Left hand knuckle replacement

Options
lindalegs
lindalegs Member Posts: 5,393
edited 31. Aug 2016, 11:09 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hello everyone,

I thought I would drop in and let you know that last Monday, 7th July 2016, I had the knuckles replaced on my left hand.

I was awake for the duration of the operation which took 2 hours 20 minutes. Normally it takes 90 minutes and as a consequence of the length of time taken, the tourniquet on my arm became more and more painful. The pressure on it was released slightly just before the implants were inserted so I was able to bear the last part of the operation .....just, with slent tears filling my ears! :cry:

I am now in plaster and will have this removed next Thursday on 14th July. Then I will have a splint made for me which, I understand, I will have to wear for a further four weeks.

My pain control is good and I'm taking oral morphine in liquid form along with paracetamol and naproxen.

As I can only use my left hand to feed myself, due to my right elbow being fused, I am suffering the frustration of having to be fed, my teeth cleaned, hair brushed, nose wiped etc, etc. My first morning at home from hospital I did burst into angry, frustrated tears only to realise, mid-flow, that I was unable to dry my soggy face! (That will teach me to be a drama queen! :roll: :lol: ) Mr Legs is also reaching the end of his tether and we both are looking forward to Thursday. :D

Anyway, this is for those who may be faced with the same operation sometime in the future.

Love,
Love, Legs x
'Make a life out of what you have, not what you're missing'
«1

Comments

  • Numptydumpty
    Numptydumpty Member Posts: 6,417
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    Crikey Linda, that sounds "challenging!" Yet you still think of others and post here, you amazing lady.
    I've been offered knuckle replacement, and have been thinking seriously about it, having read your post, I think I'll think for a bit longer!
    Take care and heal well, and remember, it'll all be worth it in the end xx
    Numpty
  • tkachev
    tkachev Member Posts: 8,332
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    Oh Linda do you know why the operation took longer than usual?

    I'm glad the op is over and you can look forward to better times ahead but know how frustrated you must feel in the meantime.

    Hope all is well with Jack Spratt and the twins :).

    Elizabeth xx
    Never be bullied into silence.
    Never allow yourself to be made a victim.
    Accept no ones definition of your life

    Define yourself........

    Harvey Fierstein
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,730
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    :o :shock:

    Blimey, Legs, you don't do things by halves, do you? Does the NHS supply the Marriage Guidance that seems an inevitable consequence or will you just have to cajole those lovely grandchildren of yours to feed you? (“Come on, Jack! Just three more mouthfuls. Remember I did it for you.”)

    Congratulations on surviving what seems to have been a deeply unpleasant op. (Note the restrained language. I don't want to get banned but you'll get my drift I'm sure.)

    As you and I have had arthritis since dinosaurs rules the earth I know you'll not be disturbed when I say I've only ever met one person who has had this op. It was waaaay back in the early 70's when it was all extremely experimental. It worked well except that she subsequently stuck tight to anything cold. If she got a milk bottle out of the fridge she couldn't let go of it for a minute or so. Once, in winter, she became glued to Mr SW's leather jacket for several seconds. Well, that was her story.

    However, I'm sure they have come a long way in 40 years. After all, you don't see many people walking down the street clutching milk bottles, do you?

    I shall look forward to hearing your progress. Please let's know when you become a big girl and can feed yourself and also how the marriage is doing :wink:
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • ichabod6
    ichabod6 Member Posts: 843
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    Hello Linda with the Legs,

    How did you type the posr and can you use your ereader?
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    Hello Legs, I see that yet again you are doing the arthritis thing in some style :wink: This sounds to be a rather gruelling time for you and the lovely Mr Legs, I wish you both well and I hope that you continue to make good progress with your recovery. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • lindalegs
    lindalegs Member Posts: 5,393
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    Crikey Linda, that sounds "challenging!" Yet you still think of others and post here, you amazing lady.
    I've been offered knuckle replacement, and have been thinking seriously about it, having read your post, I think I'll think for a bit longer!
    Take care and heal well, and remember, it'll all be worth it in the end xx
    Numpty


    Hi Numpty, don't dismiss the op yet, wait and see how I go on. I can be your guinea pig if you like :wink: We all react differently to operations and recover at different rates. Yes the op was tough but the anesthetist took good care of me and I was in safe hands.

    Why are you considering the op, is it to improve your grip and give better function?

    When my plaster's off I shall post before and after photos which you might find interesting.

    Take care and thanks for replying.

    Love,
    Love, Legs x
    'Make a life out of what you have, not what you're missing'
  • lindalegs
    lindalegs Member Posts: 5,393
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    tkachev wrote:
    Oh Linda do you know why the operation took longer than usual?

    I'm glad the op is over and you can look forward to better times ahead but know how frustrated you must feel in the meantime.

    Hope all is well with Jack Spratt and the twins :).

    Elizabeth xx


    Hi E, good to see you! My op took longer because my fingers are so complex in their deformity, I heard them say I was unique ....sometimes I so wish I wasn't! :roll:

    Jack Spratt starts school in September, when he saw my arm he immediately started limping, dropped his trousers and showed me his Minion plaster because he has a poor-poor too :D

    The babies are 6 months old and a joy! I still managed to hold them even with my arm in plaster! :D

    How are you are your family?

    Love,
    Love, Legs x
    'Make a life out of what you have, not what you're missing'
  • lindalegs
    lindalegs Member Posts: 5,393
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    :o :shock:

    Blimey, Legs, you don't do things by halves, ..........As you and I have had arthritis since dinosaurs rules the earth I know you'll not be disturbed when I say I've only ever met one person who has had this op. It was waaaay back in the early 70's when it was all extremely experimental. It worked well except that she subsequently stuck tight to anything cold. If she got a milk bottle out of the fridge she couldn't let go of it for a minute or so. Once, in winter, she became glued to Mr SW's leather jacket for several seconds. Well, that was her story..............how the marriage is doing :wink:


    Hi Sticky,
    :lol::lol::lol:
    I don't think there's much chance of me adhering to leather jackets in winter nor milk bottles as my implants are made of plastic, still I shall remember as an excuse that should any desirable hunk pass by! :lol:

    Mr Legs and I are better now, we were both quite low when I posted but part of that is acceptance and realising it's only for a short time.

    I will keep this thread running whilst there's news to impart. :)

    Love,
    Love, Legs x
    'Make a life out of what you have, not what you're missing'
  • lindalegs
    lindalegs Member Posts: 5,393
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    ichabod6 wrote:
    Hello Linda with the Legs,

    How did you type the posr and can you use your ereader?


    Hello Ichabod,

    I've found Siri on my phone which allows me to dictate emails and texts, though I'm doing this one-handed ...I won't be beaten :D

    Yes, I can still manage my Kindle, so no complaints on that score.

    Love,
    Love, Legs x
    'Make a life out of what you have, not what you're missing'
  • lindalegs
    lindalegs Member Posts: 5,393
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    dreamdaisy wrote:
    Hello Legs, I see that yet again you are doing the arthritis thing in some style :wink: This sounds to be a rather gruelling time for you and the lovely Mr Legs, I wish you both well and I hope that you continue to make good progress with your recovery. DD


    Hi DD,

    Thank you, counting the days till the plaster's removed! :wink::D

    Love,
    Love, Legs x
    'Make a life out of what you have, not what you're missing'
  • lindalegs
    lindalegs Member Posts: 5,393
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    Day 8

    I've reacted badly to the morphine! :shock: :roll:

    I realised what was happening when I lost my appetite and began to feel nauseous so I started anti-metics and also lowering the dose of morphine.

    I took my last dose on Sunday but the damage was done and I spent yesterday with a bad headache, vomiting and with diarrhea too. This continued throughout the night but was a bit better this morning. I am now eating a little and drinking lots, I could do neither yesterday.

