My trapeziectomy

floflegs
floflegs Member Posts: 6
edited 19. Feb 2019, 05:20 in Say Hello Archive
Just joined today and am almost 7 week’s post surgery from a trapeziectomy. Look forward to hearing other people)S experiencies.
After operation I was in PLaster of Paris cast for 10 days. Arm kept in foam sling. Wound healing nicely so redressed and plaster bandage applied for 3 weeks. I had to have corner of this cast cut as rubbing on little finger. Fingers dud not swell but cast round thumb felt tight. On removal wound well healed but wrist bruised as plaster had been tight. Started physio following day.thumb felt numb and intermittent tingling in arm. Wrist even more bruised looking and painful to touch. Told result of tight plaster. Exercises to do. Strength in hand measured and to return next week. Physio pleased with progress and huge increase in strength. More exercises and to return in another 2 weeks. However since this visit exercises have made wrist more painful and I can’t lift anything of any weight. Thumb and hand very stiff ion waking. Told to soak in hot water which does help. Just want to know if progress is normal and any advice folk can give. I am a 72 year old fairly fit woman.

Comments

  • moderator
    moderator Moderator Posts: 4,080
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hellofloflegs and welcome to Arthritis Care/Arthritis Research Forum.

    I'm John, one of the forum moderators.

    Sorry to read of your problems post surgery to your hand/arm, I do hope things improve for you soon. We have many forums users who have had similar surgery who I'm sure will follow on to offer some help and advice. Please feel free to search the various topics.

    Kind regards

    John
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,243
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello floflegs and welcome from me too. I'm sorry you've had such a rough time following your trapeziectomy. oddly, we seem to get more worries about pot-op trapeziectomies than any other op.

    For a start guidelines seem to differ enormously which doesn't help. Some people (not you) seem to think it's a small cut so a quick recovery. Oh no. There is much done inside that small cut which has to heal.

    You are seeing a physio and that is good. They are the best people to advise. Exercising any joint post-op, especially after a longish layoff, is hard graft. I've not had a trapeziectomy but I've had new hips and knees. It's a matter of getting a balance between doing enough but not too much. Little and often is usually the way to go.

    I'm wondering if you should actually be trying to lift things yet. That's one of the hardest actions especially if one is lifting from the side eg a kettle with a side handle or, conversely, trying to pour from a kettle with a top handle. Both actions demand quite a lot of the wrist area.

    The basic rule of thumb with exercise is, it does hurt but, if it still hurts some time later, maybe we're doing too much and need to take things a bit easier.

    Good luck with it all and please let us know how you get on.
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • floflegs
    floflegs Member Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks for your advice re lifting, Sticjywicket. I am not trying to lift anything really heavy but still find it painful. I have returned to gentle swimming 3 times a week which feels good but find it difficult getting out of the pool as it is a ladder rather than steps. I end up using my elbow round the pole as using my hand is too painful. I am religious about doing my exercises and can see a little more movement. Having previously had two shoulder surgeries plus plate and pins in a broken ankle I know how important it is to keep up with the exercises. I just like to hear how others are getting in. I know recovery can take many months.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,243
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Ah, I see I'm preaching to the converted. Or at least to the experienced :) Yes, all ops are different and often surgeons' methods are too. If you'd like to read of others' experiences just click on here for former threads https://tinyurl.com/yb2rf56d

    As for inventive methods of doing things - yes, indeed. I have regular bruising on my arms from using them to support my (lightweight) vac as I lift it.

    Carry on carrying on and good luck :D
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • floflegs
    floflegs Member Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks, Stickywicket. I will look at the link.
  • floflegs
    floflegs Member Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Ny advice as to how to reduce swelling below thumb? I have massages as physio advised and used ice but still no difference. Movement of thumb much increased but still difficult to bear any weight.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,243
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    No advice at all but it seems to me that it's still too early to expect 'normality'. I'm sure you're doing the right things and it will come though these things rarely come as quickly as we'd like. If in doubt ask your GP to check it out.
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • floflegs
    floflegs Member Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Just checking in again to report on progress now 8 months post surgery. I have great movement in hand and only the odd pain. As informed the strength in my hand is not as good as before but certainly does not stop me from doing most things. I now open bottles, jars etc with my right hand. I am able to lead a normal life. Was it worth it? At first I would have sId no but now it us a firm yes.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,243
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Woo hoo! That's great news :D and thank you for sharing it. i hope you go from strength to strength.
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran