HI! New to site & dealing with thumb joint replacement

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Trouble!
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 10/29/2006 9:37 PM (GMT -6)   
 Hi everyone! I had thumb joint replacement and carpal tunnel surgery done on my left hand the 4th of Oct. Got stiches out and hard cast on the 13th. Wasn't ready for how much it hurts to do even the simplest things like getting dressed. I decided I needed to talk to others who have experienced this or are going thru it right now as well. Look forward to hearing from others who understand! :-)

curley
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 4305
   Posted 10/29/2006 11:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Trouble Hi ans welcome to HW,

Ouch just the thought of it gives me the hibby jebbys,I thank god do not have carpal tunnel but I do have arthritis in my hands and I'm looking at a total knee replacment.Did your Doctor tell you how long it would be before you were to use that hand as far picking up things and thing that strains it?Please let me know because I'm interested to see what you were told.I do hope that you get to feeling better and it stops hurting.
Thanks
Curley......
a.k.a.Mela...........


erin.K
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 10/30/2006 11:13 AM (GMT -6)   
awe, {{{{{{{{ big hug }}}}}}}}}}  even though i have not had hand surgery like that; i did have to get my knees drained & shot with steroids on friday.  OUCH!  yes, enough to make ya pass out!  NOT a nice feeling and not a nice process.
sooooo painful afterwards, and the 2nd & 3rd day after is even WORSE.  can't walk right; each step is torture; and ya can't bend or straighten the legs without bad pain.  and forget about getting onto the toilet! lol.
so yeah, everything....every little thing (even putting on a pair of pants) is difficult.
so we feel for you!
write back soon.
how long is your cast on for?
take good care.
sincerely,
erin
Active Severe Rheumatory Arthritis. Crohns Disease. A.Chiari Malformation & right brain venous anomoly. Partial Complex Seizures. MVP & Tricuspid Valve Prolapse. Rheumatic heart & lung. Previous Lymes Disease for 10 years.
Meds: Remicade infusions; Intra-articular knee injections; Imuran; Mesalamine; Prednisone; Meclizine; Reglan; LidoDerm; Diazepam; Restaril; Dilaudid; Avinza and too many others. 


Trouble!
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 10/30/2006 1:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the welcome erin.k & curley. It'll be a total of 4 1/2 weeks in the hard cast plus was in a half cast for nine days after the surgery. I was told to not use my hand for Anything until the dr. gives me the ok which he hasn't and won't till I go back to see him 14 Nov. I have used it some and paid the price... Not worth it... the house can stay messy and the dishes and clothes will wait till hubby and son gets home. Yeah getting dressd sucks...thank the Lord for sweat pants but I miss my jeans. lol! I have had the sterods in both knee and hand and your right it hurts like the devil!!! erin Hope you get some relief once the pain of the shots wear off. for now just take it easy pushingit doesn't make it better, just makes it hurt worse for longer.
curley, it was rough doing both at once hurts alot but at least its only one time (I hope). This surgeon has done carpal tunnel on my right hand and scar removal from around tendons in my left wrist so you'd think i'd learn to listen wouldn't ya? Nope...must be why they call me trouble! lol Thanks again for reponding...its nice to talk with people that know what the pain really feels like. And on the bright side both my in-laws have had knee replacements and their doing great. They both say the post surgery pain is worth being pain free afterwards so don't give up hope. Talk to you again soon! : )
Trouble with a capital T


bjc17618
New Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 5/8/2008 6:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Not exactly what I wanted to read since I just came back from the surgeon and am planning to have thumb joint replacement on right hand for now and then later on left hand, along with carpal surgery. How long did you have to suffer and would you do it over, or just suffer without the surgery? confused

mihwa
New Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 5/9/2008 9:10 PM (GMT -6)   
I had basal thumb replacement last May. It will get better! I am right handed and had the surgery on my right hand. You will be surprised that the pain will be much less than before surgery. You adapt to the pain before and after. The main thing that I have found is that I don't have the dexterity that I did before. It can be frustrating at times when you want to do something and it just doesn't work out that way! :) The strength factor is slow in coming back but it does...you just have to keep working on it. Determination is key!

