so want to control WHEN I have this done.

I would really like to know, from as many of you as possible, just how bad your thumbs were before you had the surgery?
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replied October 6th, 2015
I am 70. Had this surgery May 27. -- 4 1/2 months ago. Still in pain and hard to use a very stiff and painful hand. I do not plan on doing my other hand at this time. Arthritis developed in all the finger joints of my surgical hand, which was not there before the operation. If you do it, make sure they give you all the instructions to keep inflammation at a minimum.
I soak for 15 min. every morning to get flexibility and I've been doing the exercises required religiously. I've finished about 2 1/2 months of physical therapy. The whole thing as been more brutal than I expected
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replied October 7th, 2015
How bad was your thumb before you had the procedure?
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replied October 8th, 2015
How bad was my thumb -- both CMC joints ached even in resting mode. I have osteoarthritis, but I also injured my thumbs using a very long pole saw to cut branches. I had some cortisone injections. At first they helped for awhile, but you should not get more than 3 injections. I had some sharp, stinging pain when gripping with my thumbs. All of this, I still have in my right thumb. But, that is nothing compared to the painful complications I am experiencing now at about 5 months post-op. The pain in my surgical hand wakes me up throughout the night. I am going to an arthritis doctor, and am newly on Celebrex. I've gained pretty good strength in my surgical hand. Can lift lots of heavy things. But every movement hurts in all my finger joints. I cannot form a grip without lots of heat first. The expert poster, "Gaelic" says all this can take up to 18 months to gain recovery. I am still hoping for that. The stiffness and pain has not really lessened in all the months since I got the hard cast off, so the trajectory of the recovery does not look positive to me. The surgical doctors told me 4 months for recovery, but I don't think they really know what people go through because they dismiss patients fairly early in recovery. Hopefully, for others, I am not a typical case.
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replied October 7th, 2015
I just two days ago had my surgery on my prominent, right hand. i'm "only" 55, but this is wear and tear arthritis, I work with hardware a lot in a store, and do a lot of domestic, cooking, cleaning.. i was diagnosed with this 10 years ago, so I basically pushed it to the limit. how bad you asked? It hurts to button my shirt, open a bottle.. It was rough. I know recovery will be a long haul, but, I belive/hope it'll be worth it.
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Users who thank LAseour for this post: FishingDancer 

replied February 1st, 2017
Basal Joint Arthroplasty
Hi LAseour, I am scheduled to have this surgery at the end of March and am a little concerned with regards to the recovery. I've been wanted to find someone who's had this done at least a year ago to get an opinion. I am 57 years old, so we are about the same age. Could you be so kind as to share with me your recovery results and how you are doing with your hand now? Do you have full function of the thumb now?
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replied November 18th, 2015
Hi Fishing Dancer. I had this surgery on Friday the 13th too!
I am doing okay and get the cast off on the 24th. I'm 52 years old and the doctor said that my thumb was 20 years older than my age. I didnt have constant pain except for a deep ache. i have been hurting for 2.5 years...tried acupuncture, two arthritis meds and then two cortisone shots. the pain was through the roof when i did a whole day of cannimg (peeling pears) and helping a friend move. I'm hoping that this helps. How are you doing so far?
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replied August 2nd, 2016
small world I was supposed to have surgery on 11/13/2015 but fractured shoulder etc.. had to reschedule. So I just had on friday 7/29/2016 at VA hospital in Florida. Plastic surgery does them all the time I guess. Today 8/2/2016 I went back to have brace & dressing removed & replaced with a hard cast. Good news instead of 4-6 weeks I was told several times I get it off in 2 weeks & stitches removed. Hope all is well with you whether or not you had surgery. My hands kept getting worse & shots I took every 4months for 10 years no longer helped at all.I live alone & am a 55 year old woman but I guess this is worse in women at an earlier age. Well let me know if this helps & how your recovery is if you had procedure. terrig103
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replied June 28th, 2013
Azdee, by now you may have had the surgery, and hopefully are recovering well. I had mine on March 12, 2013 with a cast for 3 weeks, a splint for 3 weeks, and occupational therapy starting at week 5. At first, your hand and wrist and thumb are very fragile and don't move well. Slowly, you start movement of the fingers, then strengthening. Stiffness of the hand & wrist,lack of flexibility---it all comes back slowly. But I am sure there is a wide range of healing and postop recovery symptoms, because we are all different!
