what to expect from trigger finger surgery?

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Alcie
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Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4646
   Posted 5/14/2010 4:03 PM (GMT -7)   
I am expecting to have trigger finger surgery on fingers 3,4,5 of right hand in two weeks.  I am wondering what to expect as I no longer trust doctors to tell me everything.
 
I got trigger fingers in both hands after taking 3 pills of Aromasin (breast cancer med).  Cortisone injection gave only a little relief for a short time.  I have pain in my hand that is keeping me from doing my work - driving the tractor.
 
I had three bad experiences last year with surgery, so I'd like to hear from patients so I know what to expect.  I'm not afraid of doing this since there is no other recourse, but I don't even know what to ask the doctors.  I refuse to take Versed since I lost three days memory from an amnestic with my last surgery.  Then I was given too much dilaudid and stopped breathing.   I wasn't real happy to wake up while being stitched up in my second surgery.  I probably should have squalked, but I didn't want to be knocked out again. In recovery they wouldn't give me anything for pain immediately post-op, so I lay there crying for an hour. 
 
I can't have the long-lasting bupivicain local anesthetic because it contains sulfite, and I'm allergic to that.  I can't take codeine or fentanyl (or anything related) because they'll make me vomit and could damage the hiatal hernia surgery.  Besides the fear of Versed and the sulfite allergy, I have fibromyalgia and am post-polio, so I am sensitive to anesthetics and can't get doctors to understand about needing more pain-killers than normal.  I have to have a pain med and a muscle relaxant an hour and a half before surgery or I will get another fibro-flare.  I pre-treated myself the last two times.
 
I wasn't informed of any of the bad side effects of the surgeries I've had.  I wasn't informed of the extra IV or the arterial line I would be getting in the third surgery.  That one was half a year ago and I stil have pain from that.  If they'd told me I would have said I have a small cyst in my wrist, so go a little farther up the arm. 
 
Maybe this isn't even the right forum, but I'm hoping someone has had experience.  I hate going into another surgery with only the kiddie information on most websites.
Alcie
 
 


Chutz
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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9090
   Posted 5/14/2010 10:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Alcie!

I've had two trigger releases done and they were very easy. The surgeon used a local to deaden the area. The tiny cut is in the palm of your hand about 1/2" - 3/4" below where your finger starts. Through the small incision the doctor clips one of the tendons that encase the ligaments that run the length of the finger. There are several so you won't notice if one's gone. Then you get 1 or 2 stitches and a sizable bandage and off you go. The surgery for one was no more than about 20-30 minutes. For pain you might get by with something over the counter but with your history of pain killer problems you doc will find something you can take.

But you do get immediate relief since the ligaments are no longer impinged...being squeezed to death! It was miserable before the surgery and wonderful after. It's way easier than having your wisdom teeth out!

Here's a link to some good information. Hope it helps...
Chutz

arthritisinsight.com/medical/surgery/trigger.html
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razzle51
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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 763
   Posted 5/15/2010 2:38 AM (GMT -7)   
very easy surgery . Iihad both thumbs done . Quick and painless . you wil get along fine . Roz
Syringomyelia T4-T10
Chiari Malformation
Decompression Surgery 1999
 

 

 

 
 
 



Xen
New Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 5/15/2010 4:00 PM (GMT -7)   
You seem to be very confused about possible allergy. Are you sure you're allergic to sulfite? It is always in codeine, and vomiting is a normal side effect of codeine and is not an allergic reaction. If you survived codeine, then you're probably reacting to something other sulfites. Metabisulfite preservative are usually in versed, dilaudid, and epinephrine. Bupivicaine does not contain sulfites, but it's sometimes combined with epinephrine that does contain metabisulfites. Preservative-free versed can be ordered and

Why were you taking Aromasin, do you have breast cancer? what are you taking now? You should set up an appointment with your doc to go over your cancer medications and anything else you're taking (like blood pressure meds) and look for potential drug interactions with the anesthesia meds.
In some cases, breast cancer meds will actually enhance the effects of the pain meds.

(Xen...we are a support site for those suffering from chronic illness. We help each other emotionally and also share our experiences. We do not give recommendations for medications. Telling people what and how much of medications to take is not appropriate. Thanks for understanding)

Post Edited By Moderator (Chutz) : 5/17/2010 12:22:37 AM (GMT-6)


Alcie
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Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4646
   Posted 5/16/2010 8:53 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Chutz, for the web address. It's a good, simple overview. I've read dozens like it, but they are not informative about the recovery or alternative anesthetics. That's why I came to the forum. I've watched several of the surgeries on the web, but they never talk about the anesthetics or show if they use tourniquet. I'm wondering (for the sake of my driver) how long to expect 3 fingers to take. I used to do surgery on rats, worked in a couple of pharmacology labs years ago (before 4 kids), so I'm not squeamish, and I am reasonably educated. I'd ask the doc, but he rushes too much - too many patients scheduled.

Xen - I kept food logs and tried on my own for two years to find out if my gastric reflux and the tachycardia that followed were related to foods. My gastroenterologist and cardiologist were uninformed, but then I found a really good allergist. She had me doing even more intensive food logging and then food challenges. I had a really long, seemingly unrelated list of foods, like gelatin, maple syrup, mustard and ketchup, vinegar, many storebought breads, everything on pizza and the crust, sodas, cookies, french fries, deli meats, some yogurts, corn syrup, canned tomato sauces (but not fresh tomatoes), anything made from pork ... I did an intensive web search and found all my foods on some sulfite allergy sites. By stopping eating the trigger foods I stopped the refluxing and the tachycardia. I don't have asthma. It's a condition they now call cardio-esophageal reflex or linked angina. I figured it out before most of the papers were written.

I have an entire typed page in small print of my medicine sensitivities and true allergies. You are right that many of the meds you listed can be ordered sulfite-free. I just have to make sure anesthesiologists read the package inserts - which they never do unless I insist, and they seem not to care enough to do it before the surgery even when they talk to me the day before! I have reacted to epinephrin since way back when they used to use it in dental anesthetics. It's on my list. My reaction to fentanyl and codeine is severe stomach upset with vomiting. I don't dare get anything like that without taking something like Zofran because I can't vomit anymore because of my sotmach surgery. I carry Zofran everywhere I go just in case.

I'm glad you mentioned Bupivicaine doesn't contain sulfite. When I google it it comes up as having it. I suspect you are right, but will insist on reading the insert myself. It's long-lasting, so I would like to get it!

I refuse Versed only because it is basically an amnestic, does nothing for pain, just makes you unable to remember. Since I lost three days memory with etomidate during my last surgery, now I am terrified of these drugs. I will take diazepam, in fact I request it because I need the muscle relaxant to stop back muscle spasms. That and vicodin keep me from getting a fibromyalgia flare.

I had a lumpectomy for breast cancer last January. After radiation, which wrecked my lymphatic system on the left side, I was put on first Arimidex, then Femara, then Aromasin. I didn't tolerate any of them, finally stopped the last one. Only three pills of Aromasin started my trigger fingers. I don't have high blood pressure, only take tramadol and Neurontin for fibro, vitamins, and extra D, and a baby aspirin. They don't react with much of anything, nothing on the list of stuff to not take that I was given by the surgeon.

Sorry for the length of the post. It's not a simple issue.
Alcie
 
 


razzle51
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 763
   Posted 5/16/2010 9:15 AM (GMT -7)   
all you need is to give you a little Versid and it will be overin a flash . No side effects at all. One day surgery
Syringomyelia T4-T10
Chiari Malformation
Decompression Surgery 1999
 

 

 

 
 
 



PAlady
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Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 5/16/2010 5:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Alcie,
I had one trigger finger (a thumb) done surgically at the same time as my carpal tunnel surgery. Don't remember it being a big deal at all. I had several other trigger fingers and had cortisone injections and after a series of 3 the trigger fingers finally resolved themselves. I was just about ready to have surgery for them, too. The first cortisone injections (which are painful as all get out as I'm sure you know, but at least don't last long) only helped a couple of months, I think. Then the second set lasted about 6 months. When I had the 3rd set of injections (several fingers were injected at the same time, on different hands) I thought they'd wear off in 6 months but the triggering stopped and never came back. Occasionally I'll have a little first thing in the morning when I'm in bed, but after I move my hands a bit that's it, no more sticking. I just say this because maybe a series of injections would help when one didn't last. My hand surgeon told me it would probably take 3 injections.

Good luck, whatever you choose. I really don't think the surgery is a big deal, but I can only speak for one thumb!

PaLady

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4646
   Posted 5/16/2010 7:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks PAlady and others for the encouragement.

Razzle - I mentioned in my overlong discourse that I refuse Versed. Its only purpose is amnesia, and I've had a bad experience with that sort of drug - lost 3 days in previous surgery. Diazepam is fine.


I'm not actually scared of the surgery. It's the preservatives in the medications that's terrifying, because of my allergies. I've had three bad experiences last year alone because some medical people, mostly anesthesiologists don't understand post-polio or sulfite allergy, and they also don't bother to communicate what I tell them to the anesthetists.

For example: I know it's recommended that the arm being worked on for this surgery is to be at 90 degrees. But both fibromyalgia and post-polio patients should have their arms as close to the body as possible.

I will have to refuse to let the surgery start until they read the preservative lists. I have communicated that I can't have anything preserved with sulfite for all three of last year's surgeries, and nothing was checked before I got to talk to the anesthesiologists (all different ones). It's making me paranoid.
Alcie
 
 


Lisanne4
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 10/16/2012 12:40 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm having surgery next month on my hand. The pain I have now is tremendous and it's getting difficult to do normal things due to the pain in the hand.
I am having one finger done and possibly 2 fingers at the same time.
Is it ok to go to work the next day or is pain bad after surgery?
thanks
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