Struggling with diagnosis.. does it get easier ?

SeasMountains Member Posts: 2
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:08 in Living with arthritis

Hey guys.

I’m Caragh , I’m 32 years old and started having issues with my right hand about 5 months ago. I thought I’d just damaged a ligament or something.. had a long wait for referral with a hand specialist and while waiting over 3 months the hand got worse - I’m a vet surgeon and Ive been finding it hard to do the surgeries I used to love. My hand is dropping things and sore.

Now been diagnosed with basilar arthritis and cmc luxation in the right hand, and the left hand has started to give me lots of pain in the last few weeks, so waiting on X-rays for this one now.

the hand physio is talking about things to help me open jars at home, and getting easy door knobs. But my mindset was on progressing my surgical skills , on trying the learn to lead rope up mountains and get better at bouldering. I was FINE 6 months ago!

I’m so stressed out, anxious and painful.

any advice or any younger people around for a bit of support? Spoke to friends and family about it but I think it’s hard for them to understand.


  • chrisb
    chrisb Moderator Posts: 710

    Hi @SeasMountains (Caragh), 

    Welcome to the versus arthritis forum. 

    You have recently been diagnosed with basilar arthritis in your right hand and your left one is also showing similar signs. I’m not surprised that you’re feeling stressed out given that you were ok 6 months ago and the nature of your career where you obviously need strong hands/grip. 

    This link to our website may be of some help, it contains information on managing the condition, exercises for the hands, potential medication and pain relief:

    Here’s another link to a recent forum discussion relating to arthritis in the hands including the option of hand surgery which may or may not be relevant in your case:


    Please feel free to contribute to any post on Living With Arthritis and other forums. Also, feel free to start a new one there, if you have a question, clearly titled so that others can easily see what you'd like to talk about. 

    I hope that you receive some useful advice and support from forum members. 

    Best Wishes

    ChrisB (Moderator)

    Need more help - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • jamieA
    jamieA Member Posts: 768

    Hi @SeasMountains

    I'm a lot older than you but was in a similar situation whereby my psoriatic arthritis came on suddenly out of the blue - until then I was active and pretty fit for my age.

    I'd maybe suggest you talk to your GP/hand specialist about the possibility of steroid injections to relieve the pain short term. For me the injections normally gave me 4-6 weeks of respite. I'd also suggest that compression gloves and/or hand splints might help - the gloves help me both with the compression they give and the heat they retain in my hands. My joints are far more stiff and sore without them.

    The kitchen aids and door knob covers do help me a lot.

    I hope you get a solution and are treated quickly.