Reassurance Needed

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catty5575
catty5575 Member Posts: 4
edited 6. Oct 2016, 10:04 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi I just need some reassurance. I had my trapeziectomy on my left thumb 14 weeks ago. I have hardly any mobility in my thumb and have now been told I may have developed CRPS. I can't drive, can't do buttons or hold a knife, things like that. My GP is now considering letting me return to work in a supermarket.

I just feel as though things are going from bad to worse.

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  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,730
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi there and welcome to the forum.

    I have had several joint replacement ops but no trapeziectomies. However, quite a few people on here have had them, some quite recently so I hope one or another will be around soon to help.

    My understanding, purely from what I've read on here, is that recovery times vary so no need to panic if you don't fit the prescribed mould. Often it's just a matter of persevering with the exercises, little and often at first, until the muscles strengthen. However, we are just people with arthritis and have no medical training. Your docs and physio are the ones who know you best.

    What I can do is offer some tips on coping while things are difficult. These are all things which can be bought at any decent disability store, 'real' or online, sometimes even on Amazon.

    Buttons? - a button hook
    Knife? - put foam tubing round the handle
    Opening tins and jars? - buy electric openers

    Driving, I can't help with. Obviously, if the pain makes you unsafe, it has to be left on hold until things improve.

    Here is a leaflet put out by Southampton NHS regarding trapeziectomy aftercare and exercises. http://tinyurl.com/zarqpfz

    I'm afraid I know nothing about Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome but this is what NHS Choices says about it http://tinyurl.com/cch3w2c
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Megrose2
    Megrose2 Member Posts: 331
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    So sorry to hear that you're having a tough time recovering from your trapeziectomy. I had my operation a month ago.

    Sticky is right, in that it can take a while for things to improve. I've read about people despairing of their hand ever being right after the operation, only to find that some time down the road they realised they were able to use it successfully and they could do things they couldn't have done before the operation. So, don't give up. 3-4 months is still early days, really.

    Make sure you do your exercises regularly and keep strengthening your thumb. Are you still under your Occupational Therapist? Maybe you could have a word with him/her? Or ask your GP for another referral?

    I hope that things gradually improve for you. Take care.

    Meg
  • catty5575
    catty5575 Member Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thank you for your replies. My therapist says one thing and gp another so just needed to get the reassurance you've given
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,730
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Not knowing what to do for the best is always difficult especially if the health professionals disagree. In your case I'd go with the physio but, whatever happens, I hope things improve for you. Do keep in touch.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Scampdog
    Scampdog Member Posts: 43
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Gosh you really are "the old hand" so to speak at Trapeziectomy's mine was just over four weeks ago on my right !, I am having problems with stiff fingers and a thumb that wiggles but will not bend due to constant rubbing in the cast etc, ...such a debilitating operation you just don't realise how much you need two hands until you lose the use of one and if its the dominant one even worse !....I am starting intensive treatment on my hand this week to try and get things moving, but I still have lots of swelling....hope your hand improves soon we all get better at our own pace, I was told it could take up to 18 months !! Xxx :D
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,281
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Sorry I dont have any advice for you, but do wish you well with the op and hope things improve very soon..oh and welcome to this lovely forum.. :)
    Love
    Barbara
  • catty5575
    catty5575 Member Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thank you to everyone who has posted replies.
  • Scampdog
    Scampdog Member Posts: 43
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Me again, swelling and stiffness in my hand after seven weeks has not gone, surgeon referred me to a RA clinic as sticky fluid was spotted during surgery, today RA specialist told me she thinks I have CRPS but will wait for results of tests to confirm this or RA ?, pain is pretty bad too at times fingers will not go straight !, maybe you should ask for a referral to a RA clinic too ? as for going back to work words fail me !, if your pain is anything like mine and I assume it is no way could you work !! i treat my hand like precious cargo which it is Xxx