    Even though I'm off the morphine I have no pain in my hand. It is a brilliant drug for relieving pain immediately and for making you sleep but be careful because this aftermath can creep up on you. Again we're all different but I wonder now if I needed it at all. I was told to take it to keep on top of the pain but it's not like knee replacements when we have to weight bear. I shall refuse it for my next hand op that's for sure ....unless the pain gets unbearable! :lol:

    Love,
    Love, Legs x
    'Make a life out of what you have, not what you're missing'
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,730
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    That sounds nasty and I hope recovery will be quick.

    Apart from briefly, post op. I've only ever had morphine for the week I was in hospital after breaking a hip (while they decided if it was bone cancer as it came hot on the heels of my breast cancer. It wasn't.) I spent the week alternating between intense pain and intense nausea and recall telling our lovely young curate who came to visit me “I'm sorry, I can't open my eyes. If I look at you I'll throw up.”

    Hospitals are very big on 'keeping on top of the pain'. I've never really accepted this. I prefer to know the score and start reducing asap.

    I hope you can now move forwards with your customary speed and good humour.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • lindalegs
    lindalegs Member Posts: 5,393
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    Thanks Sticky, I am back to normal again as food is delicious once more .....beans on toast for tea and I'm salivating at the thought! a015.gif

    That sounds like morphine, yuk, I am definitely going to be more cautious in future!

    Love,
    Love, Legs x
    'Make a life out of what you have, not what you're missing'
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,281
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    Hello Linda sorry I am late we have been away for a few days..no wounder you had a crying episode...you have and are going through so much..but are always upbeat for us lot..how interesting that the morphine can cause your appetite to go..I have the patches that are similar and have been blaming my kidneys for the loss of appetite..I am glad to hear that the pain is not to bad..and really do wish you a good recovery..keep us updated..x
    Love
    Barbara
  • lindalegs
    lindalegs Member Posts: 5,393
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    barbara12 wrote:
    Hello Linda sorry I am late we have been away for a few days..no wounder you had a crying episode...you have and are going through so much..but are always upbeat for us lot..how interesting that the morphine can cause your appetite to go..I have the patches that are similar and have been blaming my kidneys for the loss of appetite..I am glad to hear that the pain is not to bad..and really do wish you a good recovery..keep us updated..x


    Thanks Barbara. :D

    Perhaps your loss of appetite is the morphine too then. :roll:

    (You have a little four year old birthday to celebrate soon as we do ....have fun!)

    Love,
    Love, Legs x
    'Make a life out of what you have, not what you're missing'
  • lindalegs
    lindalegs Member Posts: 5,393
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    Day 10

    My plaster was removed this morning. Normally it's left on for 2 weeks but because the weight of it was putting strain on my only mobile elbow they agreed it should come off. b020.gif

    My scar is very neat, has healed beautifully and is horizontal running parallel to my fingernails across all my knuckles.

    My hand looks odd ....it looked odd before but now it's sort of weird because it doesn't look anything like a normal hand and has changed vastly from my old style :shock: It is swollen and bruised but I can see the potential as there are no lumps and bumps in fact my fingers are in a much better position. (I do realise it's very early days.)

    I have managed to get a pinch grip already with the first two fingers which made the physio nearly fall off her chair! :lol:

    I have had a splint made and wear a stockinet to help reduce swelling. I have to wear the splint constantly whilst my re-positioned guiders learn to stay on top of the joint where belong and not at the side.

    I remove the splint to do my exercises for 2 minutes every hour.

    I have to wear this splint for 4 more weeks.

    The downside is I still can't start feeding myself for another week (I know it's only a week even I can manage that:D) The upside is I reckon I am going to love my new hand dearly f035.gif

    I did have photos taken but they are not pretty and could shock some, so I shan't post these early ones as it might put people off who're considering this surgery like you Numpty. I will put some up when the swelling has reduced.

    Off to admire my hand :P

    Love,
    Love, Legs x
    'Make a life out of what you have, not what you're missing'
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,281
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    (You have a little four year old birthday to celebrate soon as we do ....have fun!)

