Trapeziectomy?

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snowdrop123
snowdrop123 Member Posts: 41
edited 15. Mar 2015, 15:51 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi everyone

I have OA in the joints at the base of my thumbs and I currently have steriod injections in them every few months. They help the pain (a bit) but will probably stop helping the pain at all fairly soon, according to the consultant. He has advised me that I will probably need to have a trapeziectomy (removal of the bone at the base of the thumb). I was wondering whether anyone on the forum has had this kind of sugery and if so how it went for them? Did they get full mobility of their thumbs back and did it cure the pain?
Best wishes
Snowdrop123

Comments

  • Michelle63
    Michelle63 Member Posts: 63
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I had a trapeziectomy on my right thumb in September 2013. There is a longish thread on here if you have a little search as well. I am glad I had the surgery ( left needs doing shortly too ) It is very frustrating surgery as it completely changes the anatomy and function of the hand. Recovery is very slow and even at 16 months post op I would still say that there is still room for improvement. That said it is hugely improved compared to before the surgery. Some tasks are still a little tricky....opening cans and peeling vegetables with a knife as opposed to a peeler. I have had to make some adaptations to my life such as a lighter iron, vegetable peeler and using my left hand for opening jars. My hand also feels the cold a lot more than it used too. I go to the gym 3 times a week and can lift a 5kg dumbell with my right hand now and the circulation seems to have improved also. I can't put full weight on it in a press up position and I have lost some flexion in the wrist. It doesn't affect my daily living but occasionally it can be painful if I overuse it. On the whole the benefits outweigh the negatives. The first 3 months are the worst. Please feel free to message me privately for further information if you would like.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,730
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Snowdrop, I've just bumped up an old thread for you. It should be around on this page. Hope it's useful.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,281
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello snowdrop123
    Im afraid I wont be any help, this is on my list of ops and keep putting it off..glad SW has bumped up the thread for you...good luck..
    Love
    Barbara
  • villier
    villier Member Posts: 4,426
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Snowdrop I see SW has bumped up the old thread hope it answers some of your questions. I had mine done on November 2013 and haven't looked back, you will see at one point I had numbness on the side of my thumb I am pleased to say the feeling has come back. My surgeon told me I would lose about 10% grip in my thumb afterwards, as I have Neuropathy in my hands I have weakness there anyway and I can honestly say I don't find much difference after the surgery. I have great movement in my thumb and no pain unless I have been too adventuress and overdone things.

    If there are any other questions you want to ask feel free and I will be only to pleased to help if I can...............Marie xx
    Smile a while and while you smile
    smile another smile and soon there
    will be miles and miles of smiles
    just because you smiled I wish your
    day is full of Smiles
  • snowdrop123
    snowdrop123 Member Posts: 41
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thank you all for your help. I've read the thread that SW bumped up for me and it was very reassuring to read what was said. I guess that we're all a bit worried about having operations since there is always a chance that things could go wrong and make things worse. It was good to hear that others have recovered well and felt that the op was worth doing. I've an appointment at the injection clinic in a couple of weeks so I'll talk to the consultant again about it. When I talked to him last time he said that I would have 'limited mobility with my thumbs after surgery' which put me right off. It sounds as if this might not be as bad as I imagined after reading the posts and comments on the forum.
    Thanks again.
    snowdrop123
  • bimble
    bimble Member Posts: 42
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Just a thank you to SW for the trapeziectomy thread.
    The operation was suggested to me at my very first consultant appointment if the steroid injection didn't work and I was more than a little concerned. The injection did nothing but my thumbs are behaving quite well at the moment anyway.
    Reading the various posts reminds me not to get lulled into a false sense of security though! There's so much information and help on these forums, I'm so glad I found you!
  • snoopy6691
    snoopy6691 Member Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi everyone
    I've just joined as I spotted Snowdrops post re Trapeziectomy.
    I have OA in hands (fyi I am 48 and still in FT work) and I have a scheduled Trapeziectomy booked for 12th March. 27 days and counting. So I too will be checking the previous threads for hints and tips pre and post op. Found one tip online last night about making a rolled up towel sandwich between two pillows to support hand and keep it raised while sleeping. Might even try that sooner to help with the swelling.

    Cheers to all
    Snoops
    Spinal fuson, THR, shoulder stabilisation... and now hands!
    :lol:
  • Michelle63
    Michelle63 Member Posts: 63
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I used the towel trick but I also put a dining room chair ( the back facing ) against the side of the bed and propped my arm up against that as I slept..if that makes sense. It may mean swapping sides for the opposite arm though. Other main tips are ....don't wear any clothes to hospital that have buttons or zips. Track suit and tee shirts are your friends. Don't even think about a bra !!!! And definitely buy a Limbo arm cover for baths and showers ..worth every penny.
  • villier
    villier Member Posts: 4,426
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Michelle has given you a few good tips there, I actually did manage to wear a bra I had one that had stretchy sides and straps so managed to pull it over my head and managed with the one hand. The cast I had when I came out of hospital was massive I couldn't get my arm through the sleeve of my jacket, I had to eventually cut the sleeve of and old jacket.

    If you live on your own like me, I did a batch cooking so had plenty of meals in the freezer, I also took out a variety of crockery and pans and left them on a work top for easy accesss.

    The emphasis after the operation is keeping your hand elevated, they will give you a sling for daytime.

    If pocket duties are required give us a shout and please let us know how you get on. xx
    Smile a while and while you smile
    smile another smile and soon there
    will be miles and miles of smiles
    just because you smiled I wish your
    day is full of Smiles
  • Michelle63
    Michelle63 Member Posts: 63
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I keep remembering little things. For massaging the scar don't spend out on the really expensive bio oil....Wilkinsons do a cheaper version of stretch mark oil which was just as good as the other makes. My physio was very impressed with the results. Batch cooking is a great idea. An electric can opener is something that wished I had bought.....had to pop next door a couple of times. When eating I used to chase the plate or bowl around the table, some of that cheap nonstick shelf liner soon put stop to that. But the most important bit of information is to do the physio ( I am sure you will anyway ) I hated some of the exercises but the end result proved that the effort was worth it.
    I have an ortho consult next week for the left thumb. I am going to try and manage without the op until June 2016 as I work as a teaching assistant with a young lad who had a brain tumour and I really want to see that out for him.
  • Michelle63
    Michelle63 Member Posts: 63
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Also forgot to add on another positive note....I went skiing 16 weeks post op. Bit tricky holding the pole and I avoided the button lifts but otherwise no real problems.
  • snoopy6691
    snoopy6691 Member Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thank you so much for the hints and tips. I have ordered the limbo arm cover now, and can put a chair by my bed, and luckily its the correct side..... if the right hand needs the op then I'll have to swap sides.
    I live with hubby and my youngest who is 22 and she's a star. My son is in London studying, so won't be around to help but will no doubt keep me occupied with phone calls and downloads.
    My mum is also coming down from Scotland the day before and staying for the first week. We lost my dad 5 months ago, so she is looking forward to being around the family and feeling useful.
    I need a bra (won't go into tmi) but family are used to dressing me due to all the ops in the past.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,730
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi there, Snoopy. I don't think we've 'met' so I just wanted to say hello and welcome. I hope your op goes well and, if we can be of any help, please ask. (A separate thread is useful as then people can tell at a glance what it's all about :) )

    By the way, I gave up on bras many years ago. Luckily, their absence is barely noticeable :lol: )
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • snowdrop123
    snowdrop123 Member Posts: 41
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi all

    I just wanted to say that I've seen my consultant and I've signed up for the op on my right hand so I'm on the waiting list. Cheers for the tips. An electric tin opener sounds like a very useful gadget to have, a plastic cover for baths and showers could be very handy too and I'll see if I can manage any of my bras one handed.

    Good luck with the op on the 12th Snoopy6691.
    Best wishes
    Snowdrop123
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,281
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I hope you have a speedy recover, and be pain free in no time..and the same to Snoopy6691 will be thinking of you on the 12th .think I would do without the bra for a while...xx
    Love
    Barbara
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,730
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    My best wishes too for a successful op and a speedy recovery :D
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • snoopy6691
    snoopy6691 Member Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Its all becoming a bit real now. 3 sleeps! 2 days at work and 1 to get my act together. ?..
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,730
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I'm sure all will be well but I recognise the collywobbles :) I'll be thinking of you, Snoopy.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • snoopy6691
    snoopy6691 Member Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    All done
    Major pain after op so was in recovery for over an hour but I think the fact that I live on Paracetamol and Tramadol means it takes more to give me effect.
    Anyway was home by 4pm and as long as I keep it up then hand is ok. Fingers and thumb tip moving ok, hand swollen so glad I removed my wedding ring.

    Not much more to add really. Learning to do things with one hand and slept with it between 2 pillows as suggested here. Will try out the Limbo tomorrow.

    Cheers all!
  • villier
    villier Member Posts: 4,426
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Glad it went well snoopy hopefully you will have a quick recovery I was lucky my hand didn't swell I didn't even have a bruise. If you can't get the limbo on over the cast which I couldn't as mine was so big I managed to tie a bin liner on over my arm to shower and it worked a treat. I haven't been on this week as I have had a lot of appointments and one thing and another but things have settled down now if there are questions you want to ask please feel free I will be around......................Marie x
    Smile a while and while you smile
    smile another smile and soon there
    will be miles and miles of smiles
    just because you smiled I wish your
    day is full of Smiles
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,730
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Glad you're all done and dusted. How's it today, Snoopy.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Megrose489
    Megrose489 Member Posts: 779
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    So pleased that it went well for you, Snoopy. i may have to have this op in the future - now on the injections every few months - so I've found this thread very interesting and reassuring.

    I hope that things are continuing to improve.

    Meg
  • Michelle63
    Michelle63 Member Posts: 63
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Glad it's all done and dusted, did you have a general anaesthetic or a regional block? Take it easy and don't overdo it.
  • snoopy6691
    snoopy6691 Member Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Evening everyone.
    It was done under a general Michelle and I'm really pleased I didn't have to hear the op at all. That must be awful.
    Hand is ok during the day but in the evening it really aches. Still swollen across knuckles too. The limbo works well in the shower with hubby dishing out the shampoo and conditioner. One handed hairdrying is bringing on a whole new style!