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Trapeziectomy

When non-operative treatments have failed to control the pain and the pain is:

  • Moderate to severe
  • Constant/ all the time
  • Affecting sleep
  • Stopping you from carrying out activities of daily living

What to expect after your ‘Trapeziectomy’ operation.

Trapeziectomy’s are normally performed as day case surgery under a general anaesthetic or a regional block (where the arm is made numb using an injection).

You will be sent home with dressings or a POP on and be seen by the consultant in 2/52 to remove the dressings.

At this point you may be seen by a hand therapist who will:

  • Provide a splint to be worn as protection as your thumb heals
  • Give exercises to help you re-gain movement in your thumb
  • Give advice on what kind of activity you should/shouldn’t be performing
  • Give advice on strengthening your thumb

Things to consider before having a Trapeziectomy:

  • Risk of infection through surgery
  • Risk of nerve injury/ neuroma. A small nerve running through the region of where the surgeon is operating can be damaged during surgery. It may form a painful spot on / near the scar (a neuroma)
  • Rehabilitation can take between 4-12 months
  • Results from trapeziectomy vary depending on may different factors i.e the individual, other health problems, severity of arthritis etc.
  • 80% of patients experience decrease in pain following surgery, 15% experience little or no change in pain and function and 5% are worse than before they had surgery
  • Risk of problematic scar tissue. After the operation there is a risk that you may have problems with scarring including tender/ sensitive scarring. Thick/ hard scarring causing reduced movement
  • Risk of problematic scar tissue. After the operation there is a risk that you may have problems with scarring including tender/ sensitive scarring. Thick/ hard scarring causing reduced movement

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