Pyrocarbon thumb joint replacement

Posted by var122 @var122, Jan 15, 2018

I do not know anyone who has had a cmc thumb joint replacement….anyone have any insight? I am 5 days post op.

@var122

@nancylh
Mine was a joint replacement. The formal name is a "hemi-arthroplasty".
I started this thread. The type of implant along with other information is in this thread with links to click for education 🙂
I had my joint replacement at Mayo Clinic in Rochester by Dr. Elhassen.
I put my 1st post-op xrays up here for you to see. Basically, they cut the end of my thumb bone off (cmc joint), made a hole into the center of the bone for the stem to be inserted into the thumb. Then, for the articulating surface, they burred a conical area for the "ball" part of the new joint to ride in….

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Hi var122, I viewed a blown up version of your rays. I wonder how an implant would look different? I guess i will have to make an appt. a the Mayo after June and get a second opinion of what is wrong with my thumb and what my options are. Be blessed in your physical therapy. It will go well. PT hurts, but it helps. Thanks for sharing your experience. That helps. n

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You are looking at the implant in my thumb 🙂

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It's my 2nd one. I too am recently post-op (4 days). I kept notes from my first op so I know what to expect. Pain pump has been my best friend. I've got a compassionate supply of oxy but have not had to use them due to the bullseye expertise of my anesthesiologist's aim of the nerve block/pain pump. I type one-handed and slow, but if you have specific questions, feel free to contact me.

i

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Howdy Folks. I just got in on this string today, st. Patty's 2018. I am having problems with arthritis in my thumb and wrist right now I am getting steroid injections about every 3 months which help some but not as much as I would like. The surgeon I'm seeing does not recommend implants but prefers to do the tendon wrap. I get the heebie-jeebies just thinking about the possibility of my thumb migrating into my palm without there being an actual joint. So I guess my question after all this rattling is I don't know of any physicians near Denver that deal in these implants. It sounds like there's a lot of pain involved for me to have it done so far from my home in Wyoming? Any hints on finding physicians near Denver that are veterans in this procedure? Thanks for your consideration.

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Hello @bagus
Every 3 month steroid injection sounds excessive. How long have you been doing that? Too many injection erodes the joint quicker 🙁
If you are interested in an implant (NOT a silastic implant), I would ask your surgeon for a referral to someone that does them.
Personally, I went with the implant due to my age & what I do for a living. Everybody situation is different & perhaps a tendon ball/wrap would be sufficient for you. I do think it's worth checking out all possible ways of surgical intervention so that you are well informed on the pros & cons of each procedure.
I'll see if I can search out a potential surgeon from my surgeon in the Denver area…. My guy is a professor of hand. microsurgery orthopedics at Mayo Rochester (Dr. Elhassan), so he trains a lot of surgeons himself….

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@var122

Hello @bagus
Every 3 month steroid injection sounds excessive. How long have you been doing that? Too many injection erodes the joint quicker 🙁
If you are interested in an implant (NOT a silastic implant), I would ask your surgeon for a referral to someone that does them.
Personally, I went with the implant due to my age & what I do for a living. Everybody situation is different & perhaps a tendon ball/wrap would be sufficient for you. I do think it's worth checking out all possible ways of surgical intervention so that you are well informed on the pros & cons of each procedure.
I'll see if I can search out a potential surgeon from my surgeon in the Denver area…. My guy is a professor of hand. microsurgery orthopedics at Mayo Rochester (Dr. Elhassan), so he trains a lot of surgeons himself….

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Hi var122,

Thanks for your reply.

I have had 2 injections at 3 months intervals. Both have given me significant, yet limited relief. Both at the thumb and wrist. I have osteoarthritis at 3 junctures.

This surgeon rejects all prosthetics. I will have to educate myself on possible prosthetic with out his help. At least, he's not in a rush for the scalpel, like the last one that I consulted. He says that he has another patient that has been taking 3 months injections for some time, satisfactorily. I am grateful for the relief that I do gain, but I am not satisfied.

This appeal to you and this Mayo Clinic string of discussion is an attempt to learn what the possibilities might be. I am very reluctant to have a joint removed without having it replaced with something more than a tendon wrap.

Any direction, advice, or information that you can offer is great.

Thanks, again.

