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Post new topic Arthritis in base of Thumbs
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Arthritic Thumbs
 11%  [ 1 ]
 55%  [ 5 ]
 11%  [ 1 ]
 22%  [ 2 ]
Total Votes : 9

Author Topic:  Arthritis in base of Thumbs
Jim Sliff

Lawndale California, USA
Post Posted 14 Nov 2017 9:57 pm     Reply with quote

I have had severe arthritis at the base of my left thumb fo over 8 months.

A banjo player buddy is a hand therapist and made me a otherwise very expensive) custom-fit brace.

My orthopedic surgeon/hand specialist (also a guitarist) has done several treatments including cortisone & trigger-point injections.

Still fouled to the point that I can't really play 6-string; b-bender is a non-started (and that's my main type) - and while I can hold a bar OK, I can only handle it for 30 minutes or so. And any strain causes pain that shoots up my forearm.

So I'm looking at "anchovy" surgery over the winter, with a projected 4-6 month complete recovery time..very possibly longer with my disabling chronic pain issues related to irritation of multiple nerve endings.


No chops, but great tone
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Dale Rottacker

Tacoma Washington, USA
Post Posted 16 Nov 2017 2:00 pm     UPDATE---Arthritis in base of Thumbs Reply with quote

I’d like to thank all of you who’ve participated in both the poll as well as sharing your experiences with Arthritic Thumbs.

I went and saw my Dr. today... She ordered new X-rays to determine the progression from last June when I first had my thumbs X-ray’d

Someone also mentioned Diclofenac, which I in turn mentioned to my Dr. She said yes it’s pretty effective and I have to say that after having applied it about 3 hours ago, within an hour I was feeling more relief than I’d expected.

I also asked her about CBD oil, and she said, that the best results seem to come from a 1-1 ratio of THC-CBD, so I got some of that too, but now have to figure out how to make a lotion with the 5 little vials I got for 35 bucks. HELLO YOUTUBE!!!...

She is also trying to get me into an orthopedist, and will probably end up with shots and hopefully that will slow down the progression.

She also suggested neoprene splint type of thing, that still allows movement but helps support the joint and also add warmth to it to help with mobility.

Anyhow, thanks again, and lets keep coming back here to share what has worked for you and what didn’t, and maybe we can all play a little longer because of the insight we got right here.
Dale Rottacker, Steelinatune

*2016 MSA Legend XL Signature 9x6
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Dan Robinson

Colorado, USA
Post Posted 18 Nov 2017 4:37 pm     Reply with quote

My right thumb basal joint is pretty far gone. Checked by my rheumatologist and hand surgeon. The surgeon told me that recovery time is as much as six months. Too long for me, at least right now. Tried several steroid injections, sometimes they help for a few weeks, but overall... meh.

Come to Colorado, get all the CBD oil you want, lol. I haven't tried it, don't know if it helps.

Diclofenac is OK for, what it's worth. It provides some relief, but when you have a joint with bone on bone there's only so much you can do. Holding a regular guitar pick aggravates it (that pinching motion), but fortunately playing the steel doesn't bother it.

For me it's all about learning what bothers it and how to avoid things that make it worse ("hey doc, it hurts when I ..." "Then don't do that.").

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Dan Robinson

Colorado, USA
Post Posted 19 Nov 2017 4:06 pm     Reply with quote

Just remembered a driving suggestion from the hand surgeon. Grip the steering wheel with your thumbs next to your fingers, not wrapped around the wheel. It's less irritating to the base of the thumb. And safer in the event of a collision.

It took some time to get used to this, but it does help me.
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