Well. The trapeziectomy has settled. My hand doesn’t look quite normal yet, and differs from the other hand – it’s narrower and a different shape. But the pain has settled down. There is some pain at a background level, and the occasional long, nasty twinge. Mostly, however, it’s ok. It feels normal most of the time. I’m very pleased. It took 3 1/2 months – but that’s normal. In fact, that’s a minimum, really. So in time I expect it will settle even more, the swelling may go down more, and it’ll all be fine.
However. While I was under the anaesthetic they also administered a steroid injection into each of my forefinger knuckles, where they join the hand. Now, that worked for just under three months. Now, I am in considerable pain with them all the time. The right one is worse than the left one, and is visibly swollen. The pain goes right through the joint, from top to bottom.
I am taking Paracetamol anyway for the surgery pain, but need more than that for this. So I take one Tramadol a day, two if I need to, and have an appointment with my GP to see if there is anything else they/I can do to help manage/control this pain better. The physiotherapist strapped the right one up, and that does help, but isn’t practical all the time. She used Micropore, which is cheap enough, and gave me the rest of the roll. I do use it, but once it’s wet it’s no good, so it needs re-doing regularly.
While I was waiting for the physio, I read an article in an Arthritis magazine which said that while rheumatoid arthritis is recognised as an auto-immune disease, osteoarthritis is regarded as part of the natural ageing process. However, research has discovered that there is an auto-immune element to osteoarthritis as well, and that response to drugs used in rheumatoid arthritis in osteoarthritis patients is good. I’m really hoping that my GP knows and agrees with this, and that she’ll try some different pain relievers. I can’t take NSAIDs (Nurofen, Voltarol, etc) because of my asthma – two days and I’m wheezing like an old bellows – so the choices are limited for me.
The choices apart from pain relief are: one more injection in the affected joint(s), and if that doesn’t work, joint replacement. That sounds very invasive to me. Even an injection in those particular joints involves a general anaesthetic, and that in itself knocks me about for weeks and weeks. So pain control would, hopefully, be a better way forward. Appointment with GP a week on Tuesday.