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Is anyone suffering with thumbs Ive had this for awhile , Dr would inject the thumb but now my rheumatologist refused so am seeing a orthopedic Dr has anyone else had this problem?
Ask, ask, ask!!!
I will. I've already started planning.
I had bone on bone arthritis pain in my right thumb (I am right-handed). I did an injection, but no help. I had arthroplasty surgery.. tightrope procedure. No implant, the space where bone was removed is filled in with blood; fluids from area, and eventually scar tissue. I had the surgery 24 January 2020. I had about 3 weeks of physical therapy. I had a bout of diverticulitis and that knocked physical therapy out for me for two weeks. Then covid-19 hit my county (Dougherty) here in Georgia hard. Shelter in place except necessary outings.
I had talked with my NP at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville… about some esophagus issues I am having. She said I should not go out in public at all. I called to cancel my physical therapy appointments and the therapist asked if I would be interested in telehealth appointments. I said yes, and he said he would call me the next week to set it up. I did not hear back from him and no answer when I call.
I tried finding exercises beyond what I was doing in the physical therapy office… I have seasonal allergies going on and had asked the physical therapist if it got where they were too bad for me to come in what exercises I could do. Instead diverticulitis hit. He said to put small objects in silly putty or play dough and pick out. (I put assorted small buttons in it). I was already doing that in the office, but different putty with beads. He said I could do a few exercises with support (like pillow) of arm and wrist and do lifts with a soup can or pound weight. I had done that once in office. I have tried some things on my own like turning the door knob a few times. Sometimes I just open my hand as far as possible and close. I squeeze the play dough for a few minutes.. until my hand gets tired or uncomfortable. I squeeze the dough and pinch it and twist it.
Are there other exercises I can do to help my thumb to recover?
It seems like to covid-19 virus will be around for months to come. I don't think we have hit the height of it yet. Our county has had 60+ deaths and I think over a thousand positive cases.. and we are but about 4 weeks or so into this pandemic here. They are building a 24 patient critical care unit here. It is a temporary building. Our hospital is overloaded with patients that need ventilators.. this will provide 24 more (they only have twelve now). The National Guard and CDC are providing extra medical personnel. The even more rural counties around us are also using our hospital.. their cases and deaths are increasing too.
Scary times and trying to take care of myself.
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What a courageus story. The Physical therapist may have had some trouble reaching you. I might suggest you try to reach him/her again. Slow gentle but consistent hand exercise is what I taught. Grippng a insulation rubber condiut cylinder was also used with my patients. DO not grip a ball. It will deform the hand( unlesds it is very soft). Simple opposition of the thumb to each finger will help. Remember, gentle thumb opposiong, correct abduction, extension and flexion of the thumb should be done within pain toterance. Soft gripping puddy may have beern given you. These are standard exercises, but they need to be reviewed. Televideo with your Physical Therapist would give light to this routine and the the sequence he/she follows.. Good luck.( Please review any increase in pain medication with your Physicians office. Were you givena temporary soft wrap brace?
@fourof5zs Hi ZeeGee, I too have had the CMC arthroplasty with tightrope on my right hand – was scheduled for the left until Covid-19 hit – now on indefinite hold. I too have had trouble reaching health care providers because of changing work sites, restrictions, etc. I second Bill's suggestion that you try again to reach the therapist for a Telehealth session. If they don't respond, try through the surgeon. Many are in transition and working through setting up secure remote sites, etc.
Hang in there and do your exercises faithfully and I think you'll be happy with the results. My friend and I each had ours done 2 years ago, in different places and with different docs, and we are very pleased with the pain relief and usability – but we didn't get quite as much strength as we hoped.
@bill54321 I appreciate your reply. I am trying to be gentle as possible with my thumb.. if it hurts more than I think it should I am not doing it.
