UKC

Fracture to base of thumb joint

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 coldfell 20 Nov 2021

Has anyone experienced this and had the treatment involving inserting a wire in the joint to stabilize it? any issues afterwards? Presently I have a cast on but am advised to have the operation on Monday, has anyone chosen not to have the op and just let the joint heal without intervention?

Of course I respect the advice of the consultant, but am just curious and a little surprised at the necessity for hand surgery.

In reply to coldfell:

I had a bennett's fracture on my thumb in 2015 due to a bad climbing fall - I think that is similar to what you mentioned above. I wasn't aware non-surgery was an option, my thumb was pretty bad after the accident and I suspect I would have never regained any mobility / strength if it wasn't surgically fixed. I had k-wires place into my thumb/wrist to stabilise the joint which were then removed a few months afterwards.

I had ongoing issues with my thumb for a couple of years afterwards, quite bad periods of pain that would last a few weeks in a cyclical nature. It was often made worst by damp weather and certain aggravating movements (holding ice axes and doing push-ups were the worst culprits). For the past few years it has been almost totally fine, occasionally over doing push-ups can bring the pain back but almost all other 'normal' activities and climbing are all fine. I've climbed far harder post accident than pre accident, so should be no worries getting back into it after surgery.

I had some x-rays done of the joint a few years ago which showed some fairly extensive arthritis in the joint, which makes sense as there is a lot of crepitus with certain motions of the thumb joint. I suspect in a few years time the pain will come back and I may have to go down the avenue of steroid injections and eventual fusion of the joint. My surgery wasn't super successful (i was left with a pretty big lump where the bones have been misaligned) so I would imagine the prognosis for most others would be better. However saying that, i'm almost 7 years post surgery now and theres no signs of the pain returning. Fingers crossed.

All the usual stuff about doing the physio etc apply.

 Wainers44 20 Nov 2021
In reply to coldfell:

Another Bennetts fracture sufferer here. Wacky short thumb and big new lump on wrist joint should have been sufficient to tell me I had a problem. But I picked the ball up and tried to take the throw anyway. Even the magic sponge didn't sort it.

They managed to pull it back out and it stayed on without a pin. That was a lot of years ago and although it was sore and weak for a couple of years, it's been fine for many more years now.

 Wainers44 20 Nov 2021
In reply to Wainers44:

Thinking back, they did seem doubtful that it would be OK without the pin, but I was careful to not tense the muscles inside the plaster.  Not being able to drive for many weeks was a right pain.

 coldfell 21 Nov 2021
In reply to CMcBain:

Thanks for posting this - yes a Bennets fracture, caused by falling off my bike. Reading of other peoples experience is useful, in that it gives me an idea what questions to ask. I didn't realise they take the wire out later, but that makes sense. I already suffer arthritis so will expect it in this joint too. Good to hear that crimping is still doable! I am hoping to get back to climbing after a fall earlier this year - I seem to be having an accident prone couple of years.

 coldfell 21 Nov 2021
In reply to Wainers44:

Thanks for reply, yes for such a seemingly small injury - it causes quite a lot of inconvenience, I can't drive or go to work, a nuisance for many others!


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