If you would like specific tips on how to get ready for surgery, how to cope during recovery, please feel free to ask, as it is helpful to know what to expect.
Hope this is helpful, Linda.
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Users who thank thymenagarden for this post: pcb123 

replied June 29th, 2013
Azdee, Hi. How are you? I am wondering if you have had surgery or are still considering the idea? I had CMC Arthroplasty (LRTI) myself and today I am exactly 12 weeks post op and I have found that I do not regret the surgery at all. It was necessary to have the constant pain from osteoarthritis caused by the trapezium bone grinding on the metacarpal bone and rendering me a victim to pain and unable to function. The recovery from the surgery was a lot more than I bargained and takes a lot longer than the 12 weeks I up to. BUT, the PAIN is gone and a reconstructed joint in the hand is nothing to shrug off. Let us know where you are at with your original question a month ago. We are here to support you. pcb
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replied August 4th, 2013
Hello, I am joining this conversation as I had the basal thumb arthroplasty 6 days ago. I am doing well, off pain meds since Wednesday night. Moving fingers and upper extremity as much as I can. But my fingers/nails are orange/yellowish. Anyone else have this? I will see doc in two days to get cast but just wondered if this was common among you...?
Thanks!
Tbnbbb
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replied November 15th, 2013
The orange yellow is probably the iodine they clean your arm and hand in before surgery
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replied November 15th, 2013
Basil Joint
I am in my 8th week, started strength therapy, good and bad days, but I am having a lot of sensitivity in my thumb and index finger, also the wrist, feels weird, did anyone else have the nerve sensitivity
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replied December 9th, 2013
Experienced User
Basal Arthroplasty Surgery
I think so. I had my surgery 09-20 on the right, began PT, 11-4/ 3/week. It's tough, still have trouble with a lot of sensitivity, pain comes and goes. My feeling strange was in my ring and baby finger but getting better. Stiffness in my wrist is very bothersome and hurtful but working on it and it is slowly improving.I guess I never realized this was a major surgery. My husband had it and his recovery was much easier but as I am reading everyone is different. Keep plugging along.
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replied December 9th, 2013
I am now going into 12eeks recovery, last week the dr put a cortisone shot in the replaced joint to reduce the swelling so I could get better movement my wrist. Its getting better, but the dr said it takes about a yr to get better, but its not 100%. Thanks, I got a vibrator to rest on the sensitive areas, has helped
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Users who thank hopeful60 for this post: photocop 

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replied December 9th, 2013
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Hope, My Dr.gave me one exercises to do that has really helped. Hurts some but it's working. Bring your arm elbow bent into and against your side. Holding your arm against your side let your wrist go limp then with the opposite hand put it on top of hand push it downward as hard and as much as so can (it will hurt) holding it...count to 10 level your hand out slowly, rest, count to 5 and repeat. I started with 10 reps. Then with hand still at side level hand out, bend at wrist in opposite direction .You are pushing hand in opposite direction (upward)again using opposite hand pushing palm forcing wrist backward as much pressure as you can stand 10 count, level hand out rest count to 5, repeat same as above.Take your time doing this and increase as you can. I'm up to 20 reps now, started this a week ago and it has helped in loosening up and I am regaining more flexibility. I doit daily. Heat up is helpful b4 exercise is helpful but I've done without. Good luck and if it helps it will sure beat the shot.Thank You.
