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The 1st CMC joint is located at the base of the thumb. It gives the thumb a wide range of motion – up, down, across the palm, and the ability to pinch. A healthy joint has cartilage on the surface of the bones that acts as a cushion, allowing smooth and painless movement of the joint.
Osteoarthritis means that there is wear and tear of the joint. With osteoarthritis, the cartilage breaks down and releases substances in the joint that cause inflammation and pain.
1st CMC arthroplasty is a joint replacement surgery, one of the surgical options for the treatment of 1st CMC joint osteoarthritis. This surgery is performed under general anesthesia, which means that you will be put to sleep during surgery.
The aim of the surgery is to replace the damaged joint, relieve pain, regain functional thumb movement and improve your quality of life.
What to Expect After 1st CMC Arthroplasty?
The goals for postoperative management following a CMC arthroplasty are to regain thumb / wrist range of motion, decrease pain, increase functional strength and return to functional activities.
1) Bandage and splintAfter surgery, your forearm and hand will be kept in a bulky bandage. Please do not remove the bandage on your own.
Postoperative Day 1 (POD1):
2) Swelling management
Swelling may persist up to a few weeks after operation. Controlling the swelling helps to improve pain and speed up your recovery.
3) Wound care
4) Exercise and therapy:The goals of rehabilitation are:
You will have regular outpatient follow ups with your surgeon and Hand Occupational Therapist during the rehabilitation phase:
5) Pain management
The degree of pain you may have will vary and differ amongst individuals. The goal is to minimize the pain so that you can perform your prescribed and exercise regimens and to be able to rest comfortably. Your pain medication must be taken as prescribed by your attending surgeon.
Hand numbness and tingling may be expected after surgery. This is due to the local anesthesia used during surgery and may last up to 6-12 hours.