View Full Version : Hand surgery!

09-11-2013, 12:57 AM
I have posted elsewhere and elsewhen about a surgery I recently had to at least partially correct a minor-ish disability I was born with. Figured I'd give some updates (with pictures!) in case anyone is dealing with anything remotely similar or has a kid with a problem like this and is considering correction.

I was born with a hypoplastic thumb on my right hand. (And yes, I am right-handed.) There are variant grades of I-V that all refer to problems with the thumb, ranging from slight diminished stature to full-on absence. Mine was type II/III, which means that I have no thenar muscles at all and a very unstable joint.

When I was a teenager, I was told by a stupid orthopedist that I should wait until I was older to do something about it, and that probably nothing could be done anyway. I was having a sad about it a few months ago (whoever heard of a writer without an opposable thumb on her writing hand, anyway?) when I decided to find out for myself if anything could be done. I really prefer writing stories by long-hand, y'all, and not only had that become impossible, but I couldn't even hold a coffee cup with that hand anymore, since the joints in these cases degrade over time.

Three months, a painful surgery by one of the national experts (who just happened to work at a hospital down the road, thank you divine providence!), and some physical therapy later, I am using chopsticks again and have clearly legible writing, though it'll be several more months before I can think about setting pen to paper for any appreciable length of time.

Happy to be able to prove my superiority to non-primates now.

Picture the morning before my surgery - you can really see how jacked up it is (and no, there's nothing wrong with my wrist, that's just the funny angle I had to hold it to get a good photo):


Pictures now (sorry, kinda blurry, couldn't be helped) - you can see the tendon that was transferred from my index finger to my thumb (you've got two, it seems) and there's a vast improvement in position and stability:



Very pleased to join most of the rest of you humans in opposable thumb-itude!

09-11-2013, 02:45 AM

(Someone had to do it...)

Congratulations on your new THUMB-tron 5000! Please read the complete User Manual (available online at dynamicdigits.com/thumbtron/5000) and before operation. Register for warranty protection, product updates, and special offers. For technical assistance, please call our toll-free number, visit our website, or consult a certified THUMB-tron 5000 mechanic. WARNING: Opening the THUMB-tron 5000 voids manufacturer warranty. THUMB-tron 5000 cannot be used as a flotation device. Do not insert into electrical sockets, toaster ovens, or airplane engines.

09-11-2013, 03:01 AM
*high five!!!*


What's the physical therapy routine like?

09-11-2013, 03:06 AM
Not all that bad. I get a heat massage and everything. It's mostly just playing with a play-doh-like goo, so I get to pretend like I'm five again. Pretty awesome. And it's F-R-E-E which is cool too.

09-11-2013, 06:28 AM
Use that thumb to grab a pint in celebration! :)

09-11-2013, 06:32 AM
Already there, JJ. Already there. ;)

Alessandra Kelley
09-11-2013, 07:18 AM
Congratulations and good luck, and thanks for sharing. It helps make these things less mysterious, and less worrisome.

09-11-2013, 02:39 PM
Congrats, Yorkist!

09-11-2013, 03:42 PM
So happy for you darlin'! :heart:

09-11-2013, 04:41 PM
Congrats and good luck

Siri Kirpal
09-11-2013, 10:01 PM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Always love a good inspiring story! Thanks for sharing and may your thumb forever treat you well.


Siri Kirpal

09-11-2013, 11:10 PM
Well, that's really thumbthing. :poke:

*Walks away thinking thumbody should be pretty proud of herself now while humming Thumb Enchanted Evening...

09-11-2013, 11:13 PM
Oh dear.... shall I fetch your coat or do you have it with you?