LRTI surgery recovery sharing

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
91 posts in this thread.
Viewing Page :
 1  2  3  4 
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

Mizz_J
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 6/10/2017 11:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Lpark said...
Mizz_J
Just sent you pics
Sounds like you have a good plan!
My husband took off of work to help me and he has been a god send! I also have 3 dogs,lol!
On day 3 the other 4 fingers are useless and swollen.
My original plan was to go back to work Monday but if I still need to ice all the time I won't.
I'll keep you posted.


Thanks - checked email but still no pics. Not sure where they went. LOL

I REALLY appreciate you sharing your journey with me. I too am hoping to return to work fairly quickly. I didn't know the other fingers would get swollen - egads - I just thought it would be the thumb.

BTW - you are doing a great job with the pecking on the computer! turn

Lpark
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 6/10/2017 11:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks - checked email but still no pics. Not sure where they went. LOL

I REALLY appreciate you sharing your journey with me. I too am hoping to return to work fairly quickly. I didn't know the other fingers would get swollen - egads - I just thought it would be the thumb.

BTW - you are doing a great job with the pecking on the computer!



Just sent pics again.
Don't know what I am doing wrong. Maybe send me an email and I'll reply back with the pics.
lparkowski@gmail.com

Lpark
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 6/14/2017 4:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Update day 6 Lrti surgery
Went back to work day 5 took ice packs with me. Still a fair amount of swelling. Other 4 fingers starting to work can't put any pressure on them. Ice ,elevation and Advil are my salvation!

Mizz_J
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 6/14/2017 6:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Wonderful! Glad you are doing well enough to go back to work so fast!

dzenma
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/17/2017 11:22 AM (GMT -7)   
Just a note to those worried about trapeziectomy with LRTI surgery. I am now 3 weeks 4 days post surgery on dominant right hand. I have been very comfortable for most of this time. I woke in hospital numb from shoulder down, in 1/2 cast with heavy wraps and sling. Numb for approx 18 hours. At home I iced constantly and kept arm elevated constantly. During the first week had mild pain, easily managed with meds, ice and elevation. I freely use fingers (2 handed typing) but find I must use mouse with my left hand. My left-handed handwriting is so poor that I have developed an odd 3 fingered grasp with index, middle, and ring fingers of my right hand and can write reasonably well that way, albeit, laboriously. I teach drawing and painting at local university so will need to be fine by Sept and surgeon assured me that I will be. After surgery I was in 1/2 cast for 2 weeks, followed by full cast- will wear this one for 4 weeks (6 weeks post surgery). After that I'm told I will have no cast or brace of any kind, but will have physical therapy (x3 weekly to start) for 2-4 months. Except for inconvenience, this surgery has not been difficult at all.

mlgsings
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/17/2017 7:08 PM (GMT -7)   
I had thumb arthroplasty with LRTI 4 days ago (6/13) on my left, dominant hand. I had it done with straight up nerve block (stayed wide awake) placed just above my collarbone, and it worked marvelously well, but started wearing off after about 6-1/2 hrs and was completely worn off within the next hour (what a bummer, considering I'd heard of folks being numb for 18-20 hrs). I only needed the Vicodin for about 24 hrs afterward and switched to ibuprofen, and since yesterday haven't even really needed that. The first night I was quite sore but not so much I couldn't sleep through it. I kept ice on my hand/wrist the first three days after the numbness wore off. I currently have little to no pain though my hand is still swollen which I expect to subside over the next couple of days. I was driving again the next day after surgery. I've actually been keeping my four free fingers busy and even done some lifting (I was given no directive otherwise). I have a temporary cast/splint that will be removed at two weeks post-op and replaced with a fiberglass cast for another 3 weeks, followed by up to 6 weeks of physical therapy. I was really concerned about post-op pain but my surgeon assured me it wouldn't be as bad as I imagined and he was right. He regularly does about 5 LRTI's a day and he's fantastic. I'm only 45 and on the young end of the spectrum for being affected the extent I have been by basal joint arthritis.