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replied December 10th, 2013
Thanks Kiwi, it sure does help to have someone go thru this with you. I will try those reps. but the Dr. put the shot in last week, I hate them shots, hurt, and It may have helped some but not a lot. I have a lot of therapy the PT gave me, also with the putty. I guess its about patience. It has come a long way, since we really had to learn to use the hand all over again. This have been tough surgery, didn't relize how tough it was gonna be.Hopeful we are now on the downhill. Thanks and beat wishes with your recovery.
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replied April 19th, 2016
hi iam 4 weeks post-op still have the swelling in the thumb pad is that were you received the shot?
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replied December 10th, 2013
Experienced User
Yes it is nice Hope,and happy to have stumbled across thus site. When I read the first post I thought "That's me". My husband had this surgery a year ago and his experience was much different. He really had no issues so when I tt him he can`t relate. I like you didn't think the surgery would be a big thing. Have surgery, cast comes off...just a thumb no problem. Hah! We were wrong. Has come along way but the progress at certain things is slow...you said it/ patience. We'll have to keep in touch on our progress. Those shots are awful! Did the Dr.have to peel you off the ceiling? The Best to You too.
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replied December 11th, 2013
Haha, Yes Kiwi he did have to peel me off the ceiling, with few oh my Lord, oh my. I am just glad the sensitivity is starting to disappear, I am beginning to be able to touch my face and actually feel it thru the burning sensation of the nerve or the pricklys. Just finished my Pt for the morning. Yes we do need to keep in touch on how we are progressing.By the way I am from Virginia. Would you do the surgery all over again?
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replied December 12th, 2013
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Too funny but I can sympathize. When I got my last cortisone shot pre- op my husband said my ass was squiggling all over the table but the hand never moved. It hurts! Sound like we both had our surgery about the same time and probably in about the same place PT wise. Would I do the surgery again? I think so. What about you? Was yours on your main hand also? Maybe that makes it harder because instinct is to use it and when the cast comes off you feel like Whoopie only we don't get that and it's frustrating. I have PT Fri.of this week, then M,W,F of next and done. I'll still do my exercises at home and know it'll take time. Does your hand get tired/sore if you've used it too much and you just have to stop? And the cold weather....I keep my gloves handy. Still use moist heat quite a bit, it helps with the soreness. Also handwriting is not my strong suit yet. Can't do it for too long either so no Christmas cards this year. Thank God for my computer and IPad. I live in Michigan outside of Detroit.
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replied December 12th, 2013
We are so much alike its funny! I would definitely take a longer look at surgery, but yes, I guess I would do it over, I just didn't relize it was gonna be so invasive. Oh, and yes, mine was on the right dominate hand.I am done with my Pt out, I only had to do that 4 times, and 2 times I demanded he see me, otherwise, I do mine at home and have done it now for 6 weeks.At home I have 10 range of motion techs to do at now 20 reps each, and 7 putty techs to do 3 minutes each, and 2 rubber band techs to do 3 minutes each. Yes, my hand gets sore with overuse, sometimes I wake up and my hand feels terrific, and within just a couple hours of using it wants to get stiff, and then I think darn here we go back to square one again. The cold too, keep gloves on or a heat pack in my hand, but I also notice that the cold silverware makes it feel weird too. I so enjoy having this to go thru with someone else, I'm glad you came here, and you are right looks like we had ours done about the same time, 9/24 here. Did you have the pin also put in your thumb ?
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replied July 29th, 2015
WOULD U SHARE YOU EXERCISES PLEASE AND ANY THOUGHTS ON HOW TO GET THE SWELLING/FLUID DOWN? SURGERY DATE 7/26/15 CAST OFF 2 DAYS AGO THANKS FOR THE HELP
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replied December 12th, 2013
We are so much alike its funny! I would definitely take a longer look at surgery, but yes, I guess I would do it over, I just didn't relize it was gonna be so invasive. Oh, and yes, mine was on the right dominate hand.I am done with my Pt out, I only had to do that 4 times, and 2 times I demanded he see me, otherwise, I do mine at home and have done it now for 6 weeks.At home I have 10 range of motion techs to do at now 20 reps each, and 7 putty techs to do 3 minutes each, and 2 rubber band techs to do 3 minutes each. Yes, my hand gets sore with overuse, sometimes I wake up and my hand feels terrific, and within just a couple hours of using it wants to get stiff, and then I think darn here we go back to square one again. The cold too, keep gloves on or a heat pack in my hand, but I also notice that the cold silverware makes it feel weird too. I so enjoy having this to go thru with someone else, I'm glad you came here, and you are right looks like we had ours done about the same time, 9/24 here. Did you have the pin also put in your thumb ?
