Introducing myself

Rowankaine
Rowankaine Member Posts: 12
edited 6. Aug 2018, 10:11 in Say Hello Archive
My name is Elaine Easthope, i have just registered on this site and I am 70 years old and live in Solihull West Midlands. I have osteoarthritis and would love to talk to people with similar problems.

Comments

  • Rowankaine
    Rowankaine Member Posts: 12
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I had a left hand trapeziectomy 6 weeks ago and need some advice. Two days after the op I was in hospital having the cast removed due to my hand being extremely swollen as the cast was too tight. I then had a soft padded dressing put on for three weeks and went for wound check.
    I was sent home with a small dressing and told it’s healed, see you in three months. Someone will get in touch about physio, they said.
    On Wednesday it will be seven weeks and I’ve tried to find out about physio and have been told I don’t need it for this procedure yet on the pack from the hospital it says I do.
    Now my hand and thumb is swollen and numb and is getting stiff and I’m in awful pain.
    Is this right, could someone let me know?
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Rowankaine,

    Welcome to the forum, lovely to meet you.

    It does seem strange to have had instruction from your hospital to say you need physio only to be told you don't by someone else. Now your hand and thumb are giving you pain and swelling.

    Here is the Arthritis Care leaflet about trapeziectomy- it shows you should have been given exercises to do post surgery, and a splint for use initially all the time. Have you been keeping your hand above your heart? That can lead to swelling, so do keep it raised.

    https://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/assets/000/001/832/Trapeziectomy_Factsheet_Final_web_original.pdf?1508319984

    It looks like physio only starts after about 8 weeks. Have a good read of your pack and maybe make an appointment to see your GP about the swelling and pain.

    We do have members who have had trapeziectomy surgery - I'm sure you will get replies from them once they see your post

    Take care
    Yvonne x
  • Rowankaine
    Rowankaine Member Posts: 12
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    moderator wrote:
    Hi Rowankaine,

    Welcome to the forum, lovely to meet you.

    It does seem strange to have had instruction from your hospital to say you need physio only to be told you don't by someone else. Now your hand and thumb are giving you pain and swelling.

    Here is the Arthritis Care leaflet about trapeziectomy- it shows you should have been given exercises to do post surgery, and a splint for use initially all the time. Have you been keeping your hand above your heart? That can lead to swelling, so do keep it raised.

    https://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/assets/000/001/832/Trapeziectomy_Factsheet_Final_web_original.pdf?1508319984

    It looks like physio only starts after about 8 weeks. Have a good read of your pack and maybe make an appointment to see your GP about the swelling and pain.

    We do have members who have had trapeziectomy surgery - I'm sure you will get replies from them once they see your post

    Take care
    Yvonne x
  • Rowankaine
    Rowankaine Member Posts: 12
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Yvonne

    Thank you for your welcome and information, it’s good to meet you.
    Looking at the link you sent it’s very similar to the pack I was given but things didn’t go as the pack read and I don’t have a splint that fits so cannot use it.
    I have an appointment with my GP on Wednesday and could see him about this then but the pain is getting worse so I’m not sure if I should leave it till then.
    I could ring the surgeons secretary for advice, that could be done tomorrow so another option.
    Thank you again
    Elaine x
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,101
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    No, Elaine. It's not right and it's not good enough. Please, as Yvonne has suggested, see your GP or, better still, ring the surgeon's secretary. Possibly contact your local PALS (Patients' Advice and Liaison Service). https://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/1082.aspx?CategoryID=68

    But please don't feel you are being a nuisance. This needs to be sorted.
  • Rowankaine
    Rowankaine Member Posts: 12
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you for your reply, it’s a relief to know I’m not fussing over this. I knew it would be painful but I’ve been in tears over it and my little finger now feels numb too.
    I will get on to the consultant tomorrow and hopefully get something done.
    Thanks again it’s appreciated.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,101
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    You're certainly not 'fussing'. Please let us know how you get on.
  • Rowankaine
    Rowankaine Member Posts: 12
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Ok , I will do and thank you.
    Elaine
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, I apologize for not replying earlier, I am away so not looking in as often. I have OA in some useful places and am astounded that you were told that things had healed;. on the surface maybe but within? I am not a surgeon or nurse but know from experience that a) Internal healing is a very slow process, especially where there is little flesh about such as on the hands, ankles and feet and b) it is very easy to slip through a hospital net when it comes to referrals. I had a double carpal tunnel operation which took longer to heal than I was told but I knew it would as other medication I have to take impacts the healing process: the same applied when I broke my upper left humerus.