**PRO-TIP** - take your first dose of percocet/vicodin as soon as you get home right after having a bite to eat. DO NOT wait until the numbness from the nerve block wears off to take it. Set the alarm on your smartphone every 4 hrs through the next morning at least to take your meds. The next day you can play it by ear.

Post Edited (mlgsings) : 6/17/2017 8:17:48 PM (GMT-6)


Mel_Rose
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 6/19/2017 12:35 PM (GMT -7)   
I am new to this forum and just had this surgery on my right (dominant) hand on 6-7-2017. Recovery has been tolerable but frustrating. The thing I had not anticipated beforehand was just what a workout my poor arthritic left hand was going to be getting! Not having a dominant hand is hard...but having a painful "good" hand makes life miserable!

I am 49, and have stage 4 arthritis in both CMC joints. I decided to do the right hand first, as it was the most troubling. I did it with a full arm block. I also was careful to begin pain meds early...before the block wore off. I took them on schedule for two days, then just as needed after that. I found that I really didn't need much in the way of narcotic pain medication beyond that. I only take maybe one tablet a day...here and there....mostly after getting ready for the day and lots of "hand activity".

I couldn't much move my right hand fingers at all for several days. Gradually I got motion back...and now I can use them to help with daily living somewhat and not be in terrible pain afterwards as well. At first I really regretted any using of those fingers!

I used the foam cube thing to elevate it for three days or so. Day and Night. I go back on the 22nd for my 6 week cast. Right now I have a bulky surgical splint. I believe I may have the option of a removable splint on the 22nd...but it can only be removed for showering. I will probably take that option if given!!!

I plan to do the left hand at the end of the year if all goes well with this one. It sure seems to be a long haul! I have had lots of surgery, and don't consider myself a pansy, but I sure don't like having a hand!!! cry

Mizz_J
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 6/20/2017 3:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the updates everyone. I was originally set to have my right (dominant) done next month, with my left to follow in December. However, due to a recent insurance change at my work, I am postponing to January and then June of next year. I am also on the young side (49). I got this from my mother who started symptoms in her mid 60s. I, sadly, started in my mid 30s. Working an administrative job, my hands are my paycheck, and I've put this off as long as I can. I hope I'm one of those folks that recovers quickly and experiences little pain, but everyone is so different.

Keep those updates coming and thank you for sharing!

Mel_Rose
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 6/20/2017 6:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Mizz_J, we are following very similar paths! I'll try and keep you updated as I go along. Thursday when I go back to get my cast I am going to ask about perhaps getting a steroid injection in my left hand. I haven't had to have as many of those in that hand in past, but the pain has really ramped up with overuse. I have a high tolerance for pain, but this no hand thing is for the birds!

I generally recover quickly, and am hoping to be ready for the next hand by December. I have a hiking trip planned for mid September, and my surgeon assured me it would be fine!

I am back to walking quite a bit already. Started back gradually at about a week and a half, with my arm up to keep down swelling. I am able to walk about 45-60 minutes now at a pretty good pace. It has helped me mentally SO much.....especially while I am so limited in other ways. As soon as I get home I do get a little ice out and cool my whole arm down for good measure....although swelling hasn't been bad.

I'm really looking forward to getting this big old dressing off!!

Poppity
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/20/2017 11:46 AM (GMT -7)   
I am new to the forum and am looking at October of 2017 to have the dominant (right) hand done, as it is slowly getting worse (doc says it is at 8/10 right now, and getting worse). Like my doc said: it won't get any better and at 61, it won't get any easier. My left side isn't bad at all really, but I can feel it beginning to follow the same pattern as the right. May as well get it over with. After reading through the forum, it looks as if it will be tolerable, but certainly not something I am looking forward to. I will tune in occasionally and update as I go through the process....thanks for all who have contributed thus far. I feel a bit relieved after reading the results.