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replied January 27th, 2015
do you have a copy of your exercises ?
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replied December 14th, 2013
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Yes it seems we are! As it turned out I finished or yesterday....yuppie. But of course it isn't finished just now it's at home. So I have the my putty and boarding balls to work with. I'm having a hard time with my wrist bending forward so I have a lot of work to do with that. It's very frustrating and I hope to get more motion back in that.Do you have problems with motion in yours? I don't have a pin in mine....oh darn. I know what you mean about you hand feeling good and you think wow maybe it's on the up swing and then poof sq.1. It is frustrating and disheartening. I like you would've taken a harder look but the way my husband's went I didn't think anything of it. Hey it's only a thumb right?? Wrong. How does that go? Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!
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replied December 14th, 2013
Yes I am having a hard time with my wrist also. Mine bends forward at 80 degrees but only back toward the forearm at 60 degree. The pin was taken out a 5 weeks. I also have alot of stiffness and scar sensations, are you still having those too? sometimes after I do my therapy it feels like someone put a womans facemask on my hand, and it needs to be peeled off. Tell me what is boarding balls? You are so right, I get so discouraged sometime, and think whoa did doc do something wrong because it so up and down, ad the sensation a the very tips of my finger and thumb. Grrr!Im going back to work Tuesday, yippie (not) I still have alot of work to do too. oh- by the way an you lay your hand flat?
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replied December 15th, 2013
Experienced User
Hi Hope, and yes I am. It comes and goes.My PT suggested the boading balls. Then I began looking them up on line because there are different sizes and might want to do a little research depending on the size of your hand. They're Chinese Therapy Balls as I found out and it's exactly what you use them for. He said they'd be very helpful for better dexterity and I can use it. So your wrist problem is just the opposite way of mine. What sort of PT are you doing for yours? I think when he measured my forward it was 60 and my back was pretty good. Laying my hand back..like when you put both hands on the ground when your sitting on the floor to lean back? If so I hate to tell you yes. Now it would be for a brief period of time and it hurts some but...yeah.
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replied December 15th, 2013
Kiwi, will look up the therapy Chinese ball. Thanks! The therapy he has me doing rolling my wrist in circles, slow one way then the opposite 20 reps. The bending the wrist forward, then backward slow with pressure 20 rep each. Im gonna try he one you shared.
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replied December 15th, 2013
Experienced User
Gonna work with the Rolling my wrist too, and oh good luck at work tomorrow! Have to check in how your hand feels.
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replied December 16th, 2013
Hey Kiwi, I go back to work, but today I tried putting my hand behind me like you said sitting up, you are right, it hurts but it really helps to stretch it out. I got a new cream to use for swelling to, hoping that helps, I have noticed the swelling is not as much as it was. Going forward feeling positive that it will work out for us all.
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replied December 16th, 2013
Experienced User
That is so good to hear. With me I noticed a difference after a few days. Nothing huge but improving. Been
doing it now for about 4 weeks and the progress is slow but going in the right direction and as we both know...long haul.I'm glad to hear that cream is working for your swelling. That is one area I've been been very fortunate not to have had much of. It will work out for us!
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replied December 17th, 2013
Hey Kiwi, went back to work today very light duty, it wasnt to bad, I was able to do the range motion several times today,so when got home, I was ready to do the putty. Stiff, better like you improving but little at a time.
