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Anyone had hand surgery?

(38 Posts)
maddyone Tue 11-Feb-20 13:38:48

Just as the title says, has anyone had hand surgery? How long did it take to heal? How long did the pain last?

suziewoozie Tue 11-Feb-20 13:51:25

What for maddy ? I actually avoided hand surgery for a specific condition by having what was then a very new alternative treatment.

Chewbacca Tue 11-Feb-20 13:51:45

My husband has Dupuytren’s Disease and had an operation on his hand, at a local hospital, about 4 years ago to ease it. I'm sorry to say that it wasn't successful and his hand was left in a far worse condition than it was originally. He was then referred to another hospital in Derbyshire, where they operated again and that was much better. He's due to go back later this month for follow up treatment but has been told that the chances of improving it any further are slim. His hands are very gnarled and twisted now and he struggles with fine motor movements.

tanith Tue 11-Feb-20 13:58:34

I’ve had surgery for carpal tunnel 3 mths ago so far my hand is no better I have scar tissue at the incision site but with massage it’s improving. I still hope for it to improve the weakness and numbness.

suziewoozie Tue 11-Feb-20 14:02:36

Yes that was mine Chew. I’d read very negative reports about the conventional surgery - infection rates, long recovery period and very high recurrence rates. I researched surgeons in my area who would carry out the collagenese injection and my local NHS said they would fund it ( in the event I went privately because of logistics with work commitments). 5 years on my hand has hardly regressed at all from when the treatment was first carried out - my test is that I can still use all my fingers when putting on make up.

Sara65 Tue 11-Feb-20 14:04:59


My husband had it about a year ago, no real improvement I’m afraid, I think it was more painful than he was expecting as well, so stock up on painkillers!

maddyone Tue 11-Feb-20 14:25:28

Suzie, thanks for asking. I did post yesterday but got no replies so rephrased today hoping someone would be able to answer. I had a trapeziectomy three weeks ago tomorrow, to my right hand, I’m right handed. A trapeziectomy is the removal of the trapezium bone, at the base of the thumb, usually done to relieve arthritic pain. I had my left hand done some six years ago and after initial pain for the first few days, I recovered well. Fast forward six years (I waited that long as I’m right handed) and the surgery was done three weeks ago. I’ve had daily pain since then and I’m still taking painkillers all day and every day. I was told that pain levels can vary on each hand/person but the pain is so much worse than when my left hand was done, and so I’m wondering if anyone else has had this and how long their recovery took. Information on the internet seems to imply bad pain should only last a few days to two weeks. My hand is now in a plaster cast, initially it was in a very firm dressing, and I thought perhaps when the stitches were removed and the cast on, that I’d be in less pain, but I’m not.

maddyone Tue 11-Feb-20 14:26:37

What was your condition Suzie, if you don’t mind me asking?

maddyone Tue 11-Feb-20 14:27:44

Chewbacca, I haven’t heard of your husband’s condition. Is it a type of arthritis?

maddyone Tue 11-Feb-20 14:28:44

Ahh, just read your second post Suzie. Is it a type of arthritis?

GillS Tue 11-Feb-20 14:34:45

I also have had the same operation as you Maddyone. Both thumbs with several years gap between the two operations. Both successful and left me pain free after the initial 6 weeks. I think you’ve been very unlucky and if you haven’t done so already, perhaps a call to the surgeon might be an idea? Wishing you all the very best for a swift recovery.

maddyone Tue 11-Feb-20 14:35:03


Sorry to hear you’re still having pain. I hope your hand will continue to improve. It’s only when we have a problem with our hands that we realise how much we use them. Did you have a plaster cast on too after surgery?

I can’t put make up on at all Suzie, at the moment anyway. I could continue wearing makeup when I had the left hand done. I can’t even fasten my own bra or take a bath without my husband’s help. I don’t know how people who live alone cope when their hand is out of action.

Chewbacca Tue 11-Feb-20 14:36:29

Dupuytren's Disease:

As the disease progresses the nodules may then grow, and cords develop along the tendons. These cords then thicken which can contract and bend the affected fingers towards the palm. This can stop the fingers from being able to straighten, and is called a ‘contracture’. The progression of a contracture can be more aggressive if there is a familial history of the condition

In my husband's case, the little finger on his left hand was bent right in and curved across the inside of his palm. Over time, the next finger (ring finger) did the same. After the first operation, the fingers were slightly straighter but the scar tissue became like a thick rope across his palm and it became very hard and inflexible, making movement of his whole hand almost impossible. The 2nd operation did ease that but again, over time, its recurred and he's now been advised that further treatment won't ease it much more.

