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Hand Surgery

I am contemplating having my left thumb and wrist operated on due to Osteo-arthritis. I also have RA, but the damage to my left hand (in addition to carpal tunnel)is related to Osteo - not RA says my Rheum. dr.

Here's my question: has anyone on these forums had hand surgery? If so, did it help or make things worse? My RA dr. tells me that hand/thumb surgery is not very advanced and she has seen more negative issues after surgery, than positive.

I have had this degenerative thumb joint and deforming wrist for the past 5 yrs - progressing to the point that now I'm losing my grasping capability in my left hand. The thing is; it's not really painful, just awkward using my thumb and my hand doesn't open completely anymore.

All of the first joints in both my hands show serious bending and swollen nodules from the OA, especially my index fingers which point toward my pinky fingers in an almost 45-90 degree angle. I had not been specifically treating the OA at this time since we have concentrated on getting my RA under control since I was first diagnosed.

For the first time since 2003, my CRP and SED rate are within the normal range. FIRST TIME! Incredible, yet now that the RA is under control, my OA seems to be taking front and center.

I would like to know if anyone has a similar or the same problem, and what, if anything have you done or plan on doing. I'm told it will continue to get worse, but WHEN do I decide to have surgery?

Thanks to anyone with information for me. At this point, I'm still more afraid of a bad outcome, than I am of dropping things with my left hand - but what about the near future?


  1. Hi Connie ~

    Unfortunately I don't have any personal experience with surgery, but I wanted to let you know that you might get more responses from our community if you try posting on the Facebook page. There is generally a lot of discussion going on there!

    Best of luck to you!


    1. Connie-
      I've had two hand surgeries:
      The first when I was 17 was a wrist fusion and work on multiple fingers straightening and replacing tendons. The second when I was 18 was a sort of ulnar "tethering" to help with pronation/supination pain.
      In my experience, surgery helped immensely. I was able to use both hands semi-normally for the first time in almost a decade. Though my damage was caused by RA and not OA, I would say that if its impacting your daily life to a point that's difficult to handle, look into surgery. Make sure and research hand surgeons and find one you trust with a good track record; this is intricate work and you deserve only the best!
      Good luck to you!

      1. Kayla, thank you so much for your answer. I was hoping to hear from someone like yourself who has actually experienced a surgery. May I ask more specific questions? Would you prefer to answer in email? I will wait to hear your answer. Thanks so much!

        1. Absolutely, anything you'd like to know I'd be glad to help! My email address is
          Please feel free to contact me!

          or create an account to reply.