Advice needed on CMC and STT

Hello everyone,

I've got arthritis in both CMC and STT joints. I've been having steroid injections under xray guidance, but the pain relief only lasts 2 months, and I have to wait 6 months between injections. I'm maxed out of paracetamol and anti-inflamatories, and still in constant agony.


  1. Has anyone had denervation ? How did it go ?
  2. Anyone had the dreaded trapeziectomy ? How much use of the thumb do you now have ?

I'm an active 59yr old who has many "hands on" hobbies, and I'm dreading loosing th ability to grip anything, but I need a solution to the pain.




  • noddingtonpete
    noddingtonpete Moderator Posts: 940

    Hello @flames7607 and welcome to the Community.

    In answer to your questions my wife has had denervation in her shoulder and it made a great improvement to her shoulder mobility so it worked for her.

    As regards the second question there are many discussions on this on the Community - see

    so might be worth you having a look at some of these as I'm sure there will be some answers in some of them.

    Let us know how you get on with whatever course of action you proceed in.

    Best wishes


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

  • Trish9556
    Trish9556 Member Posts: 449

    Hu @flames7607

    I had a trapeziectomy in October 2020 and would have it again in the other hand if needed.

    It was a day surgery and I was released in a plaster cast and a huge sling that my grandchildren said resembled a marshmallow lol. Advised to keep the hand pointed upwards towards the opposite shoulder to reduce swelling and in plaster for two weeks.

    I slept sitting upright with pillows supporting me and my sling as it was easier.

    At that point I was given a splint that the hand therapist made for me and a whole range of exercises to do.

    Within six weeks I was back at work as a PA typing all day.

    You must do all your exercises and they are hard and very painful but, if you give up, you won't return to full use of your hand in the expected time frame

    The use if therapy putty, (like play doh), helped enormously as did therapy balls that are egg shaped. Bought off one of the online sites they come in different strengths and you simply work up through the colours stretching rolling pulling and squeezing. I still use mine today

    Personally I don't know why people are anti trapeziectomy. It's an easy surgery to recover from and if you do as you're told you will return to full painless use of your hand and thumb.

    Love n hugs


  • Hi Peter and Trish,

    Thanks for your responses. It's good to hear your wife had a successful outcome Peter - thanks for the link.

    Trish - that's reassuring to hear. It's the ability to loose the use of my hands / thumbs for DIY that concerns me. Holding a drill, gripping the handlebars of a bicycle, opening a jar, those sort of things.

    I'm a little worried about the recovery time they state on the medical websites (Google can be a bad thing) they all refer to 6 months +. Your recovery time is remarkable - I'm impressed.

    My next appointment is mid January - I'll let you know how it goes.

    Best wishes


  • Trish9556
    Trish9556 Member Posts: 449

    Hi @flames7607

    Your recovery is what you make of it. If, after having your plaster off and have your exercises you go ouch that hurts and stop then the only person you have to blame for it taking 6 months is you. I have heard people on here who have had their casts on for four weeks and I can't see how this helps recovery.

    The exercises need to be done rigorously at least five times a day using the putty and balls as a bonus use these as a child uses play doh and squeaky toys so can be done without thinking while watching the TV.

    6 weeks back to work, six months later I started knitting again as part of a versus arthritis fundraiser. That hurt like hell but I did it and still do it. I think it hurt because I was using my hands differently. I was also riding my bike again.

    So, your recovery is what you are willing to put into it. I'm not going to lie, it's excruciatingly painful, makes you want to scream, cry and shout. BUT it is worth it.

    Good luck and if you need any advice and support from one who has the TShirt and survived, please contact me.

    Best wishes

    Trish xx

  • Awww Trish, thanks for that. I think you're right, and it seems to be as much a mental game as a physical one.

    Thank you for your positive words, I'll keep in touch if I may ?