erin.K
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 5/12/2008 12:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi bjc17618 and mihwa & welcome to Healing Well!
BJC...you along with your doc WILL ARRIVE AT THE RIGHT SOLUTION for YOU. Ya weigh the risks & benefits, exhaust all other treatments & therapies and really what it'll come down to is your quality of life.
I'm sure many more folks will come to share their experience with hand & joint surgery.
I suffer with severe knee pain from RA...it's unbearable most times. Am disabled due to it as well. But...if ANYONE came along wanting to practice knee surgery...I'd jump on that table & have knee replacement surgery in a heart beat! lol.
mihwa gave good input.

You'll do the right thing.
Hang in there.
Arthritis Forum Moderator & Co-Pilot
Active Severe Rheumatory Arthritis. Crohns Disease. A.Chiari Malformation.
Meds: Remicade 600mg Q3weeks; 6MP; Avelox; Zolfran; Entocort; URSO Forte; Dilaudid; Oxycodone. 


goldenoldie
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/8/2008 3:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi all, I had joint replacement on my thumb June 5th. I get the cast off on Thursday and start physical therapy on Friday. They took a ligament from my wrist and made a joint. I had my right hand done first and my left to follow. I had to take pain medicine for the first two days and once in a while for the first week. After about a week I had a hard cast put on. The cast thing has been the hardest part so far. I never had a cast and it restricting. I'm counting the days until Thursday. I've been able to do a lot of things except using a knife, hooking my bra. I can do the clothes, wash and fold them. Do my hair, dress etc which I think is an accomplishment because I had the right thumb done and I'm right handed. I'm typing this note so all is not lost. I can even write slow with my left hand. To all that are planning to have it done, good luck and make sure you check out the doctor to see if that is his speciality.

likrer
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 10/2/2008 3:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, my first time here, need some support.  I had left thumb joint replacement done on July 28th.  I was in a half cast for one week, a hard cast for six weeks.  I've been in a splint for the past 2 1/2 weeks.  I will say I did not have one minute of pain after surgery.  Even called the doctor and asked if he severed a nerve, I didn't feel pain!!! All I felt was relieve from the aching I'd had for over two years.  I had the tendon graff from my forearm kept in place with a pin.  That was the only thing that bothered me.  The pin was taken out after five weeks and then it was smooth sailing as far as that can be with a cast.  Never had one before and it is very confining, even had a panic attack the first night, thought I couldn't breathe!!! Anyway, I've been going to therapy twice a week for almost three weeks now.  I know I'm going to be sore and I'm impatient as the stiffness isn't going away as fast as I'd like it, but my main concern is I'm experiencing that aching feeling I had for the years before surgery.  I have a swollen lumptype spot towards the lower part of my thumb, between my thumb and index finger.  That developed a few months before surgery and I'm very concerned that's it's back again.  I see my doctor in two more weeks but want some piece of mind maybe that what I'm experiencing is normal???  My wrist is very tender and sore and it seems my nerves have been misplaced a little, which I understand is normal and they will sort themselves out.  My main concern is the aching.  I have tried to be good about not lifting or pinching, but know that I've done it subconciously, but nothing that I feel could have hurt this.  I have a top doctor, referred by many, and hopefully it's just my impatience that is getting the best of me.  Sorry for the long post, guess I just needed to vent.  Suppose to have the other hand done, don't know now.  Thanks again for your ear. 

