Valerie21580 Member Posts: 2
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:11 in Living with arthritis

Hello! Had a trapeziectomy last Tuesday, first night wasn’t too bad, then morning came; hand was so swollen it looked like a balloon that was ready to pop and the tendons from my fingers to my elbow were as tight as piano strings; I waited another day, then called Dr office, told them how swollen and painful it was, the PA said take a pain pill, point your fingers to the sky and it’ll get worse tomorrow. (yes, worse) I waited another day then went into the office on Friday, a different PA quickly removed ace bandage and cut off all dressing and left me sitting there for approximately 30 minutes, with my hand raised, to bring down swelling. He came back and was shaking more than he was when he cut it off and then applied another gauze/ace bandage just not as tight. I can understand my thumb hurting since they removed a bone, but not my entire hand, arm, elbow, tendons and bones hurting so much I barely feel the pain in my thumb. Has anyone else had this happen? Is it possible to have lost too much blood flow to those ateas and cause permanent damage? Since getting the less restrictive bandage I’m able to move my fingers without screaming or crying, but geez! 🙄 If anyone has a similar experience or suggestions to make this better, please let me know. I can’t imagine what would be happening to my hand now, if I had waited til they wanted to see me; that’s still over a week away, the 4th. My apologies for the length of this post. Thank you!


  • noddingtonpete
    noddingtonpete Moderator Posts: 952

    Hello @Valerie21580 and welcome to the Community. We are a friendly and supportive group and I hope that will be your experience as well.

    Can I suggest that you have a look through posts similar to yours to see how others reacted to the operation? I've searched and the results are below

    so have a look through and see if there are others who could help you.

    Please keep posting and let us know how you are getting on.

    Best wishes


    Need more help? - call our Helpline on0800 5200 520Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • Trish9556
    Trish9556 Member Posts: 461
    edited 27. Nov 2023, 11:26

    Hi @Valerie21580

    I had a trapeziectomy in 2020 and the first few days are extremely uncomfortable.

    I was in a plaster cast and sling for two weeks and found sleeping easier if I surrounded myself in pillows enabling me to sit up and sleep. I also rested my arm on a really soft cushion when sleeping and sitting down.

    Yes, it does get worse before it gets better. You need to keep your arm/hand pointed toward your opposite shoulder, in your sling, to relieve swelling. Not resting at 90 degrees

    Have you been given any painkillers? If you're able to take anti inflammatories they will help. If not, paracetamol. Don't take them when you think you need them, take them on a regular basis to the maximum 8 a day until you can reduce them. Make sure this doesn't counteract any other meds you are on, speak to your Dr if necessary.

    My surgeons treatment was two weeks rest in a Plaster cast and sling. This was then removed by a hand therapist and a small thermoplastic splint was made for me. I was given hand exercises to do from there onwards which were so incredibly painful and hard they made me cry but you have to do them. If you don't, recovery takes even longer.

    I was back at work as a PA sat at a keyboard all day six weeks post op. My hand was still swollen at that point but that went down in time

    Once your wound has healed and your dressing has been removed, get a tub (not squeezy bottle) of E45 cream or something similar and apply liberally frequently throughout the day massaging into your scar. This will aid healing.

    All surgeons have their own opinions on recover and I have chatted with people who have been in plaster for a month.

    Get yourself some therapy putty and balls from an online selling sites for when your dressing free, they come in different strengths and perfect for post op recovery.

    I hope you feel better soon, please reach out to me either on this thread or send me a message.

    Love n hugs

    Trish xx