Thumb surgery - osteoarthritis LRTI

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New Member

Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/20/2017 3:43 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm having LRTI surgery in both thumbs, my left thumb in July and hopefully my right thumb in the winter. I have chosen to have my left thumb done first, even though my right hand is a little worse (likely because I use it more).

I work at a computer all day so interested in hearing how long people were out of work. I can't get a straight answer from my surgeon. All he says is that I won't have full use of my thumb for 4 months. I told my boss I'd probably be off two weeks maximum so hope I am not painting too rosy of a picture!

Questions -1. For those who work office/computer jobs and have had this done, how long were you totally off work? 2. And second, any comments on having my left hand done first (I'm right handed)? Both hurt all the time. But my thinking is that if the left surgery thumb doesn't work, then I won't do the right thumb at all.


New Member

Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 6/27/2017 6:17 AM (GMT -6)   
If you have the luxury of taking two weeks off take it. I went back to work after 6 days and still had to ice the hand all the time. After 2 weeks when I got the 1/2 cast off and the splint on it was much more manageable. The 4 fingers in the splint were mobile.
Good Luck your 2 week plan sounds like good one!

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 6/28/2017 8:36 AM (GMT -6)   
I had my dominant hand (right) done March 2. I was off work for 11 days then after I got my cast I was released for light duty. I had a bear of a time typing and writing but managed. After 2 weeks of that cast I got a removable splint and started therapy. I worked the whole time and eventually weaned off the splint and now that I am done with therapy I am almost back to normal. Just some pain and stiffness in the joint area but no one can tell I had surgery.
IMHO get the right one done if it is your dominant hand. You'll be glad you did.
Good luck!

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2017
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/30/2017 12:21 AM (GMT -6)   
I am scheduled for LRTI on the 6th. Reading posts sure helps with concerns and some of the questions regarding this surgery. Wish there was videos to watch actual progress and complaints. Quite scary surgery in its self. I use my hands constantly from milking goats and making my soaps to painting, playing tin whistle and ukulele. Has anyone had issues with grasping and squeezing after surgery? I have read that there is still pain afterwards though i hope it does go away. Does the hand lay straight again or is the thumb still turned in towards the palm? I hope I am making sense. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2017
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 11/5/2017 1:38 AM (GMT -6)   
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.
Animalan good luck with your surgery.
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