Pgc
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 11/30/2008 10:14 PM (GMT -6)   
New to site. I had thumb replacement 11-11-08 still having pain with the cast
Rubbing the external pin. Also pain in both thumb joints. The first cast was changed after 5 days. I thought the pain would be gone by now. I don't go back to the dr. Until 12-17-08. Has anyone else had this problem?

likrer
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 11/30/2008 10:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I had thumb joint replacement on the 28th of July.  My biggest problem was the pin rubbing against the cast.  I found I'd have to lift the cast a little and adjust it to keep it from rubbing.  This was a problem the duration of the cast wearing, however, when I had my cast changed, they'd do it tighter and that seemed to help for awhile.  I was fortunate and had no pain after surgery and the whole time I was in the cast with the exception of the pin rubbing.  I still now after four months have stiffness and soreness but not nearly like before surgery.  I have a tightness in my webbing that I am trying to stretch, but I'm told it could take up to a year for things to settle down.  I'm not sorry I had it done, it hurt 24/7 before, now I can at least live with it.  I am planning on having the other hand done next summer.  Hope you do better.  Moving the cast around a little does help.  My nurse wasn't happy with me doing that, but I told her it's like stepping on a hot coal, you are going to move your foot!!! Anyway, good luck to you, it does get better.
 

Pgc
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 11/30/2008 11:24 PM (GMT -6)   
I lift the cast also and use ice. I am an athletic trainer and taping basketball players, so I know that isn't helping even though someone is cutting the tape for me. Thanks

Ridgeback Lover
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 12/5/2008 11:49 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm new to this site.  I just found out today I will probably need a thumb joint replacement.  I recently fell on my hand, broke my elbow and jammed my thumb into an already arthritic joint.   I have to go through the usual "stuff" - cortisone injections, therapy, etc. - before the doctor makes a final decision.  I'm an elementary technology teacher and was wondering how long it takes to get back to work after the surgery.  I'm in extreme pain right now (5 weeks post accident) - can't dress or do much of anything with my hand - and would prefer having the surgery sooner than later so I can start functioning again.  Any suggestions?

Pgc
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 12/6/2008 1:35 AM (GMT -6)   
I also hurt my thumb in high school, be hurt it again 5 yrs ago. the joint was completely gone. the surgery has been worst than my knee replacement
I just hope it gets better. 11 more days until he pulls the wire out. I just hope I can make it.

Ridgeback Lover
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 12/6/2008 10:08 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm sorry to hear you're not doing well.  I, too, had a knee replacement 17 years ago.  I didn't think anything could be worse than that!  My doctor says, if necessary, he will do a "tendon arthroplasty."  He's got to put me through all the "medical hoops" before he decides to operate, though.  Anyone know how long it takes to get back to work after that surgery?  My first cortosone injection seemed to have kicked in while I slept.  I haven't felt this good since the accident 5 weeks ago.  How long does this relief typically last? How many injections will the doc probably give me before he finally decides surgery is needed? (I fell at work so this is an L & I claim!)  My arthritis is Stage IV.  Sorry about all the questions, but I'm trying to figure out how long I might be out of work so I can nail down a good substitute teacher.

likrer
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 12/6/2008 10:40 AM (GMT -6)   
I had thumb joint replacement on July 28th of this year.  No injury, just arthritis.  Was in constant ache for three years.  My first injection lasted almost four months, what a relief.  I had two more, they did nothing.  I then had surgery probably within four months of the 2nd and 3rd failed injections.  I was in a half cast for the first week, then a full cast for six weeks.  I was able to work and not be bothered by anything but the pin rubbing on the cast.  I could definately do most things, just was hard to button buttons, open things, do my hair, but you do adjust.  I was told when I had my first injection that it would last up to four months and that's exactly what it did, no longer!! I did start feeling achy after about three months, but held off getting the second one.  After x rays my doctor told me that surgery was indicated because I had no cushion left.  Hope this info helps.  Let me know how you are doing.
 

Ridgeback Lover
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 12/6/2008 8:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for your thorough answer.  It was very helpful.  I had my first injection yesterday and I'm feeling so much better.  I start therapy on Monday to try to get some flexibility back in the arm after the accident.  I guess when I fell I "jammed" my thumb farther into the already arthritic joint.  The past five weeks have been almost unbearable, but today I'm on top of the world.  I sure hope the cortisone lasts as long as yours.  I'm going stir-crazy being out of work.  I'll keep you updated as to my progress. Keep your fingers crossed, no pun intended!

