Had thumb joint surgery in 2004, best thing I ever did, no pain since recovery. The basal thumb joint had completely deteriated and the bone fragments cut through a tendon. Went to a surgery center in the early morning, went home around noon. This is what happened one step at a time.
First was an IV, then I was given 5 shots of a numbing solution in my armpit, ( did not hurt ). This numbed my arm and it stayed numb until evening of the next day. Was put to sleep, the surgery removed the joint and the tendon joined my wrist and thumb back together. Woke up with hand and arm in a cast and then sent home with pain meds. It was a three month recovery time because you need therapy to learn to use the thumb. Truthfully the pain meds worked so well that I don't remember a lot of pain afterwards, but my arm was numb which really helped.
Don't be afraid, I am the biggest wimp that ever lived and I made it through with no problems.
Best of luck,