Gransnet forums

Arthritis in thumb joint

(69 Posts)
Singlegrannie Sat 03-Nov-18 14:22:42

I have been having yearly steroid injections in my right hand thumb joint for several years now with only minor short term improvement. The last one I had, a couple of months ago, was incredibly painful while being done ( I have always had them done in hospital under x-ray by a consultant) and very painful for several weeks afterwards. The pain has now settled to being slightly worse than before the last injection. This morning I had a post injection consultation but not with the surgeon who carried out the last one as he has "cancelled all appointments for the foreseeable future" .The new surgeon, whom I haven't seen before, recommended that I have the bone adjacent to the offending joint removed. He said it is 90% effective in removing pain and will take about 3 months to recover from.
I would love to hear from anyone who has any experience of this operation, it sounds scary !

Sparklefizz Sat 03-Nov-18 14:35:18

Noooo! I have had this for 4 years and prefer to take the alternative route unless I get absolutely desperate. I have been using homeopathic cream which has been brilliant, and haven't needed to see my GP about it again since 2014. The cream is Rhus Tox & Ruta Cream available from Amazon and I rub it into my hands every bedtime. If my thumb becomes a bit twingy during the day, I rub in some more cream and the pain goes within 15 minutes. No side effects and nothing scary!

I can highly recommend.

Sparklefizz Sat 03-Nov-18 14:36:27

Singlegrannie PM me if you want more detailed info.

tanith Sat 03-Nov-18 15:38:35

I’ve had painful thumb joints for many years and they’ve been joined by various other joints over the years, never had the injections so sorry can’t comment. But can say that my thumb pain has diminished over the years and is now fairly low key unless I’ve done a lot of gardening or similar.

GrandmaMoira Sat 03-Nov-18 16:31:46

I've not heard of an operation like that. I wear a thumb splint, which was provided by the hand therapist, and it does help a bit. I've not had any injections.

Marieeliz Sat 03-Nov-18 21:37:17

I have had injections they did help but are agony when administered. I may try the cream suggested.

BlueBelle Sat 03-Nov-18 21:49:53

I have this in a big toe joint and was offered the operation to pin it so it becomes immobile and the surgeon seemed very disappointed and surprised when I turned it down I prefe4 to keep my toe as it is and learn to deal with it I would have been out of action for up to 3 months
I ve had it about five years but this last six months its less painful I don’t know why

Sparklefizz Sun 04-Nov-18 08:27:18

There is no need to put up with pain, or even worse, horrendous surgery! The Rhus Tox & Ruta cream works and it is not a huge investment to have an open mind and to try it.

Jane10 Sun 04-Nov-18 09:02:55

I had this problem with a big toe joint but the podiatrist made an insole thingy which immobilised the joint until it fused by itself. Not sore any more. I've had to resign from the Royal Ballet though. grin

Booklady54 Sun 04-Nov-18 11:07:26

I had this op in January this year (it's called a trapezoidectomy) and can say that I'm now pain free. Steroid injections ceased to work so it was a last resort. It really isn't as awful as it sounds! I had one finger joint pinned and a silicone joint in another finger on my other hand the year before. Inconvenient (live alone) for a while but totally worth it. I hope this helps.

Singlegrannie Sun 04-Nov-18 11:35:41

Thanks for suggesting the cream Sparklefizz, I will definitely try it. Have already tried Flexiseq and Voltarol, prefer the Flexiseq.
Thank you for your post Booklady 54, I am keeping the operation in mind as a last resort, and as I also live alone I am worried how I would cope afterwards. As I currently help my daughter with her 2 and 4 year olds I will delay as long as I can cope.

henetha Sun 04-Nov-18 11:47:43

I've had this in both thumb joints for ages now. It comes and goes; at the moment it's my right hand which is worse.
But nothing on earth would persuade me to let anyone stick a needle in it. I'm a needle coward!
I will try that Rhus Tox cream though. Thanks.

