Thumb Joint Replacement Surgery?

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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 4/14/2011 5:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Aloha ~ I'm new to the forums. I am a 53 year old female and I have severe osteoarthritis in my lower back, neck, and my Right thumb. I take 4 Norcos per day for pain. I also take high doses of Vitamin D3. I used to take Gabapentin, but weaned myself off as It did not help much. I use the Flector patch as well. It gives me some relief.

The Doc is talking about a joint replacement. I am at the point where cortisone injections do not even help a bit. They used to work for about 3 months, but now nothing. Typing right now is sending shooting pains into the top of my hand. I cannot button my bra, my pants, hold my toothbrush, close a ziploc bag, turn a key, etc etc etc!

Has anyone else had this condition and had surgery to help it? Did the surgery work?

I am getting so frustrated and so darn tired of the constant pain. My hand also goes numb at night. Ugh. Totally dead numb.

It cannot believe how much this is affecting my daily function!

Please, any advise or voice of experience?


Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 4/14/2011 10:10 PM (GMT -6)   
I do not have any experience with this, but it sounds really really painful =( I am sorry you have to go through this, but the family here on the boards and in chat is WONDERFUL!! I am hoping for pain free days for you!


Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9245
   Posted 4/14/2011 11:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi lolly~

And welcome to the Chronic Pain family. This is a wonderfully compassionate group of people and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

As for your hand...I've had several surgeries over the past 12-15 years for carpul tunnel and trigger release but now osteoarthritis is beginning to adversely affect my neck, feet and hands. I'm never quite sure some days if pain is from fibromyalgia or the arthritis. rolleyes

The thumb and first knuckle on my right hand are enlarged and painful much of the time. And if I try to put pressure on them it's unbearable. Feels like a searing hot knife being plunged into the joint. Lately the wrist is kicking up some pain of it's own. Guess it wants in on the act of torturing me~ shocked smhair Not much can be done at this point as it's not bad enough for surgery.

But id does sound like your arthritis is giving you miserable problems. From my experience I would be vary watchful of your hands, especially the one that falls asleep at night. That's a typical sigh of carpul tunnel which is pinching of the median nerve that goes from your shoulder to the tip of your fingers. If not treated it can lead to permanent damage of the nerve and you sure don't need that.

Please have that numbness checked out and see what can be done to prevent any more damage.....that's the first thing I'd do. I hope you find some answers and get a good treatment plan. You do not need to live with this kind of pain. Hand surgeries are very common and there are so many options for treatment that there's no need to wait and suffer.

Keep in touch...
Moderator on the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain forums
Daily Donnybrook: Fibromyalgia, Insulin Dependent Diabetes. Ulcerative Colitis, Rare form of Dermatitis, Collapsed Disk, Osteoarthritis (especially in right hand and neck) and a couple of other adjunct agitations.
Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.
Mark Twain

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1276
   Posted 4/15/2011 1:53 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Lolly. I don't have any experience with your problems but just wanted to welcome you to our family :)

CRPS since 1999, diagnosed in 2005 and since spread to full body, spasms, dystonia & contractures, gastroparesis, orthostatic hypotension, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome.

On Oxycontin/Endone, Topamax, Mobic, Magnesium, Florinef, Somac, Cipramil. Have a spinal cord stimulator, intrathecal pump with baclofen & bupivacaine and doing physio.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 4/15/2011 9:03 AM (GMT -6)   
I was also wondering if it was carpal tunnel?? Are you seeing a doctor that specialists
that does only hands??? Maybe time to get an MRI of your hands or an x-ray...
Hope you get a low pain day soon, well wishes and keep us posted...
healing hugz, maybe do a google search on thumb joint replacements, they can be done successfully.
please keep us posted...
* So many dx's I could write a book* "It would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 4/15/2011 7:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks so much for the warm welcome!

My Doc did say that he thought my numbness was Carpal Tunnel. He said I could wear a brace to bed to keep my hand from bending. I may have Carpal Tunnel as well, but this numbness occurs even when I'm lying on the sofa, on my back, with my arms stretched out straight. Oftentimes it is the ring and little finger that are the most effected.

He finally did agree to get my hand x-rayed on my last visit. I had to ask him though. Isn't that strange? We are talking about joint replacement and there is not one hand xray. He is my PCP, so he has to refer me to a hand specialist. Bad thing is that I live on Maui (not really a bad thing!) and there are no specialists here. I have to fly to Oahu to see one. Would have to have surgery there as well. I am more than familiar with that as I had open heart surgery there in 2009.

I did some looking around about the surgery and found a few different things. I guess I just have to wait till I get to the specialist. My Dr. is supposed to arrange it for me and call me.

We have a hard time getting good docs here. I like my Dr. a lot. He is a good man. However, he just recently decided that he no longer wants to deal with chronic pain patients, and told me I could continue to see him, but he would not prescribe my pain meds. At that time, I didn't have insurance yet, so going to another doc was quite expensive. Also, the Dr. he referred me to did not even examine me. He just asked me what I was taking and wrote prescriptions. I could have asked for anything. I didn't, of course, because I already hate the fact that I have to take pain meds. My regular Dr. got suspicious of everyone taking pain meds and decided to stop prescribing them across the board. My fiance, however, goes to him and he gets 30 - 60 7/5 hydros a month, and he didn't cut him off. I don't get it.

I just saw him last week and I told him I am uncomfortable with the new Pain doc, and he told me to hang in there a few more months, and maybe he would start prescribing to me again. I think he is testing me to see if I am going to start taking more. I am really tired of being treated like a drug seeker, when all I want is to be able to function. I've never had a problem with taking more than I'm prescribed. My daughter did, but that is another story!

So thanks again for the nice welcome. It is nice to find a forum where people genuinely care about one another. i've looked at some other boards, but they seem to be druggie forums.

hugs from Maui!

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 4/23/2011 12:51 PM (GMT -6)   
thank you Chutz! I got my ribbon in the mail.

How wonderful of you to do that.

thank you thank you!

Woke up this morning with my thumb all red and throbbing.

The nodule seems to be getting larger. Took my first meds of the day. Just waiting for some relief.

Thank you again Chutz for the ribbon!! yay!
Osteoarthritis, DDD, bone spurs in lower back, osteoarthritis in neck and right thumb. Right thumb joint disfigured, awaiting surgery. Take Norco, Atenolol, xanax, Vitamin D, Magnesium, DHEA, aspirin, prometrium, estradial. Had open heart surgery July of 2009 to repair Mitral Valve. At the same time, had the Maze Procedure to cure my Atrial Fibrillation.
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