Lpark
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 6/25/2017 5:11 AM (GMT -7)   
Update:
17 days post op on Dom hand. Had 1/2 cast removed last week and have a removable splint ( only removable for showering.)
A lot more pain since splint went on- don't know if it is caused by the hand being more mobile or overuse?
The ice is not helping anyone.
Has anyone used heat for pain relief?

lori1217
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2017
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/5/2017 1:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi. I am new to this forum. I am 53 and in relatively good health and was recently diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my right thumb (dominant hand). For 6 months or more, I have been experiencing a lot of pain and discomfort from the base of my thumb down across the underside of my wrist. Sometimes it would also itch or burn. The condition became progressively worse and I made an appointment a month ago with my ortho dr. My initial guess was that I had a simple case of carpal tunnel. To my surprise, he told me I had arthritis. He prescribed a topical antibiotic and brace. He said to try this treatment for a month. If I still had pain, he would recommend a cortisone injection. The last option would be the LRTI procedure that all of you have been discussing. I've been seeing this dr for many years, having had two arthroscopic knee procedures (one for posterior/anterior meniscus tears and the other for arthritis that mimicked symptoms of a meniscus tear), as well as a dislocated kneecap, and hip bursitis and posterior tibial tendinitis dysfunction (PTTD) in which he referred me to a specialist who ended up doing the surgery. Obviously, I have been blessed with joint issues! For the most part, I trust this dr., although he can be quick to offer the injection as his first go-to. I've had my share of these shots over the years and they don't typically help me very much. So far, I have not seen any relief from the topical or brace (granted, it's difficult to wear too much outside of at night). I'm giving myself another week to see if I have any improvement. If not, I guess I will get the injection and hope for the best.

Sorry for the long health history! My question is: have any of you gone through this course of treatment prior to deciding on the surgery? If you had the injection, how much, if any, relief did it provide you? If I were to have the surgery, I'm fortunate to have family help me. My job allows me to work remotely most of the time, but it also requires me to be able to type and use a mouse.

Thanks to everyone who has shared their experiences. I'm a big planner and like to read these types of postings before embarking on the surgical route. It was a lifesaver when I had my PTTD surgery and was in a walking boot for 3 months and couldn't drive or use stairs!

Cannoka62
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 7/5/2017 1:49 PM (GMT -7)   
lori1217
When I found out that the arthritis had eaten away the cartilage between my 2 bones my doctor told me that injections were a moot point. Surgery was the only solution. Even though the recovery is a long process it has been worth it so far.
I had the surgery March 2 and today I am typing as I was before and doing most things. It's dicey sometimes trying to pick up thin objects, like pins, etc. but that's the only complaint I have. smile

Mizz_J
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 7/5/2017 6:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Lori1217

Welcome!

I will be 50 in January and am opting for surgery on my right (dominant) hand in January and then my left in either April. May or June. Whenever my right hand tells me it's okay.

I've been to an orthopedic hand surgeon and a rheumatoid arthritis doctor, both diagnosed me with advance OA in both hands. My right has lost most, if not all, cartilage. My left, since my right is now less useful, is losing more each day. Its a no win situation.

I started with cortisone shots in 2015. They lasted 18 months. I went back in May of this year for another round, as the pain was at an all time high. Sadly, no effect.

I have also tried topicals - Voltaren and Pennsaid. They both worked but only for a few days, then nothing.

I was taking Celebrex 200mg once a day for the past 1.5 years. Once the second series of shots failed in May, I stopped taking it to see if it was even helping. It has made no difference so there's no point in taking it anymore.

After trying all I can, surgery is the path I must go down. I am an Executive Assistant for multiple owners of a company. My hands are my livelihood. I need to continue to work, so I really have no choice. Unless, of course, I just want to be miserable and in constant pain.

I've heard from many that say they wish they'd done this years ago. I can only hope I will join their ranks!

Good luck!

Poppity
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 7/6/2017 8:24 AM (GMT -7)   
Lori1217:

I am scheduling the surgery in October this year. I tried the cortisone injections three times. The first lasted about 3 days. The 2nd and 3rd: not even one full day. I have a brace that I wear nightly and it provides a moderate level of comfort for a few hours each morning, but as soon as I start work (on a computer or yard work or anything to do with my hands) that little bit of comfort goes away.

I've done some research and it really looks like LRTI is the best solution for me; but I am surely not looking forward to it.