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replied January 27th, 2015
what was the cream and did it help
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replied January 27th, 2015
what was the cream and did it help
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replied December 15th, 2013
Hi. I had the same surgery 6 days ago on my right hand, my dominate hand. Two days after surgery my doctor took my bandage off and put a hard cast on. 1 1/2 weeks later he wants to take the stitches out and start therapy! I am afraid he is rushing to get everything over with so he can go on vacation the beginning of January!! Dec 9 - Surgery. Dec 11 - Hard Cast On. Dec 23 - Stitches out and therapy started?? Am I being paranoid?? Everything I have read seems to be a longer time between these events. He has also mentioned getting things done before insurance deductibles start over again in January. I don't care about the deductibles! I want to heal correctly!
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replied December 15th, 2013
Had mine done Sept 24, He change the 1st cast and took stitches out in 8 days, and a hard cast for 5 weeks, went into another splint one I could take off and on for another couple weeks, then the range motion therapy,then putty therapy I go back to work Tue after12 weeks, my doc said h told me I would be off or 2 weeks,but I still had 41 weeks to recover at almost 100%.
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replied December 15th, 2013
Second surgery, new issues
I had my second thumb done Nov. 15th, 2013. I've been through removal of the pin (early) and two casts due to pain. I don't remember having this much trouble with my dominate hand thumb surgery last March, 2013. This time I seem sensitive to anything that touches my hand/arm. I have a splint on now and wake up at night with pain. I take the splint off and gently run my fingernails up and down my arm to get relief. It seems to make the nerves think about some new sensation and the pain is relieved for a while. The pain is not in the surgical area, but the top of my forearm and distal side of my hand. I'm 4 weeks post op. I start PT on dec. 23rd, another week away. I'm leaving town for 2 months in Jan and will be progressing through the recovery exercises on my own. Surgeon said since this is the second time around it should be fine, but now I have concern about the strange pain and sensitivity. Anyone else experience this?
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replied December 15th, 2013
Maggie I too had a pin but he didn't tae mine out for 5 weeks.I do remember going and having them replace the 2nd cast because it was to tight and rubbing. I had the nerve sensation in the tips of my index finger and thumb since the day of surgery, I have a difficult time moving my wrist side to side, and back toward the forearm. Sometimes the hand, thumb feels really great then the next day or so its stiff, and the nerves are burning again. Probably do to the therapy, and teaching the hand to move again. Im at 12 weeks and still feel the nerve sensation. Read my last posts, between me and Kiwi if it helps you. We are trying to stay positive in a recovery period that seems to gonna take quite a while. Good luck
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Users who thank hopeful60 for this post: hopeschool 

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replied December 15th, 2013
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Hi guys I'm Kiwi. Hopeful and I have been talking and our time frames and recovery issues (minus no pin 4 me) are very much the same. I had my splint on for 12 days post OP, then stitches out and cast on 4 weeks, started PT 4 days later. Did 5 1/2 wks.finished Friday. But will continue at home, because PT was just to get the functioning because it will take more work. How long I don't know. I think it being the dominate hand you want it all.Like Hopeful having trouble with my wrist also, side to side and where Hope's back motion mine is front. I had my splint come off a little early because I was having problems with it (comes up to the elbow) with pain from swelling and inflammation of the upper incision in my forearm. Hopeschool I can your reason for concern because this is a major surgery and PT isn't easy and will be painful at times. I would probably have some questions for your surgeon as to why so soon, that you`'ve been looking into an talking to others with the same surgery and as you can see from All the posts their pretty consistent with post-op procedures. Good luck.
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replied December 15th, 2013
Tried a new cream today for swelling and pain called real time,got a couple sample packs to try. Today to seemed to work really well.
