Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hiatus from the blogosphere


I realize it's been a while since my last blog post and there is a good reason for that.  First I apologize for the long silence and now the explanation.  I underwent hand surgery on May 11th (Right CMC Joint Arthroplasty with FCR Tendon transfer) to fix the basal thumb joint in my right hand and since I'm right handed, I have been unable to use my hand, hence no writing, shooting photos, cooking, fishing etc.  That makes me and my life pretty darn dull!  But, things are finally looking up and now that I am two months post op and I am starting to be allowed to use my thumb little bits at a time, I am starting to shoot photos again and now I am able to type.

Typing is quite difficult with a big hard plastic splint on your hand from your thumb to your mid arm.

So, I am back and hopefully with time allowed, I will have some new posts for you soon.  I'm afraid the fishing posts will still have to wait for a while since I still am not allowed to cast my fly rod just yet.  They say six months for recovery and a full year for full recovery.  It's all a little too slow for me but hopefully it will all be worth it.

I have now graduated to a small, neoprene flexible splint and this should be the last one I have until I am freed from splints altogether. I have another appointment with my surgeon on July 21st and we will see what he has to say.  The worst thing is I am still unable to use my thumb for pinching.

In short, they removed the trapezium bone in my thumb joint and at the same time, harvested a piece of tendon from my forearm that was not being used for anything in particular.  That tendon was wrapped into a neat coil and inserted into the hole where the trapezium bone was removed, so as to not leave a negative space.  The rest of the tendons were all re-attached and then I was placed in a huge bandage and splint to immobilize the thumb.

The tendons are the slowest things to heal and it takes a minimum of 10 weeks for them to heal over where they were reattached.  This is one of the longest things I've had to heal from...seems longer than my total knee replacement, but if it means I will once again be able to cast my fly rod with no pain, then it will have all been worth it.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are you all healed now? Did you see a change in using your hand for handwriting once all was over? Or did you not have any prior trouble? I have same surgery coming up was hoping for some feedback if you have a chance. Much appreciated.

ladyflyfsh said...

Yes, I am all healed and have very good strength in my right hand now. It takes a good, full year to completely heal and now it's been a year and a half and all I can tell now is some stiffness when it is cold and damp outside. Just do your strengthening exercises religiously and you will be fine. Good luck with your surgery.

Unknown said...

I have seen 3 surgeons. I am supposed to have fusion surgery in December.I am very worried about this. He is one of two hand surgeons who have told me that your type of surgery is not satisfactory for many people and they have quit doing them. The third said that is the surgery he uses. I don't know what to do. I sew, cook, crochet and quilt. I am afraid of losing mobility if I have the fusion. Can you tell me more? Thank you. Lynda Williams

Mary Smiley said...

There is not much more to tell. Where do you live? If you were anywhere near Sarasota, I'd tell you to see my surgeon. He is really magnificent. My hand is great now and I have absolutely no issues with it. I have strength and full use. I am very happy I did it, but of course, I have no idea what your situation is, so who knows if it is right for you or not. What is your physical problem and what are your symptoms?

Unknown said...

Left hand. I am Athens PA.
Doctors: opinions on your procedure
1. Tomaino...hand arm and arm surgeon in Rochester NY, says it fails often and patients are not happy with it.
2. Suarez...Orthopedic surgeon at Robert Packer Hospital, Sayre. PA, it is the procedure he uses.
3. Nazar...Montrose (my scheduled Dr.),says the same thing as Tomaino, and is planning to do the fusion procedure. I am thinking about going back to Suarez for a consult. He only mentioned it in passing last year when I went to him about hip problems. I don't want to make the wrong decision. Fusioj is irreversible.

Lynda said...

Left hand. I am Athens PA.
Doctors: opinions on your procedure
1. Tomaino...hand arm and arm surgeon in Rochester NY, says it fails often and patients are not happy with it.
2. Suarez...Orthopedic surgeon at Robert Packer Hospital, Sayre. PA, it is the procedure he uses.
3. Nazar...Montrose (my scheduled Dr.),says the same thing as Tomaino, and is planning to do the fusion procedure. I am thinking about going back to Suarez for a consult. He only mentioned it in passing last year when I went to him about hip problems. I don't want to make the wrong decision. Fusioj is irreversible.

Lynda said...

Lynda in Athens, PA
I had the surgery Nov. 25. Dr. Tomaino in Rochester NY. I was wrong. He does use the tendon replacement method and his patients are pleased with the results.I hope I will be. It's only been 3 days and the pain is
much better. I'm not looking forward to the long recovery but I could not go on much longer like I was. Thanks for your input.