    I hope your appointment with the GP will yield a positive result for you, please let us know what he has to say. I wish you well. DD
  • Rowankaine
    Rowankaine Member Posts: 12
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi, thanks for your reply it’s not pleasant is it? I have oa in my neck, feet hands and knees, which aren’t too bad but the pain from this is not good. I’m sure you know about that.
    All I was asking was that I had the physio I was told would happen but it seems it’s not happening.
    I’m confused as everything I’ve read says it happens. I just wish someone could positivily say yes or no but not sure who to ask. My GP says yes so that’s reassuring and I’ve had a call from the hospital secretary this morning telling me the registra has said not to use a splint, which I’m not doing and just mobilise my hand!!
    What does he think I’m trying to do.
    My hand is swollen and also my thumb, it’s also still numb and it’s really painful, I relayed this to the secretary who has booked an appointment with the consultant in two weeks.
    I apologise for the rant, I’m frustrated at not getting anywhere. Thank you for your kindness.
    Elaine
  • Rowankaine
    Rowankaine Member Posts: 12
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi stickywicket
    Ive sent a message above about what’s happening with my problem, I think it’s time I rang pals as I don’t think I’m getting anywhere, what do you think?
    Many thanks, Elaine
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,101
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Well, I think you have ensured, by your phone calls, that you're getting somewhere but not quickly enough. Here's what I'd do.

    Firstly, I be following the advice that Mod Ellen gave. Keep the wrist elevated as much as possible and try the exercises on the link. Exercising is very important (I've not had a trapeziectomy but I've had joint replacements) but, if you're still at 7 weeks and it normally only starts at 8 weeks I guess another week won't hurt much but I'd probably be sorely tempted to have a very gentle go at the exercises on the page Ellen and Yvonne gave. very, very gently, though. Little and often is much better than trying several on the trot. And, if it still hurts more after 1/2 hr then stop trying.

    Secondly - well, secondly I think I'd expect a bit more from my GP. Is (s)he happy about the numbness? I know from experience that it can happen, and go on, for some months after an operation if the nerves have been cut and have to re-attach but I don't know if this happens with a trapeziectomy.

    Thirdly, PALS? I don't know. You have at least ensured now that you will see your surgeon again soon so maybe the only value in contacting them now would be if you wanted to make a complaint. However, I guess there's an outside chance they might be able to bring the appointment forward for you. Can you hang on that long, painwise?

    Are you using the hand at all? If so, are there actions which make it worse and can you avoid them?

    Can you, at times, keep the wrist in a sort of sling to elevate it and ensure you don't accidentally use it? (I know how easy it is to accidentally use a limb we're trying to 'spare'.)

    There is a vast difference between ranting and telling it like it is. I promise you, you are not ranting. That's quite different.
  • Rowankaine
    Rowankaine Member Posts: 12
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello,
    Yes I’ve started to elevate again and use the sling when I’m out for the swelling which is now across the palm of my hand and my lower arm.
    I’m using bio oil to massage with and carrying on with the exercises I can do without too much pain.
    My GP knows about the numbness but made no comment on it, just wanted me to speak to the secretary which I did.
    I am using my hand with caution as I know I need to keep it moving and numbness is something that can happen due to the nature of the operation and the swelling makes it worse.
    Pals were fine with giving advice, I said it wasn’t a complaint and she’s going to liaise with the surgical team to get answers to my questions which is good.
    It seems physio doesn’t start until 7 to 8 weeks in but they’re saying I’m not on the system so I still need to sort that out.
    Well thank you all for helping me out, looks like I have to wait and see but the pain is making tearful and a little cry helps.
    Many thanks
    Elaine
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Ongoing, unremitting pain is very hard to deal with: it makes us tired, it wears us down, shortens our temper, erodes our self-confidence, self-esteem and morale. Pain is a good alarm system but ONLY when it can be turned off when the cause of the pain is fixed. :roll: Rest assured that we all get it because we've all got it. DD
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,101
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Pain, in itself, is bad enough but when we are concerned about what's happening and why that makes it worse. I'm sure you cope well with your arthritis on a day to day basis but this is different I'm sure.

    I don't know what you take for pain relief or if your GP has temporarily increased it. When things are really tough and I know certain things I must do will make it worse I try to adjust my pill-taking so that I can take some pain relief about half an hour before the event. Not always possible though.

    Believe me we do understand and we're hoping things will improve for you sooner rather than later.
  • Rowankaine
    Rowankaine Member Posts: 12
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you all for your support and suggestions. I’ve now got an appointment with the Surgical team on Monday who are going to assess the situation. That’s all I wanted so I’m sure it will be sorted.
    Elaine
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,101
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    :D:D:D

    Remember we're her if needed :D
  • Rowankaine
    Rowankaine Member Posts: 12
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi all,
    It’s been a while since I’ve been on here,mainly due to illness and hospital appointments for myself and my daughters but I’m beginning to see the light.
    I finally got my physio appointment after my consultation sending two more requests in and my gp telling me to keep ringing the hospital. In all it was 13 weeks!
    I’m going for my second session tomorrow but my hand is now stiff and still swollen and very painful despite already doing the excercises for weeks as instructed but my consultant.
    I just hope things start to improve now especially as the physio had the nerve to say it’s stiff due to lack of physio involvement !
    That’s funny seeing as they told me I didn’t need it 🙂
    I’m hoping things will start to improve now.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,101
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I hope so too. Well done for getting things sorted. Sometimes it's necessary.

    I hope the physio will soon start to help and I'm sorry about the illness(es) and hospital appointments.

    Keep plugging away :D

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