Hand arthritis - Surgery recommended

COTSTUB Member Posts: 2
edited 18. Aug 2015, 11:34 in Living with Arthritis archive
I am new to this forum. I have been diagnosed with severe arthritis of the base of the thumb, The X Ray shows considerable deformation if the bones and the usual swelling associated with long term sufferers. It is beyond effective pain management by all advised drugs and injections. Surgery has been advised to remove a part of the hand, the part most affected by the damage done by the arthritis.

It is reasonably clear the surgeon recommended is highly practised (his record can be seen publicly) and is certainly very convincing in consultation. Nevertheless it is an operation from which there is no return. My experience some years ago with 'expert' recommendation to treat my prostate cancer was also by an expert, and I consulted more than one surgeon before making my decision which of the several surgical treatments to choose. Firstly I had the impression that each surgeon had his favourite treatment, all of which were flagged with unwelcome possible/probable side effects. Secondly none of them told me of two other surgical procedures that had been found to result in less periferal or long term damage, procedures that were at the time still in the USA and not yet generally practised in the UK (but I found a surgeon here and have ever since been thankful I asked around and pestered for more information).

I am now asking if anybody can advise and helping in my decision about the hand arthritis before I make any irrevocable decision.


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Welcome to Arthritis Care Forums COTSTUB from the moderation team.

    As moderators we are here to help with any problems you may have using the message boards.

    There are lots of lovely people here who have a wide range of experiences with arthritis and the problems of living with the condition. Hopefully someone will be along soon who can share their own experience of hand surgery. Your wish be be as informed as possible before making any decision is quite understandable.

    Best wishes

    Moderator AC
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,720
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello COTSTUB and welcome from me too.

    You have certainly been very thorough in your research re the prostate op and I'm glad you had a happy outcome.

    I've not had a hand operation though I've had hips and knees replaced. My wrists have fused themselves and my finger and thumb joints do their own thing, these days relatively painlessly. I'm wondering if your surgeon is proposing to remove part of your actual hand or just part of a joint. I've heard of joints being replaced or fused but maybe not removed.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, the only hand op I had was a double carpal tunnel thing; I have not heard of part of the hand being removed but I do know of some on here who have had fusions and joint replacements. This is indeed a big decision and I don't envy you. I think you are wise to do as much research as possible and yes, I agree that surgeons (like all doctors) have their favourite options and procedures.

    In my arthritic years the most effective pain management I have discovered is general anaesthetic but, alas, it renders one useless. Other pain relief options dull the sharper edges and no more, it's always there, twanging away in the background. I wish you well and please let us know how things go. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • Michelle63
    Michelle63 Member Posts: 63
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi, I have had a trapezectomy. It will be 2 years this September. There is quite a long thread if you search for trapeziectomy/ thumb surgery which will give you a lot of information. I am glad I had to done but I would say that I was a little unprepared for....the length of recovery time and how difficult the first few weeks were. That said I would have it done again and am hanging on as long as possible for the left one to be done. I went skiing 3 months after the op ...did have some difficulties but hubby helped out with putting boots on etc. I have been going to the gym since last November and can bicep curl a 6 KG dumbbell with my right hand, I could do more but my grip is only 95% of its original which is usual. There is very little that I cannot do except very tight jar lids and stiff toilet handles!!!!! Feel free to message me x