I think my first PT session was 3 weeks after surgery.. evaluation at 2 + weeks. I did 2 sessions a week. By the 5th visit I thought I was losing ground. Pinching motion hurt more and my thumb felt like it was catching. I saw my surgeon on the 10th of March. She said the pain was arthritis in the joint nearest my nail and the next joint was trigger thumb. She did an injection and it helped a lot. I am beginning to have this pain again and the catching sensation… started day after I did my post here. I have an appointment scheduled for 21 April. If it gets worse I will call her. Heat and less small motions may be enough to calm it. I cannot take nsaids.
I may have some of the rubber conduit. It sounds something very reasonable to use. I only grip the putty and I thought twisting it might take the place of the bolts, washers and nuts I put together at PT. I can now open most child proof caps. I had to have help with the cap on an eye drop bottle today. It hasn't given me a problem for a while. Our dog has to have eye drops twice a day and sometimes another type of eyedrops in between. I can squeeze the drops out okay. The joint nearest my nail os more swollen today. Overuse? the weather? We had a thunderstorm yesterday and more rain to come in the next couple of days.
Oh.. the putty.. he told me to buy. The therapist seems a bit stingy 😁 I could probably make a putty more similar to what we use in his office. I will try to reach him again Monday.
Oh.. I am off brace.. no soft brace. I do have one brace that is just thumb and the metal can be taken out of. The braces I had were just over the counter. The second one I got from Amazon the therapist liked and the dr said to stop wearing it about a week after I got it. I was just wearing it mostly at night and when I had to handle the dog. I continued to do so for a few more nights and when I had to take the dog to the nursing home to see my mom.. twice a week. He gets excited.. a 15 pound mini poodle. 😄
My pain med is though my family doctor. He controls it well. I only had to increase it for 3 weeks after surgery and then back to as needed. Right now needing it more for my back. Arthritis just sucks the life out of me sometimes.
Thank you again.
@sueinmn Thank you, Sue. I could hardly write my name before surgery. It is still difficult. I thought it was funny. My husband filled out the paperwork for PT and I had to sign 3 places. At end of evaluation the therapist says “don't be signing your name.”
I will try to reach the therapist again. I am hoping he is not sick with this covid-19. Our county has now had 70 deaths within.. 5 weeks? Normal is one or two deaths a week.
Hopefully I will get enough strength to crochet again.. that is what keeps me mostly sane. The other photography… which I haven't been able to do much of in a few years.
Thank you again,
@lioness My sister does but she has osteoarthritis and her hands knucle (sp) are huge and she looks like she has reuratoid (sp) arthritis. She has also had injections in her thumbs, but she told me they were very painful. She goes to a Reumatologist. She's my sister who had the stroke, she has so much wrong with her, but she stays positive. Good Luck, wish I could help you more. Jeanie
@lilypaws Thanks but mine seem better now . I use a thumb brace when sleeping and that seems to help a lot . Have,nt had to get an injection is quit awhile now .
I thought I would update. I couldn't get back to PT. I saw my surgeon and she said I was doing good without it. I had one injection for trigger thumb which somehow developed with this surgery. I saw my surgeon again this past Monday because my thumb stills hurts especially the pinching motion. Splinting isn't helping… it actually hurts more to use the splint. Instead of getting another injection.. which the last one only lasted almost two weeks. .. I opted to get surgery for trigger thumb. I have had surgery for a trigger finger and it was painless. I don't know when surgery will happen.. maybe a couple of months.
@fourof5zs Oh, I hope they can get to your thumb soon. I was able to finally schedule my CMC surgery for mid-June This surgery center asks you to isolate for 2 weeks, does a Covid-19 test 3 days before surgery, then you stay isolated until the procedure. Not that we're going anywhere anyway, being in several risk categories.
So I walk, stay busyin garden and sewing room, visit neighbors across the yard, and occasionally the kids and grands from the driveway…and try to stay positive.
Good luck, follow the surgeons instructions. Simple gentle massage and pulling traction helps at the proper time
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