Anyone have surgery on their arthritic hands?

catherinetJuly 27, 2009

I saw a hand doctor today. I have a very crooked index finger, and the base of both thumbs spasms alot. He suggested surgery. The crooked finger would be fixed with a steel pin. I think the thumbs would have something taken out and something artificial put in. Even though I'm having pain, I just don't want to do this yet.

I asked him if I could still play the piano, because afterwards, with the pin, you can't bend your last knuckle. He said "Oh yes, you'll be able to play better without the pain." I guess I'm skeptical about this.

Plus....they seem to leave out some side-effects that might be possible, like nerve damage.

Just curious if you've had this kind of surgery, how you feel about it now.

Also.....he said there are no hand exercises that would help and didn't suggest any non-surgical treatments. I suppose I should have expected this with a hand surgeon.

Maybe a rheumatologist would have more varied options?


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This is one operation I can see in my future. Right index finger beginning to turn left. But, I'm waiting until the pain gets to be unremittingly painful due to prior experience.

first operation: Opened up back of left hand from mid hand at wrist to just below the thumb and across right index finger large nuckle. This was to clean out the gunk produced by inflammation from RA. Waste of time but doctors would not get more drastic until damage was more extensive.

Second operation: Carpal Tunnel Synovectomy, both hands. Did the most to relieve the pain in my hands and lasted several years.

Third operation: Wrist fusion, both wrists. Still pain free
in wrists. RA beginning to become active in finger joints.

First two provided some limited relief for a period of time but was definitely not a cure. They allowed me to put off the final wrist fusion oh, probably 10 or 12 years. The carpal tunnel syn. reduced the level of pain to something I could live with for awhile.

There is some limit of motion now but nothing I can't live with. One or two personal hygiene things I had to find a different way to accomplish and I have to be aware of the fact that the joint doesn't bend so care has to be taken in situations where bending the wrist would be necessary. You will find that the stiff joint will be awkward sometimes.

You can put this off but if you are in pain this operation will relieve that and the joint won't further deteriorate. The surgeon will have a better joint to work with and this joint will not get better with time.

I hope this helps. Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 2:57PM
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Thanks pris.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 6:08PM
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Yes, I had joint replacement on my second finger. Supposed to be a movable joint. Well no dice - it dislocated within three weeks of surgery and I could not afford to take more time off from work so I did not fix it and it just basically fused. I can type again but am very clumsey with my right hand.(I'm right handed). If I had it to do over I would not. Your results might be different. Good luck with this.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2009 at 8:11PM
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