Trapeziectomy. Tips for coping one-handed?

Megrose2 Member Posts: 331
edited 1. Jun 2016, 08:21 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi all. I'm down to have a trapeziectomy on my left thumb joint sometime in the next few months. I've had a look at the previous threads about this and they've been very helpful - I've already decided to get a LimbO protector for the shower.

I just wondered if anyone had any tips about coping one-handed for a while. Mr MR will be at home, but as his health isn't wonderful, I don't want to put everything on him and our sons live 200 miles away. I'm right-handed, but wondered about dressing and general household chores, cooking etc. Any tips would be gratefully received.



  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,280
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Meg..I am down to have this on my left thumb but wanted to get these hip out of the way first..every time I decide to go for it the thumb settles down so I put it off.. but will be watching your thread...and good luck with it..x
  • Megrose2
    Megrose2 Member Posts: 331
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I know just what you mean about thumbs settling down, Barbara.

    I had an injection last week into the right thumb, but, for some reason it hasn't worked as well as usual. So, at the moment, the right thumb is more painful than the left, which is the one that is going to be operated on! However, the consultant said that, on the x-ray, the left was worse than the right, so... :roll:

    I hope everything works out well for your hip operation. Take care.

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,558
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I've not had a trapeziectomy. I'm guessing you'll be totally one-handed for a while. I've done things like writing with my left hand and carrying things with it and just using a wrist-supported right hand to steady things from below but I think I'd be defeated by literally only having the one to use.

    Food – I can only suggest making your casseroles, lasagnes, fish and meat pies etc now and freezing them. Use ready meals and take-aways too for a while. Frozen veg can be both easy and nutritious.

    Getting dressed? Frankly, I couldn't. I struggle with two hands. Think of your easiest clothes. Experiment now. Buy more of the easiest things.

    Many general household tasks can be done one-handed but don't underestimate how exhausting this one-handedness will be and how difficult for that hand, arm, shoulder etc. I think your most valuable asset will be a blind eye, Megrose :wink: Only do absolute essentials. It's not forever. And do accept any help offered by anyone who pops in. If they ask if there's anything they can do then let them. Don't overwhelm them. The spring cleaning should wait :lol: Just whatever small job is currently getting on your nerves most. And do praise Mr M for all the extras he has to do. Men like that :roll:
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Megrose2
    Megrose2 Member Posts: 331
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you, Sticky for your wise words.

    Your post definitely gave me plenty of food for thought. I certainly hadn't considered the fatigue element in solely being able to use my right hand.

    I also have arthritis in my right thumb joint and the steroid injection the consultant gave me last week hasn't made any difference at all, unfortunately. After this injection, a lot of the steroid came bubbling out of the injection site and he had to mop it up. So, I don't even know if any stayed in! I don't think he could get the needle in properly.

    Thanks again for your help and I'll certainly make sure that I thank Mr M!

  • Michelle63
    Michelle63 Member Posts: 63
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi, 2+years post trapeziectomy op. There is a lot of info on several other threads which may be useful as well. I and my right thumb ( dominant) in September 2013.
    First night home I managed to sleep with it rested up against the back of a dining chair which I had placed by the bed. This helped with swelling. You may need to swap sides if necessary. Definitely prepare food before and freeze.
    Buy some non stick matting....chasing a plate and bowl around a table is frustrating.
    As for dressing.....bras are a no no. Took me weeks to be able to grasp both ends and do up. Again tracksuit bottoms are a great help. Avoid anything with buttons and zips .
    Buy a Limbo ( waterproof cover) for use in the shower.
    But some bio oil to massage into the scar and do everything the physio tells you. It will pay off in the end.
    Accept help from friends. Don't worry about housework..the dust will still be there tomorrow.
    All that said I am glad that I had it done. I managed to ski 4 months after. I couldn't drive for 12 weeks due to lack of strength, you may struggle with the handbrake. I am now at the gym 3 times a weeks and training with weights.
    Don't over do things initially.
    My left thumb needs doing but I am hanging on as long as possible as I have just changed jobs.