Pgc
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 12/7/2008 1:54 PM (GMT -6)   
I had a cortisone shot over a year ago and it did not help
The thumb was interfering with golf and work
I found out about thumb replacement
I saw my doctor and he re-xrayed and three weeks later I had surgery.
Iwebt back to work a week after the surgery. Everything is difficult: buttons, hair, taping ankles (I am an athletic trainer). I have 2 weeks before he pulls out the wire. At that time,will I be able to use my thumb or start PT? How long will it take before I have full use of my thumb?

likrer
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 12/7/2008 7:08 PM (GMT -6)   
After my pin was removed, I was still two weeks in a cast.  I then had the cast removed and immediately went to physical therapy.  For the first four weeks, after six weeks of a cast, I was still told I could not pinch with my thumb and finger.  After that I was given exercises to do.  I just finished two months of twice weekly PT.  My thumb is much better in that it does not ache 24/7, but I find I still cannot do everything with my thumb.  I'm a grandma and cannot put the handle down on the carseats using my hand that had the thumb surgery.  My thumb and fingers still get stiff, but the relieft from not aching all the time was worth it.  I was told it could take up to a year to completely heal.  I had a very bad arthritic thumb.  No cushion at all, bone on bone with four bone spurs having chipped off from the bone.  I am suppose to have my other thumb done next summer.  Right now it doesn't bother me as the other one did, but I'm thinking I don't want to wait cause the recovery seems to be longer.  I have talked with three others that came out of the cast and therapy good as new.  So, I think everyone is different depending on the severity of the situation before surgery.  I am thankful I had mine done, and if I have to live with it the way it is right now, it's still better than it was before surgery.  Good luck.

Pgc
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 12/17/2008 7:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Well i got my cast off today. I had my first pt scession today and am stiff and sore. The dr. Said 3 weeks of pt. Twice a week with homework. He said i will be able to pitch and putt in about a month. I plan also on using the wii to help.

Princie
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 2/17/2009 5:48 PM (GMT -6)   
sad  Hi Thumbs up guys.  New to forum. Have a bad joint too now for 5 years have been get the cort shots only lasting about 2.5 months and then in the 24/7 pain sessions, yet again.  I'm going to see yet another doctor to see if there is anything better or to get another shot. Is the operation worth it please be honest.  I am getting crazy and depressed over this whole thing.  I really can't be out of work for any length of time so how long before you can go back to work at a desk type job?  I do have to do some typing and telephone duties.  Someone please give me a clue.  Any Doctor Recomenaton?  I live in New Jersey Willing to Travel in The tri state area. New York, Phil. Del I am desperate.  Thanks Princie

Pgc
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 2/17/2009 6:19 PM (GMT -6)   
I too had pain 24/7 I had thumb surgery in Nov. I have no more arthuris pain. My thumb is stronger than ever after rehab. The dr. Released me Dec. 19. The worst part was the cast rubbing the pin.

Princie
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 2/18/2009 4:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for your reply. Still looking for the right Dr. in my near by area of New Jersey. I did get a shot today it still hurts hope in a few days I will feel better. I really can not afford taking time from work so I may wait until I retire. good choic or bad?
Princie
Pirncie


Pgc
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 2/18/2009 5:16 PM (GMT -6)   
I was fortunate I'm r handed and I had my left thumb replaced. I was miserable for about six wks. Once I got the cast off everyhing has beengreat. No more pain. Good luck I went back to work after one wk. I'm an athletic trainer and the kids had to cut tape for me.

Pgc
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 2/18/2009 5:16 PM (GMT -6)   
I was fortunate I'm r handed and I had my left thumb replaced. I was miserable for about six wks. Once I got the cast off everyhing has beengreat. No more pain. Good luck I went back to work after one wk. I'm an athletic trainer and the kids had to cut tape for me.
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