Surgery for thumb arthritis is an outpatient procedure meaning patients go home the same day as surgery. The thumb and wrist are initially immobilized in a hard splint. Light use of the hand is permitted immediately after surgery.
Sutures are usually removed between one and two weeks after surgery. A removable splint is worn for 4-6 weeks after surgery to keep the thumb stable while it heals. Activities can be gradually advanced as tolerated. Hand therapists provide instruction in range of motion and strengthening exercises.
Thumb function and strength continues to improve for several months after surgery. It is possible, but uncommon for symptoms to return or future surgery be necessary after this procedure.