Post Trapeziectomy

Ange66 Member Posts: 9
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:10 in Living with arthritis


I am at the four weeks post op stage in my recovery. My plaster came off four days ago and I'm finding the immobility and pain is really making me miserable. I'm pushing through my exercises but can't envisage being fit for work at the end of six weeks...

Please can anyone give advice / information on how they progressed through their own physio exercises, and how they coped mentally.

Thank you.


  • Trish9556
    Trish9556 Member Posts: 391

    Hi @Ange66

    I had my Trapeziectomy in October 2020 and the recovery is painful and hard. I presume you've been referred to a hand therapist? Do those exercises religiously as instructed - they do work. I was back typing at work within 8 weeks.

    Please though just do your hand therapy exercises as insructed to start with. Wear your new splint that has been made for you when you're not exercising to protect your thumb. Speak to your hand therapist if you have any queries.

    Get yourself some physiotherapy putty from that online selling site - you can get it in a pack with different strengths in and start off with the lowest strength, just playing with it, stretching with your hands like you do with children's playdoh and build up with stretching between your thumb and forefinger. I would also recommendn some physiotherapy eggs. These also come in different hardnesses similar to the putty and you can sit and play with these as well. I still use mine when I'm getting a bit stiff in my hands. These two items can be used when your therapist advises.

    You will get there, trust me. Remember how hard life was with that enormous plaster and marshmallow support in the sling - you've got this far, the rest is easy :)

    Give me a shout if you need any advice.

    Trish xx

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,032

    I am sorry @Ange66 I know from teh people on here who have had it done that trapeziectomy is a tough and painful operation to recover from.

    BUT everyone seems to be so glad they had it done once they have recovered.

    Listen to Trish66 she knows what she's talking about and just do your best. If you are not fit for work surely you don't have to go back will your GP sign you off?

    Take care and keep posting ((()))

    Toni x

  • Ange66
    Ange66 Member Posts: 9

    Thank you for replying to my post. I am pushing through the exercises and the movement is slowly returning to my joints. I am hindered by a totally seized up first interphalangeal joint in my thumb on the operated hand, and a trigger middle finger. Mornings are the takes a good hour to start the hand moving and waiting for the painkillers to kick in. I work in an operating theatre and can't see myself being able to work at six weeks as I have to use my hands for fine motor skills. I have a soft squeeze ball to strengthen the muscles but will look at the putty you recommend. Thank you for the encouragement that it will improve and be worth the struggle in the end.


  • Trish9556
    Trish9556 Member Posts: 391
    edited 1. Jun 2023, 17:35

    Hi @Ange66

    In the morning rub liberal quantities of E45 into your hand and over the wound which will help healing and aid movement as its like a hand cream movement. Use the gloopy stuff out of the tub and not lotion as you need to work harder to rub it all in. You can use as much E45 as you like throughout the day.

    With your thumb start with the little finger and slide from the top to bottom, repeat with all fingers. You might not be able to do all of them straight away but the more you do it the easier it will become and you can do it anytime

    The other thing that helps is trying to pick small things up, sliding pennies to the edge of the table and using thumb and forefinger to pick them up.

    Jigsaw puzzles are really good exercise too. When I was in too much pain to sleep I used to come downstairs and do mine . Takes your mind off the pain too. As I'm typing this listening to music I'm also tapping the top of each finger with my thumb in time to the music.

    You'll be surprised how many pinching movements we do through the day....even doing up your buttons.

    Don't beat yourself up over things you can't do, celebrate the small achievements that you realise you've made each day.

    Love n hugs

    Trish xx