Recovery after Trapeziotomy

NMArth Member Posts: 2
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:10 in Living with arthritis

Hello there, everyone,

I hope you are all feeling Ok today.

I am recovering from my second Trapeziectomy; I had my left hand operated on last year and had my right hand operated on nearly 10 weeks ago.

As I am right handed, the second recovery seems to be longer. I am trying to be very careful and very concerned about returning to work, as I am still in pain, very tired and cannot write yet!

My left hand is still numb along the outside of the thumb area (after 9 months) and the hand therapist is not sure if there will be full recovery at this stage.

Has anyone else had this operation please... and how long was your recovery and did you recover all feeling in your hand?

Thank you.



  • Trish9556
    Trish9556 Member Posts: 390

    Hi @NMArth

    I had a trapeziectomy on my left hand in 2020 and was back at work as a PA within 6 weeks..

    Have you been advised to massage along your scar area with E45? I did this from the day my stitches were taken out at 2 weeks when the cast came off. Make sure you use the thick stuff in a tub rather than the lotion and use copious amounts and just massage it in as often as you want to but I would say at least three times a day.

    Make sure you're doing your exercises from your hand therapist at least 5 times a day. If you're still in pain, take some paracetamol about 20 minutes before you do your exercises so it's more bearable to complete each section.

    Do you have any therapy putty or exercise balls? You can get both in packs with different strengths in - start with the lowest (usually yellow or cream) and work up as you feel comfortable. You can do specific exercises with them but I found it easier to just sit and play with them whilst watching tv or listening to a book. Think of the putty as playdoh and pull, knead, squeeze in your hand, loop around thumb and finger and stretch the putty.

    The simplest but most effective exercise I found was working the thumb from the top to bottom of each finger on your hand starting with the little finger and working toward the thumb. Again, this can be done anytime. It helps if you use some E45 to start with if your having difficulty as it makes sliding the thumb down the fingers easier.

    Picking up small objects is really good - buttons, pennies etc can be placed on a table, slid to the side and picked up using a pinching technique. Jigsaws are equally good for recovery as is doing up buttons on your clothing and pulling up zips.

    Try using one of those pen type things with a bit of rubbery stuff on the end for your phone/touchscreens. Not only do you have to grip it to use it, like a pen but it saves the pain from any prodding action when typing texts.

    Dont be afraid to use your hands. The more you use them the quicker your recovery will be and try not to wear the splint your hand therapist made for you when the plaster was taken off too much.

    Give me a shout if you need anything :)

    Love n hugs

    Trish xx

  • Ellen
    Ellen Moderator Posts: 1,485

    Hi @NMArth Welcome to the Online community.

    I see from your post that you are recovering from your second trapeziectomy 10 weeks ago.

    Quite a few of our members have had this procedure in fact so many that a fact sheet was put together. It might look a little dated now as it's from the days before Arthritis care and Arthritis Research UK joined together to make Versus Arthritis.

    I am going to just link this recent thread on the subject some of these members rae quite active on the community and might come back and reply to you: @Trish9556 and @Ange66

    Please do take a look around the rest of the forum and join in anywhere you feel comfortable. You are sure of a warm welcome. Living with Arthritis tends to be the most popular category after Say Hello.

    Best wishes


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