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replied December 16th, 2013
5 months post-op in Muldoon
I appreciate the posts in this forum. I was becoming very frustrated, as my formal rehab therapy went well, but now I feel I'm regressing. After reading the comments about extended issues with stiffness and pain, and ideas for more stretching exercises, I'm encouraged to get more aggressive again with my at-home therapy. My surgery was on Aug. 13, dominate hand, 2 weeks in a soft wrap, 3 weeks in a cast to my elbow, then 4 more weeks in a removable splint. After reading this series of comments, I am encouraged to keep pushing through the stiffness and try various exercises described in this series of comments. Thanks to those who have shared. By the way...I purchased a paraffin bath, which is a tremendous help as preparation for doing my stretching and range of motion exercises each time. I often hold my hand in front of my auto heater vent for relief while traveling. I also discovered that my high school baton twirling skills have helped me with wrist flex and stretching.
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Users who thank CountryRehab for this post: 1kiwi 

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replied December 16th, 2013
Im glad you found have the forum helpful, I too so was glad to find kiwi, and share what we experience to help one another, and others. By the way I have help my hand up at the heat n the car to.
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replied December 16th, 2013
I just had this surgery December 11, 2013. I am in a wrap from hand to elbow now, my fingers exposed. I can move my figures quite well, but if I apply any weight at all to them they hurt everything, my wrist, thumb etc. what I am concerned about is my Dr said I could go back to work in 2weeks, I am a graphic artist and use my right hand for all artwork on the computer. After reading your posts, I am thinking there is no way my hand will be ready to use the mouse and do artwork. Does anyone have thoughts on this? Thank you for your insight, these post were helpful. -creative1
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replied December 16th, 2013
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Graphic if it entails detailed hand work I don't see that happening. As you can see from most of our posts it's a lot of hard work. If most of your work is done with a mouse once your cast comes off after about 4 weeks you start therapy. Your thumb won't do much and movement is very limited for sometime. Hope I'm not bursting your bubble but this thumb surgery was way more than I expected. It's definitely more than just a thumb.
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replied January 2nd, 2014
I also had the LRTI right thumb, middle finger trigger release, and ulnar nerve decompression! Pain is an understatement. Had surgery on Dec.3, 2013...Still in cast for another two weeks with pain levels varying every day. I am the worlds worst patient and I pay for it with PAIN! Try sharpening a knife and you will discover pain. Flossing my teeth was a trick plus using my left hand when I am right handed is a challenge!
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replied December 16th, 2013
I was in a hard cast for 6 weeks total after then into a removable splint. My dr said no way I would work for 12 weeks. I couldn't write checks, sign my name or doing anything with that hand for quite some time, I could hardly hold a spoon and feed myself. I might would suggest to your dr, to keep you out for awhile, this was a very invasive surgery, no pic nic in a park, and the time needed for therapy. Wow! Good luck.
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replied December 17th, 2013
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Hope, Just has to say Ditto and frustrating. I remember using the mouse (which was eventually accomplished)and I felt like throwing it out the window.
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replied December 16th, 2013
Graphic1 -- 1kiwi is right. I just wrote a detailed response that I "lost" when trying to post, to explain my case. I was in a wrap for 10 days, cast for 3 weeks, then a removable splint for 8 weeks. I had my CMC joint removed, and replaced with my own tissue -- no tendon harvesting. The cast was the most painful and limiting, which I finally figured was partially due to the two pins inserted in my wrist area--unbelievable! You will be able to do limited computer work, (esp. if you mainly use a mouse) but you need to pay attention to the angle of your keyboard to avoid strain on the wrist/base of thumb. ONE important consideration...I was in so much chronic pain that I kept taking 1/2 doses of pain meds that slowed me down. I slept a LOT for 2-3 weeks, because of the meds. Also, be sure to take advantage of all the therapy offered. Without it, I wouldn't have known what was OK pain, or dangerous pain. Basically, avoid any sharp pain, but expect the nagging stiffness and dull aching. Use heat (paraffin is heavenly), mild pain pills, and keep doing your exercises--at least twice daily, for about 15 minutes. I'm still doing mine, at 4 months, to prevent the stiffness. My top thumb joint can "click" too, if I miss my exercises. Feel free to keep asking questions. This forum has described much of what I've experienced.
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replied December 16th, 2013
Thanks all!! I am hoping for a speedy recovery and will do what I can to speed it up. I'll let you know how things go. I only needed pain meds, so far for 4 days and switched to Motrin when needed on day 5. I am hopeful!! Merry Christmas if I don't talk to you before then. I see my Dr on the 19th.
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replied December 16th, 2013
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Good luck and please let us know. Merry Christmas to you too. And on a positive note the pain now is recovery pain that is a good thing.
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replied December 16th, 2013
Graphic, stay on your therapy, I do mine 4 to 6 times a day, 40 minutes. I wish you well, and a Merry Christmas. Remember take our time healing.
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replied December 16th, 2013
I had the basal surgery done on 11/15/13. And have had a somewhat difficult recovery period. Mainly with the large incision in the palm and wrist because they did a carpul tunel at the same time. I also have an incision on the top of hand at base of thumb and one more on the fore arm. They pulled my stitches out 12/14/13. That was rather painful on my palm.
I had a splint with a wrap for a couple weeks then a cast, that I had taken off last Friday cause it was too uncomfortable on the incisions.
I can move my fingers fine and end of thumb but palm incision still the worst part for me.
Has any one else had this issue with the palm incision.
I had it done in Knoxville w/ Dr.Carlson.. He is a bit rough. Snatches stitches out. Says to suck it up. It hurt a lot and I''m a 51 year old man.
I couldn''t believe how butchered up my hand looked when I first saw it after 7-10 days. I got quezy for sure and had to lie down. It''s not been fun and I hope it gets better soon.
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replied December 17th, 2013
William, I had the basil joint replacement with a pin at the 1t knuckle of my thumb, about 2 inches long. I also had the tendon pulled out of my forearm therefor I had a long incision cut strait then into a Y. He cut my wrist and my forearm. 5 weeks in a cast the stitches came out in 8 days, the pin came out in 5 weeks. then I had to go into surgery for carpal tunnel, but my surgeon did not cut the palm of my hand big. He mad a small incision with 2 stitches, and cut my wrist again for carpal 2 stitches, and went in to do the release with a small camera, like laproscoptic carpal tunnel. But my had has been very stiff, with my wrist, and thumb. The whole blooming thing hurt. I suggest you take some hot soaks, and a lot of good therapy. The surgery is very invasive and takes up to a year to completely get over it. I am better, at 12 weeks, but I still have a long way to go. be positive, keep coming here reading the post and take what you can to help yourself. I wish you wel, and the best of luck!
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Users who thank hopeful60 for this post: quilter6  joentt 

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replied December 17th, 2013
To Wiliam
Since you had multiple procedures at one time, you will probably have a challenging initial rehab. However, on the + side, you will not likely have to go through hand surgery again. I keep reading that hand surgeries are known for being very painful. The carpal tunnel work should heal quicker than the thumb/wrist. I've become a big believer in follow-up hand therapy, and encourage you to take advantage of as much therapy help as you can (insurance should allow coverage for it). It's difficult to discern between the types of pain you experience, and to know when to back off, and when to keep going. Initially, I did my home hand exercises (between therapy appts) for at least 3 sessions of 30-40 min -- ideally, 5 sessions, and saw a therapist weekly, for 7 weeks. After 3 months, I've dropped down to exercising once or twice a day, plus paraffin baths when needed to relieve stiffness and pain. My surgeon is also a man of few words, so I have spent more time talking with the therapist to learn how to cope and rehab. My doctor stressed the severity of the incision to help me understand why I had so much pain....they really go deep into your hand during surgery...You can find graphic photos online if you dare look at them. I have talked with several people who have had the thumb/wrist incisions for arthritis, and all have said it was worth the effort. I'm optimistic, and still improving, but not ready to surrender for the other thumb yet. Try to be positive, and don't expect a short recovery. It's a trying process, but so far, everyone keeps saying it's worth it.
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