My thumb and its issues

As I mentioned yesterday, I saw my doctor and spoke with her regarding my thumb and the strange things it does these days.

I had an X-ray back in November that didn’t show anything. It ruled out the most obvious suspects, such as arthritis and carpal tunnel. When I explained the most recent symptoms, she suggested it may be a trigger tendon, which is something that would not show up on an X-ray.

The next step is to meet with a hand specialist. I came home last night, however, and did a little research into trigger tendon. Fro what I read, it seems that they can, as my doctor suggested they would, give steroid injections that would help relieve the pain. The catch is that the relief is only temporary, and they can only do it twice, as anything more carries the risk of tendon blow out – which obviously would be worse than trigger tendon. Once you’ve done the two injections, the next step is surgery.

This is where I’m hesitant. Needles and I do not get along. I hate having needles stuck in me. Ever, for any reason. So the mere idea of steroid injections doesn’t exactly thrill me. But what thrills me even less is the idea of surgery. I broke an ankle a few years ago, and did so much damage that I had to have surgery to repair it. It was not pleasant, to put it mildly. The thought of going through it again – it’s a toss up whether the surgery or Chinese water torture would be worse.

In the research I did last night, I did find that some people opt to just live with the condition. With various painkillers, braces, etc., many people are able to just “power through” and deal with it. Basically, it seems to boil down to an issue of quality of life.

Having read that, I’m reconsidering the whole thing. The pain only crops up every few months, lasting typically for a few days to a couple of weeks (although one time it did last for about 3 months). I bought a thumb stabilizer after my appointment yesterday and wore it to bed last night, waking up this morning to find that I felt better. Whether that was thanks to the stabilizer or the issue simply resolved itself is up for debate at the moment, but I’m inclined to feel that maybe this would be the best way to go.

At this point, my thought is to see the hand specialist for confirmation that this is, in fact, trigger tendon. I’d hate to ignore it and find out later that it was more serious and did need treatment. But if I get confirmation that this is trigger tendon, I’m seriously considering just wearing the stabilizer every night to bed, using copious amounts of Advil, Aleve or whatever does the trick, and dealing with it. I’ve been dealing with it all this time anyway, so does it really make much of a difference?

I did want to get something done, but in thinking last night and today – I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do, but I do know that surgery wasn’t one of the options I was putting on the table. Knowing now that, ultimately, surgery might be the only real option to resolve this, and also that this isn’t something that is likely to cause any major issues in my life, I feel I need to, at the very least, take a step back and seriously contemplate whether getting something done is truly necessary.

At the moment, I’m thinking it’s not.