LRTI surgery recovery sharing

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Mel_Rose
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Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 7/25/2017 6:00 PM (GMT -7)   
plo,

I'm sorry you're so limited in your physical activity! My walking is the only thing that has kept me sane over the past 7 weeks! I'm able to take my splint and sock off and wash both after a walk.

I got in to PT today at around the 7 week mark. It feels good to be doing something with my hand. I'm not able to, or supposed to move it much yet....but my therapist thinks I'll be feeling much better about things soon with the PT. During PT I couldn't get my thumb across my hand to my pinkie....but I already can do that this evening sometimes after a few sessions at home.

She is going to "cut my splint down" next week...then in a couple of weeks move me to a soft brace. I may have a party when I can get rid of the hard one!!!

Lpark
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 7/27/2017 2:27 AM (GMT -7)   
7 week update:
Had removable splint taken off at 6 weeks!! Thank god it had irritated knuckle on thumb so bad no pain meds would ease the hurting!! Told to use hand as normal and to do some PT exercises every hour I was awake. I still have a very swollen thumb which makes it difficult to do the exercises but I am powering thru this!! Ice and ibuprofen help but I don't have time at work to be icing much!!
Wondering if any body else still had swelling at 7 weeks?

Mel_Rose
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 7/27/2017 2:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Lpark,

I am also right at 7 weeks. I still have to wear my removable splint. I don't like it either. I only wear it at night and when I'm up and moving around.

I won't be free to use my hand normally until I'm 12 weeks out.

As far as swelling, I feel like I have a lot! I wake up in the morning and all of my fingers are swollen and it's a process just to get them to move again. PT has been reassuring me that it will all get better with time and movement. My fingers look like sausages a good deal of the time! I am holding my arm up most always.

I'm able to get my thumb to the pinkie....and now working to get it further down towards my palm. It's going faster than I thought it would.

Lpark
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 7/27/2017 4:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Mel rose,
Thanks for responding. I can't get my thumb to my pinkie yet, the thumb is so swollen. It's interesting the different methods for recovery as my splint is gone but my Dr. Has not sent me to PT.
Do you feel the PT is helpful?
I go back to Dr. in late Sept. For him to check mobility.
My fingers aren't swollen just the thumb.
Good luck with your recovery!

Mel_Rose
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 7/27/2017 6:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Lpark,

I do think PT has been helpful, because I really haven't had a good feeling for just what I "should" and "shouldn't" do with my hand....especially given the fact that I'm still in my brace. My therapist is really pushing some of the gentle stretching (even to cause some pain), and then sends me home to do a little bit more each time. I certainly wouldn't have felt comfortable doing some of the things she was doing with me in PT at home, but felt very confident having her guide me to do it in therapy.

It's great that your fingers aren't also swollen! Mine REALLY are! Especially my index finger and middle finger.

The docs really do seem to have different methods!! Good luck to you as well! Thanks for posting!

Wendy the Teacher
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2017
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/3/2017 11:02 AM (GMT -7)   
I truly appreciate these posts! They give me hope that things will work out. I'm 9 days post op for dominant right hand LRTI surgery.

I went to the gym Monday and made the mistake of trying to adjust the footrest on a machine using my right hand, This sent me a zinger. But, later on while I was eating corn on the cob I had muscle spasms in my forearm. I screamed because it hurt so bad.

Now, I'm trying to keep my arm very still but still have spasms at times. Any suggestions?