I'm 61 and my doc loves to point out that it won't get better and I won't heal any better in 10 years....so on I go.

I'll check back as I progress through the course of treatment...

Mel_Rose
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 7/7/2017 5:33 AM (GMT -7)   
I did also have several rounds of steroid injections over the course of several years. At first they worked very well. After a while, I found they did very little, if any good. Then I just stopped and endured the pain for as long as I could for about a year until I opted for surgery on my right hand.

I am at about 4 weeks out, now, and in a removable splint, only taken off to shower, to massage the scar, and to do the prescribed range of motion exercises on my wrist, tip of thumb, and to make a fist. I never move that thumb joint.

I do have more pain than I'd like to have at this point...although I do recognize that it's improving every day. Little by little I'm able to do more and more. What I'm experiencing seems to be more "surface" nerve-type pain associated with the scar and the splint touching my arm and the area around the thumb and incision. I'm feeling REALLY impatient with this whole no right hand thing! I think PT will start in 2 weeks when I have my next follow-up.

My year long plan was to do this hand in June...then the non-dominant hand in November or December.

confused Now I am wondering if I want to go through this all again. I know it will be better with it not being my dominant hand. I guess time will tell after the healing is mostly done. smilewinkgrin

I really have done well with previous surgeries. I'm just anxious to get back to "normal" again.

Mel_Rose
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 7/7/2017 5:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh...I did mean to add that when I went back to get my splint on at the 2 week mark, I did have my doc go ahead and give me a steroid injection in my left hand thumb joint. It was much needed at that point as it was pulling double duty.

Although it was really hurting for 24 hours following the injection, and I was left with no hands to use shocked , it REALLY helped my left hand make it through this time of hard work. My left hand also has not had nearly as many injections over the years as the right...so I figured I would give it a try since I was hurting so badly with it.

plo
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2017
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 7/7/2017 11:43 PM (GMT -7)   
I had LCMC today. First, the RN started an IV when needle not in vein. Anesthesiologist had to start over. That hurt the most! My doctor ordered a nerve block. Although skeptical because the research I've seen from real patients said that this was an issue, I did one anyway. Doctor said it would hurt too bad when I woke up.

Two things, had 4 shots/yr for about 6 years and my doctor said that his mom was having this surgery after 4 shots! Second, he took care of me for 9 months last year when I broke my kneecap and I am good so he is trusted.

I was asleep before given the nerve block so didn't feel it in my shoulder. I was also going to have a cortizone injection in the right thumb. Picked non-dominant hand for surgery first since both hands the same. If this works, I will do the other or just continue injections.

Told block will last 24 hours so there is no pain and arm in sling because right now it just dangles and doctor does not want it to swing and hit something. I have no control right now. I have been told to "stay ahead of the pain" so I will start my meds in the AM. It has been 15 hours and feel fine. I am icing the right hand with the injection.

Day 1 - No pain/soft, thick bandage (below elbow, all of thumb, wrist and thumb splint/fingers are totally free/arm in sling until pain block has totally worn off.

plo
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2017
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 7/7/2017 11:50 PM (GMT -7)   
My doctor says that these surgeries are best as you get older. If you are in your 30s, you tend to need your hands for a lot more activities than when you are in your 60s. Younger folks tend to be unhappy if they lose any strength. Most older folks do not miss the little bit they lose.

This is one surgery where older is better, according to my doctor!

plo
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2017
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 7/8/2017 9:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Day 2: I took pain meds every 4-6 hours. The hand with the injection still hurts more than the one with the surgery. The strangest thing was my uncontrolled swinging arm if I took it out of the sling. The nerve block pretty much had worn off this morning but the pain meds helped. My pain was much like my thumbs were before the surgery. I did try to do things with one hand but I didn't drive, though I think I might have been able to manage it. Right now, I am pretty much painless and am trying to move fingers and end of thumb. Hopefully. it will remain this way.