maddyone Tue 11-Feb-20 14:37:56


That’s encouraging, but as I’m only three weeks in with this hand, do you think I should persevere a bit longer? Everything looked good when the dressing came off last week, and the stitches had healed well. The surgeon usually recommends a brace, but as I was still having pain he said a cast would be better.

suziewoozie Tue 11-Feb-20 14:39:57

Same as Chews DH. The some (or all) of the fingers on one or both hands turn inwards towards the palm and become eventually claw like. Bill Nighy has it very badly and Jonathan Agnew. Mine was only one hand but meant I couldn't use it for some tasks. I think I was very lucky to find out about the treatment and for it to work so well. Your situation sounds really awful maddy I’m sorry I’d no useful information to give you. Best wishes with your recovery. Btw it’s nothing to do with arthritis - it’s a sort of shortening of the cords that then pull the fingers in. It’s genetic and people say it’s linked to Viking ancestry🙄

maddyone Tue 11-Feb-20 14:41:25


I think you’re describing what my dear Dad had, but I didn’t know the name. He had an operation and it improved, but if I remember rightly, I think it came back.

maddyone Tue 11-Feb-20 14:42:05

Thanks for the info Suzie.

GillS Tue 11-Feb-20 14:53:39

Maddyone it definitely took 6 weeks before I was able to stop using the support and I did take painkillers regularly, as well as exercise. As you know, the pain is very debilitating and you probably haven’t been using your hand properly for a long time. Chin up, I think you will get there eventually and it will all come right. Incidentally, my surgeon told me that 70% of the strength in our hands comes from the thumbs, so it’s definitely worth all the bother. Good luck.

felice Tue 11-Feb-20 15:06:14

I had surgery for Dupuytrens Contracture of my right hand 11 years ago, it has been a great success, I was even able to continue working as a Chef afterwards.
I have it also in my left hand now and am debating wether to have the op again as I am part-time retired now. Just cooking for private events.
You need a surgeon who specialises in Orthopaedic Microsurgery.

M0nica Tue 11-Feb-20 15:24:42

I had carpal tunnel surgery two years ago.Not entirely successful. I have been left with residual numbness in two fingers, but the pain has gone and for that alone I can cope with anything else.

As I remember, there was very little pain and I took painkillers for 24 hours at the most. The site remained painful for a month or so if pressed or banged. I was doing some cooking and the end of wooden spoon slipped and rammed into the operation site. The shock of that pain meant I had to be scraped of the ceiling, but little ongoing pain.

But do do the massage, the numbness improved a lot because I was assiduous in doing the massage for about 6 months.

Charleygirl5 Tue 11-Feb-20 15:24:51

You need an orthopaedic consultant who only operates on hands. You do not want a Jack of all trades. They are very difficult to find.

Dupuytren's Contracture affects men more than woman and the right more than the left hand. I am female and it affects my left hand and I am left handed. I try keeping my fingers supple and straightening the two affected.

maddyone Wed 12-Feb-20 11:31:29

Thank you everyone for your responses. I’m continuing to monitor my hand and if it’s still not improving by next week, I will go back to the hospital. I have mixed feelings about this because the hand is swollen and I’m suffering from pins and needles intermittently, but not all the time. The cast does feel too tight at times aswell but not all the time. It’s difficult isn’t it, I don’t want to bother them at the hospital for nothing.
My surgeon is a specialist hand and wrist surgeon, though probably not as experienced as the surgeon who did my left hand. He was an armed forces surgeon, and had served in Afghanistan putting back together the hands of injured servicemen.

Charleygirl5 Wed 12-Feb-20 21:47:18

maddyone if your hand is swollen try to elevate it if possible. If you have a sling wear that with the hand at least at shoulder height and if sitting down try to put the hand on cushions to elevate it.

maddyone Thu 13-Feb-20 13:28:45

Thanks for the advice everyone, Charley I do try to keep the hand elevated as far as possible. It’s very swollen, and after having a somewhat better day pain wise yesterday, I’m in a lot of pain and discomfort today, I’ve made an appointment at the cast clinic for tomorrow morning. They’ve said they’ll probably put a new cast on, and hopefully it will be a bit less tight. They also said this operation is an extremely painful one, and they had warned me beforehand about the pain I might have. I think I must have been extremely lucky last time as after the first few days I didn’t have pain. Everything was very straight forward.

maddyone Fri 14-Feb-20 12:22:59

A quick update, yesterday I had so much pain that I spent the day in my pyjamas and lurked on Gransnet. Today I went back to the hospital and I’m now sporting a new cast. It’s still painful but hopefully will settle down.