    We do Linda.. :D we have one not long turned 15 and the eldest is nearly 19 so the little pone keeps us feeling young.. :lol: so glad to hear your hand is healing well, I cant imagine what it must look like..but I am sure you will put picture on when ready..like you say dont want to scare anyone...I love how you will appreciate it more with having to be fed..always an upside with you... :) you take care xx
    Love
    Barbara
  • Numptydumpty
    Numptydumpty Member Posts: 6,417
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    Hi Linda,
    Yes, grip and function are the reasons I'm considering the op. The surgeon who fused my wrist suggested it, along with thumb surgery, but life keeps happening and the time never seems right. Last year I had a triple foot fusion ( yes Sticky, I know I don't have three feet :wink: ) and was intending to think seriously about this op once that had healed properly. I'm putting it on hold again now though. I've just had scans to see whether Tocilizumab is working adequately for me, the good news is that it is, the bad news is the scans showed badly torn shoulder tendons, which my rheumy says needs surgery ASAP !
    Photos wouldn't put me off, I tend to YouTube any procedure I'm having, weird I know, but I find it helps me to know just what's likely to happen.
    Congratulations on the pinch grip, keep up the good work!
    Take care
    Numpty x
  • lindalegs
    lindalegs Member Posts: 5,393
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    barbara12 wrote:
    (You have a little four year old birthday to celebrate soon as we do ....have fun!)

    We do Linda.. :D we have one not long turned 15 and the eldest is nearly 19 so the little pone keeps us feeling young.. :lol: so glad to hear your hand is healing well, I cant imagine what it must look like..but I am sure you will put picture on when ready..like you say dont want to scare anyone...I love how you will appreciate it more with having to be fed..always an upside with you... :) you take care xx


    Thanks Barbara, I see you get the trials and joys of all ages! :lol:

    Love, (Knuckles! :wink: ) x
    Love, Legs x
    'Make a life out of what you have, not what you're missing'
  • lindalegs
    lindalegs Member Posts: 5,393
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    Hi Linda,
    Yes, grip and function are the reasons I'm considering the op. ...........Photos wouldn't put me off, I tend to YouTube any procedure I'm having, weird I know, but I find it helps me to know just what's likely to happen.
    Numpty x


    Hi Numpty,

    I agree you're weird :wink: for me I don't mind reading text but I wouldn't enjoy watching what's going to happen :shock:

    I will put photos up but I will wait till some of swelling has gone. I'll probably do 'Before', Straight After Surgery' and then 'After'

    Love,
    Love, Legs x
    'Make a life out of what you have, not what you're missing'
  • lindalegs
    lindalegs Member Posts: 5,393
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    Day 14

    On Day 12 I had a melt down, it wasn't pretty. The frustration and humility of being fed, having my teeth cleaned, nose blown, etc finally made me explode! 30 years of not doing stuff for myself erupted in a hot stream of rantings, mumblings, cursing, tears and yes, snot! :shock: :shock: I was one crazy woman and it left me shell shocked, weak, a wreck and no further forward :roll:

    Today I am calm and feeling like myself, I could still cry whilst being fed etc but the mask is back in place and I'm pretending I feel cheerful again. Hey-ho such is my life :roll: :cry:

    Love,
    Love, Legs x
    'Make a life out of what you have, not what you're missing'
  • Numptydumpty
    Numptydumpty Member Posts: 6,417
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    ((((())))) Emotions are clearly running high, quite naturally under the circumstances!
    You seem to be coping very well in a very difficult situation, but I guess you have no choice :wink:
    This will pass and things will be better, you are amazing.
    Take care
    Numpty x
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    ((((( lindalegs ))))) DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,730
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Options
    Frankly, Legs, in your situation I think it would be a toss up as to whether I or Mr SW had the first meltdown. You're doing well. Both of you.
    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
    Options
    Hello legs, how are things going now? I've been thinking of you. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben