thumb fusion vs pyrocarbon pip total joint replacement?

Posted , 6 users are following.

Very active mechanic trying to keep strength in left thumb (I am right handed). Wearing a hand brace now made specifically for me but wondering who has had something done and has it worked long term. Wearing the hand brace allows me to do everything but I am still experiencing pain. Is it better to have it fused or replace the joint? I've had my  neck fused years ago so I am not against a fusion. Not interested in the tendon procedure to fix problem. One physician has suggested the pyrocardbon pip joint replacement through Ascention, and when researching cannot find out much more info on patients who have had this done or fusion. I will be making an appointment with this surgeon down the road, but want some real life feedback before making a decision and seeing surgeon. Any replies would be appreciated. 

 

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  • Posted

    Hi David. I read and will watch your post with interest as I have three top vertebrae destroyed and my right thumb stroke wrist is also severe. My left is moderate damanged. I am left handed but gee it is a challenge. I have been told fusion is necessary however am trying other options first. I will give myself six months of 

    1 I take anti malaria as there is some evidence that it stalks the progression

    2 therapeutic massage with acupuncture

    3supplements that include glucosamine c ginger cumin 

    4 bloody paracetamol 

    The problem I have is the inflammation appears to effect whole of body immunity after I first flare. Did you experience this.

    Kes 

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  • Posted

    I have just had  my third PIP joint replacement, the first was the pyro carbon, the last 2 have been the silicon ones. 

    The carbon one was initially great, I had reasonably movement, but over time it became stiff. I still have some movement with it, but not much, on the plus side I am pain free. The stifness is quite common long term according to my surgeon, which is why the last 2 replacements, (the last one 3 weeks ago) have been the silicon version. I have more movement with them but they are not as hard wearing, only time will tell. 

    The last joint replacement was on my right index finger and my surgeon wanted to fuse it but I persuaded him that I wouldn't use it for pinching etc, so he agreed to put in a silicon joint. 

    Personally being pain free is priceless and I am happy with that against the restrictions in motion. Fingers never get full motion anyway. Hope this helps

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your response. Do you feel the silicone would hold up being a mechanic? My former trade was a mechanic and I am  retired now and only do it on the side when needed. 

      ​How long did It take for the carbon one to stiffen up?

      ​Thanks

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    • Posted

      The carbon one stiffened up after a couple of years. My surgeon will not use them anymore. 

      I have had a silicon joint for several years and its still in place, but I am careful and don't stress it too much. It depends what you do as a mechanic. Personally I would much rather be pain free and have some movement, than worry about being a mechanic as there are plenty of other things you can do 

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  • Posted

    Hi 

    I dislocated my left thumb but unfortunately it was 3 months later due to pain and me going to my gp that it was X-rayed again and showed 3 fractures. I had both joints fused and rigerous physio to get it moving but it failed, I can move my thumb slightly but can’t grip, luckily for me I’m right handed so if I was you I would probably go for joint replacement.

    Good luck 

    Wendy 

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    • Posted

      Wendy,

      ?I don't understand your post...did you lose movement in the good joints, or the fused joints? I thought when something got fused you lost movement?

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  • Posted

    Dear David.....

    do you do or know how to do Piano Finger Stretching exercises????.....water therapy with two buckets and sponges in hot and cold water?......acupuncture??  The surgery your doctor is suggesting is relatively new.... I would want to know how long it lasts and what history of complications others have had.......  it would be awful if you lost the ability to use you left thumb/hand.  While I know you would be an amazing one armed mechanic!!!  I know because I have one in the family....... Daily pain sucks..... you are in a profession where "Repetitious Motion Syndrome" will bite you in the butt!  Seriously you need to do some counter motions to your regular ones......

    I feel for you....... I have bad bones and live with brutal pain and inability to walk..... I am only 60...... unfortunately for me..... there is no treatment.  For you there is.... BUT you need a great doctor.... one you trust.... not one with a God Complex..... I have had a couple of those and am paying for their inability to say that nothing should be done...

    I will pray for you and your dilemma. I also hope to hear better news in your next update!

    Always,

    Erela

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    • Posted

      David/Erela. I do these exercises along with current acupuncture and I must add I soak my hands and feet in hot water with garlic, cumin and ginger. I use a mixture of fresh root and break caps that I get from compounding pharmacy ! It is wonderful before sleeping and it goes through entire body ! 

      Good luck 

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    • Posted

      oh that soak sounds yummy.........  wish I could get in and out of the bath tub...... although this soak sounds so good I would want to stay in! lol.... thank you for sharing this soak!

       

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