Thanks!
Wendy

Wendy the Teacher
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2017
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/3/2017 11:06 AM (GMT -7)   
PLO
Why aren't you allowed to go to the gym?
Curious because I've been at the gym twice on days 6 and 8.
Thanks,
Wendy

mathlady
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2017
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/31/2017 8:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi. I am new here and appreciate all your posts. When I first saw this thread it was dated 2013, and since I had my surgery in 2017, I assumed it was old, but I am so happy that it has continued to the present. I joined tonight so that I could post. My name is Kerry, and I am 58, female. I had the base of thumb surgery (replacing bone with tendon) July 11, 2017 on my dominant (right) hand. I also had the middle finger fused, same hand, same time. I have RA but these problems are apparently due to OA. I will have the other hand done next summer if this one works out. The recovery has been slower than I expected. I had the initial dressing for a week, then hard casts for five weeks, then a removable splint this last week and a half (to continue for a few more weeks). My hand was so swollen last week that I called and was prescribed steroids for a few days. Because of the fusion I cannot take ibuprofen or other NSAIDS (except Celebrex which does not seem to help). Apparently NSAIDS interrupt the bone fusion. The splint kinks my wrist in a position that is not natural, bent away from the thumb, and the earlier casts did the same. Now (although I can't bend any fingers very well), I am more worried about the wrist never going back to normal, since with splint off, the wrist still cannot bend to a correct position, even with help from the other hand. I do not mean to scare anyone considering the surgery. I expect this will end up well. But any feedback from others will be appreciated. My doc (whom I highly respect) and his PA are both out of country on separate vacations, so I was left somewhat surprised after the cast removal led to more pain and swelling, and I have minimal use of fingers. Thanks for reading this.

Bayvillgirl
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2017
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/7/2017 11:41 AM (GMT -7)   
This is my first post so pls excuse errs. Had LRTI 9/25, hard cast removed 10/5,very little swelling and can make a fist without thumb. Cast replaced with a splint up to elbow, thumb stationary, which told to wear 24/7 for 6 wks., very irritating in spots but assured PT will adjust at next appmt., will go to a half cast after 6 wks. Am wondering, do they want the thumb stationary while healing? But then won't it freeze in place after 6 wks.? Don't know, have first PT on Tues and can find out then. Try not to take a lot of Rx so am trying to use ice for pain as I did pre-op but will take Aleve if I have to, Tylenol usually has no effect for me. Also wondering, is LRTI the same as a Trapesectomy. MD did tell me after op that he removed the trapezium. Thought the plan was to smooth down the thumb bone and use the tendon as cartilage between. In any event, from reading posts, am encouraged by the many good results, albeit it's a long haul, a year or more. Very frustrating not having dominant hand but will be easier when I have left one done next year. Hope everyone will keep posting, it helps to read them when I'm feeling discouraged and thinking, will this ever get better!

KDiD
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2017
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/11/2017 7:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, can anyone advise me on my options please. I had trapeziectomy and Lrti plus carpel tunnel in my left hand about 4 years ago. I still have grinding in the thumb joint and still experience pain and discomfort especially after physical labor, I use my stint often with anti inflammatory Ned's and it alleviates the pain but it is very restricting. Is this something I'm going to have to live with or are there any treatments that may help me? And why would I have this grinding if the trapeze bone was removed?

Bayvillgirl
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2017
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/11/2017 7:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Kidd, have you been back to your surgeon? Wonder why you have grinding absent the trapezium. Did they fill in space with tendon? I'd revisit your Dr. and see what she/he says. Hope you find an answer, so frustrating living with the pain. Good luck.

Quiltfrog
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2017
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/28/2017 7:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi -new to this forum, had lrti surgeryon dominant hand after4 years of injections, pain, splint, heat, ice. Finally gave in and had it done - i am a quilt and art quilt instructor and things were going down hill fast! So Mt upper extremity ortho did the surgery yesterday and i had a nerve block with a numbing med pump. Fingers are moving now, but arm is dead. No pain yet...😬. Hoping to get bywith advil and tylenol which i did for rotatorcuff repair 2 years ago (i do not like oxycodone), but will take tramadol if ineed to. Any words of wisdom would be appreciated....i do have a prettystrong pain tolerance ! And a very helpful spouse.