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Good morning. I'm new on this sight and am seriously considering surgery for my thumbs as they are quite painful and arthritic (as are other fingers on both hands). I've been followed by Rheum. at Mayo Rochester, and one recent visit to a local NE Wisconsin doc. He suggests surgery, but no surgeons in network in my area,so considering returning to Rochester (we visit once or twice a year; wife retired Mayo in AZ).
I find that Tramadol/Tylenol does nothing for pain in fingers and am taking Tylenol #3, a couple of times/day. I'm sick of the pain and not able to have much grip with thumbs so sore. Ultrasound guided cortisone injections did nothing but cause terrible pain 8 hours post injection that lasted for about 36 hours. The injections did nothing to alleviate pain.
I cannot use NSAID's, am 76 YO male and at wits end. Suggestions, with thanks in advance.

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I have had similar problems with my thumbs, and Naproxen was not helping at all. It was, as if the medication was hurting instead. A friend recommended tart cherry juice and turmeric pills. After few months of eating better ( more vegetables) and following friends advice my thumbs are completely pain free. I’m 68.

Liked by stoney, babo4

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@gordoapa

I have had similar problems with my thumbs, and Naproxen was not helping at all. It was, as if the medication was hurting instead. A friend recommended tart cherry juice and turmeric pills. After few months of eating better ( more vegetables) and following friends advice my thumbs are completely pain free. I’m 68.

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Thanks for the response. My x-rays indicate that I need more intervention. Best for a nice holiday.

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@gordoapa

I have had similar problems with my thumbs, and Naproxen was not helping at all. It was, as if the medication was hurting instead. A friend recommended tart cherry juice and turmeric pills. After few months of eating better ( more vegetables) and following friends advice my thumbs are completely pain free. I’m 68.

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I am certainly no MD but cherry juice and the like are very common for my Gout suffering friends. Not for arthritis.

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When X-Rays indicate you have bone on bone, surgery is probably going to follow. You have zero % chance of having your articular cartilage growing back because when it's gone it's gone and your thumbs will never get better through conservative mitigation. NSAIDs and other pain meds will eventually cause unwanted, internal side effects. The longer you postpone the surgical intervention method of your choice, the more you increase your possibility of skeletal deformity and overall atrophy.

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Thanks folks. I am awaiting an appointment at the Hand Clinic, Mayo, Rochester. Currently using Tylenol3 and don't know how long I can use it. Involvement of other fingers exacerbates an otherwise lousy situation. I'm almost convinced that aging is not for the faint of heart.

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@gordoapa

I have had similar problems with my thumbs, and Naproxen was not helping at all. It was, as if the medication was hurting instead. A friend recommended tart cherry juice and turmeric pills. After few months of eating better ( more vegetables) and following friends advice my thumbs are completely pain free. I’m 68.

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Hi, bagus. Yep, that is what a lady in the rest home told my mom when she had her first gout flare. I still have the $8 bottle of cherry juice in my refrigerator. I should probably buy a new one and get it to mom. I guess her osteoarthritis is more problematic than the gout variety. so does it really work?

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@gordoapa

I have had similar problems with my thumbs, and Naproxen was not helping at all. It was, as if the medication was hurting instead. A friend recommended tart cherry juice and turmeric pills. After few months of eating better ( more vegetables) and following friends advice my thumbs are completely pain free. I’m 68.

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I don't have gout and I've never taken it and I am not a medical or health care worker of any kind. I do know that those friends of mine who had gout and who took cherry juice and ate dried cherries and such some of them said that they thought it work but they still continue to have it. I've had others that say that it doesn't work they just have to wait it out. So the answer is I don't know but I doubt it. Apologies for typos and run-on sentences. I do know grammar but I don't have the patience for these little windows

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Hi,
I’m new to this board, I’m a 44 year old male, firefighter,bagpiper, who has bilateral cmc joint arthritis, which is now bone on bone. I’ve gone through shots which don’t help anymore, had a nerve ablation with no relief, cold laser therapy with no relief, my dr has recommended the stablyx implant. I live a few hours away from dr Orbay who invented it, so am going to try and have him do the surgery. I’m trying to get some feedback from people who have had this implant. Would you recommend it? How long is the recovery time? Seems a lot shorter than some of the other surgeries. Any insight, would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Scott

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