Jules4747
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2017
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/18/2017 12:29 PM (GMT -7)   
I am so encouraged after reading all these posts. I have OA in both hands and my surgeon has been offering LRTI on my left thumb for over two years but I have been putting up with the pain, first with several Cortizone shots that never lasted long, then using all kinds of natural things to at least keep inflammation down. I refuse to take pain medication because of what it does to the gut. I am a healthy and active 70 year old widow, just starting to have grandbabies I want to be able to pick up and hold. After reading all these posts I have decided to go for it this fall, so I'll be healed by the time my second grandbaby is born. I go to a specialized hand clinic in Seattle. My wonderful surgeon did a different, very difficult surgery on my right hand in 2014, so I trust him completely. Thank you to all for sharing your experiences!

plo
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2017
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 7/18/2017 2:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Yesterday was Day 10. I got stitches out and a splint was replaced with a cast. Not having as much padding, it is achy. The other thumb that got another injection is better but I can tell it is working less and less.

The incision is really ugly but the surgeon says it will go away. The new cast gives my fingers a little more freedom. Keep up with pain meds. This new pain is worse. You still cannot get your hand wet for another 4 weeks. I cannot get nails done for 2 weeks. I cannot exercise for 4 weeks because no sweating! It's 90 degrees so that isn't going to happen.

The doctor already selected a specific OT that I am supposed to see the same day I get my cast off in 4 weeks. He wants therapy to start right away and to wiggle fingers and end of thumb. Also, if the casts gets loose from atrophy, go get a new one right away.

Getting dressed, showers, putting on my seat belt, and turning corners while driving continue to be difficult.

Mel_Rose
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 7/21/2017 5:14 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm now at the 6 week mark. I went yesterday for my follow-up, and my new instructions are that I am still to wear my hard splint at night and also when I'm up and being active, but that I can take it off when I'm just sitting around and not in danger of hurting myself.

I have an appointment set up for PT in on Tuesday, so we can discuss perhaps modifying my brace and activity/PT exercises at at that point. I was bummed to walk out of there in that brace, but happy to be able to sit around free of it sometimes!

I discussed with her (my doc's PA) my ongoing nerve type pain and swelling, and she thought all of this was normal at this point in the game....especially with the nerve being irritated from being moved during surgery, and probably staying irritated by being forced into the splint for so long. I can say that just being out of it what little time I have been has made a difference in how I feel. I think I'll make it!! tongue The splint really just doesn't feel good!!! It's so hard.

I cannot wait to start PT. I think that is going to help bunches. I really feel for all of the people on here who've had to be in a REAL cast for the five or six weeks of this, without any movement of the wrist at all...or any water hitting the arm, etc. I've been there with other surgeries, and this way.....the removable splint way...has been so much better! I was nervous when my doctor gave me the choice between the two...and I ALMOST went with a real cast, because I wasn't sure I could "trust" myself (as my surgeon put it). After the first two weeks of trying to shower in that surgical splint and the plastic bag, etc, though, my mind was made up!!!

I'll post again after PT on Tuesday.

plo
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2017
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 7/25/2017 4:32 PM (GMT -7)   
I have had 2 casts in 1 week. Other than it rubbing my thumb raw, it hurts less than the one with the shot. Stitches out day 10 (last Monday). Hard cast off on August 16 (4 weeks total). OT same day cast will be removed. OT should be about 2-3 months. Will keep postings updated. My OT is specialized in this type of recovery.

plo
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2017
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 7/25/2017 4:38 PM (GMT -7)   
I was given norco and will have removable cast on August 16; however, I still can't even go use the treadmill at gym!
New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
91 posts in this thread.
Viewing Page :
 1  2  3  4 
Forum Information
Currently it is Friday, November 17, 2017 9:25 PM (GMT -7)
There are a total of 2,894,974 posts in 317,755 threads.
View Active Threads


Who's Online
This forum has 157354 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, AndyB80.
343 Guest(s), 5 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
Scots, Hoagie, Scaredy Cat, Girlie, Lynnwood


About Us | Advertise | Donate
Newsletter | Privacy Policy & Disclaimer
Follow HealingWell.com on Facebook Follow HealingWell.com on Twitter Follow HealingWell.com on Pinterest
©1996-2017 HealingWell.com LLC  All Rights Reserved.