Pmb in PA
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2017
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/28/2017 11:22 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Quiltfrog, I am also new to the forum. I had LRTI 10 days ago, and have a half plaster cast. I have been doing my exercises religiously, and I feel good. I have a very high pain tolerance, but really needed Percocet, and still do about once a day. Tylenol just isn’t cutting it. If you had a fusion, don’t use Advil because it inhibits bone growth. My best advice 10 days in is keep it elevated for several days and do the exercises. My cast comes off on Monday. Good luck, and let me know how you are doing!

Bayvillgirl
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2017
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/28/2017 9:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Quiltfrog, I also had the LRTI with trapezium removal 4 wks. ago and doing well. My tip for post-op is to ice. I think my instruction was for 48 hrs post-op but I still use it once in a while for pain instead of a Aleve or Tylenol. The Oxycodone prescribed made my ears ring and felt woozy so was fearful of falling so took my last Rx pain 40 hrs post-op and pain Was pretty miminal. Had a hard cast for 2 wks and now a “portable” cast, 24/7 except for bathing and exercises which started this week. Exercises pretty rugged first few days, but getting easier. One thing I am doing is warming my hand and wrist in warm water before I start, seems to help. OT said in 2 wks. will switch to a half splint and will have that until mid-Jan for 3 mos. and then a hand brace after that for nitetime only. It is really annoying and frustrating not being able to use my dominant hand but am finding ways to work around it, however, still not driving. But think it won’t be too much longer, almost there. Seems like a long time but will be worth it in the end. Will probably need other hand done at sometime, feeling the familiar twinges now. I had a very experienced surgeon and med staff so have been following their advice to the letter. Hope you are progressing. Am a quilter too so know how difficult that’s been with a non-working thumb, but be patient and you’ll be quilting again before you know it!

Quiltfrog
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2017
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/31/2017 5:59 AM (GMT -7)   
hello again - 5 days out now and after a rough day when the pain pump ran out, i'm finally feeling good. no pain meds other than advil since sunday night! Woke up Mon am with half cast and dressing feeling really tight. fortunately my ortho group has an urgent care option so I went in and the cast technician removed dressing and everything else and replaced it with a new much more comfortable half cast and dressing. I have much more mobility In my fingers now, and the pain and swelling is gone. I even got to see the sutures which actually didn't look as bad as expected. I go back next Monday to have this dressing replaced with fiberglass cast for 6 weeks. my advice to anyone at this stage with a lot of swelling and pain is to have the dressing checked - made a huge difference for me. I know all orthos have different protocol, but mine uses the hard cast and complete immobilization of thumb for 6 weeks, and my quilting friends who have had this surgery by same ortho had pretty speedy recovery after cast came off. I''m hanging in there now!

Artist505
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2017
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 11/5/2017 12:32 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello all, I am new to this forum, but have read many of the older posts from those that had LRTI surgery. They were very helpful! Especially, the informative and encouraging ones from Haydena.
I had the surgery 6 weeks ago on my left, (non dominate). I also had a lax tendon on the upper part of my thumb tightened. I was in a bandage/half cast home from the hospital, 4 days later I was put in a fiberglass cast just short of my elbow for 4 weeks. My cast was removed and my physical therapist crafted a removable custom splint basically the same length as the previous cast. I have been in that for about 10 days. I take it off to massage my scars and do limited and very gentle exercises. After the first few days post surgery the pain was manageable without strong pain meds. I only had major pain when I tried to do to much or failed to keep my hand elevated for long periods of time.
I am an artist with a busy handmade artisan business. The biggest challenge for me has been not being able to do things. I am feeling better everyday. At the moment my biggest complaints are frustation and scar discomfort. I massage the scars 4 times a day with an olive oil arnica formula and use silicone gel strip on the scars most of the day.
I purposely choose having my non dominate hand done first to judge if I wanted to have my right hand done. I am terrified of losing my fine motor skills. From every thing I have read and posts I’ve read here I think that is unlikely. I expect to be able to be able to do much more than I have been able to in the last couple of years. I believe being consistent with the post surgery instructions and exercises,(working with a physical hand therapist if possible) has a lot to do with the outcome. It is not a speedy recovery but most think it is worth it.
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