jacq10 Sun 04-Nov-18 23:07:17

Singlegrannie - I have the same problem but in my left hand. It has been very painful now for over three years and I have been getting the injections for the last two years at my local hospital. Yes - they are extremely painful to have but do give me relief - sometimes better than others. The last one I had worked within a week and I am still pain free after 6 weeks. My surgeon was keen for me to have the operation but I would not be able to drive for quite some time and it would take a long time before I could tackle other daily tasks. My husband is disabled and I really can't see me getting this done. Another point is I have spoken at the clinic to at least two other patients who have had the operation and not felt any real benefit from it so I think I will just hope the surgeon will keep giving me injections which he said he would do as long as I was getting pain relief from them

Teetime Mon 05-Nov-18 08:59:20

bluebelle I have had that big toe op (and the one next to it )this year and recovery was not too bad at all, virtually painless and now I can walk as much as I want and my previously excruciating foot pain has gone - I would recommend it. HOWEVER I have the same problem with my thumbs and now one has a huge lump at the base- I would definitely not have this operated on or injected I will juts accommodate it and take painkillers. I am sorry for all on here who has arthritic pain - the worst thing I find is how debilitating it can be so we need to take more care of ourselves and rest before we get knackered. I really am going to talk myself into taking a proper afternoon rest on a bed not slumped on the sofa.

yggdrasil Mon 05-Nov-18 09:26:52

I have this same problem, and the hospital doctor has said he can't go on giving injections regularly (only once a year usually). He too spoke of taking out a bone, but said my hand would be permanently weaker if it was done.. So I have rejected it so far,

Parsley3 Mon 05-Nov-18 09:35:38

I am having pain in my thumb joints now and it is causing me problems with daily tasks. I will try the homeopathic cream and I will be delighted if it solves the problem. Thank you for the suggestion,Sparklefizz. GN at its best.

Patsy70 Mon 05-Nov-18 11:19:44

I have painful, swollen thumb joints and big toe joints, which I haven't yet sought medical advice about. I will try the homeopathic remedy too, and will report back. Thank you Sparklefizz!

Feelingmyage55 Mon 05-Nov-18 11:44:03

Off to purchase the cream, so thank you Sparklefizz. The steroid injections have been good but my surgery limits them so was looking for an alternative.

Sparklefizz Mon 05-Nov-18 12:27:17

Feelingmyage55 Not sure if Amazon have it in stock at the moment but it's made by Helios Homeopathics and available from them.

Sparklefizz Mon 05-Nov-18 12:28:12

Also Parsley3 - try Helios Homeopathics direct for the cream (see post above)

EllanVannin Mon 05-Nov-18 12:51:08

I too have both thumb joints which are dodgy. No pain for a while but when it happens it's awful and I dread it. I'm also limited to what I can use as a rub because I take warfarin and whatever I try I have to phone a nurse/doctor ( if one is available ) to ask if it's okay to use as most contain analgesics/aspirin.
I cut out two fingerless mittens from an elasticated tubular bandage ready for when they flare up.

Sparklefizz Mon 05-Nov-18 13:13:54

EllanVannin The Rhus Tox and Ruta Cream is homeopathic - no analgesics or aspirin in it, but it does get rid of pain. Homeopathic remedies work in a different way to conventional medications. No need to suffer pain.

Parsley3 Mon 05-Nov-18 14:33:47

Thank you, I will try the cream and report back. 👍

Flapjack Sun 11-Nov-18 23:17:14

Just want to say thank you Sparklefizz. I got the cream for my husband and he says it works!

Sparklefizz Mon 12-Nov-18 07:09:09

Flapjack I am really pleased to hear that it's worked for your husband, and thank you for taking the trouble to tell me. I appreciate it. I've been using it for 4 years myself with great success and the nobbly bits which had started to appear on my finger joints have now faded away.

You can make a saving by buying more tubes at a discount, or do as I did if you buy it from Helios, and ask for a large tub which works out much cheaper.

Good luck.