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Anchovy Arthroplasty - Have Any Throwers Had This Surgery?

Anchovy arthroplasty surgery

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#1 PotterSandi

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 10:55 AM

Due to Basal Thumb arthritis, my hand doctor is recommending "Anchovy" arthroplasty - a procedure where they remove part of the affected thumb joint (the one that connects the thumb to the wrist) and replace it with a piece of your own tendon, harvested from the wrist, curled up into an "anchovy" shape.

 

Has anyone who throws on the wheel had this procedure?  I just want to see if throwing on the wheel is still possible after this type of surgery!

 

Many thanks!



#2 Biglou13

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 08:25 PM

im in the medical field and am not a proponent of any surgery.   yes is sometimes is a necessary evil. and other alternatives are more often not explored.

look at Koie Ryoji's  riddled hands, somewhat deformed from what i assume is arthritis.   

look at the work he still produces.

and in his videos how adaptive he is to these changes


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#3 PotterSandi

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 08:21 AM

Thank you so much - VERY good advice from both you and Mark (I did see your post, although it doesn't seem to be here...just got it in an email)! 

This is my second hand surgeon I've talked to about this problem.  The first one gave me fusion as my ONLY option.  The second one told me that he would never recommend fusion at my age, but recommends the Anchovy surgery.  My concern about it is if they take a tendon from my wrist, won't that make it not work well for the fine control needed to throw pottery.  I'm definitely going to explore more options and talk to my doctor more before making any decisions.

My mother had this surgery done and has no more pain, but her hand is a bit deformed (she calls it "monkey paw").  She is able to crochet without any trouble though.  Just not sure about pottery!!



#4 Mark C.

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 01:28 AM

I will gladly talk to you about this as I know more than I'll post-you can call me if you'd like

Fusion  is only last resort-for me thats IF my PRC fails which I will know by extreme pain I'm told-then its fusion.

I will PM you my phone number and we can speak some more on this-I really do have a few more suggestions but would rather not hash them out here.

Just so you know I had the PRC at age 59 and that was over a year ago.

What matters most is to make sure your are seeing the top specialists in the field as this is serious stuff.

For me that was a 6 hour drive for all appointments-7 trips in a year with one trip a year for life.

Mark


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#5 chaserw

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 04:45 PM

Hi,

I have a relative who had this surgery. She was able to find a hand surgeon at Temple University hospital in Philadelphia who performs the surgery without using the tendon from the wrist. He uses a synthetic tendon. My relative recovered very quickly and is doing very well. Dr. Thodor is his name.

 

Good luck!

Renée Chase



#6 GLeePottery

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 03:56 PM

I'm a little late in responding. I had that exact surgery on my right thumb. After 6 visits to Physical Therapy, my thumb worked like it did pre-surgery. There is one difference when I work on the wheel, I'm not in constant pain in my right thumb. I will be getting my left thumb fixed in a month.

#7 PotterSandi

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 09:46 AM

Thank you, everyone, and especially GLeePottery - you have given me hope!  I plan to have the surgery as soon as I am able to clear my order queue!

Mark - I'm sorry I haven't had the chance to give you a call - I'm literally drowning both at work and home!!

I so appreciate your help!

Sandi



#8 Joyful

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 02:16 PM

Hi Potter Sandy:

I had the anchovy repair done in Dec 2012.   The tendon they planned to use as a replacement was so destroyed that they simply pinned the joint and casted my wrist/forearm*.  Pin was removed 6 weeks later and physical therapy began and I have had wonderful results - no longer have pain in thumb/wrist that prevented sooooo many activities and have full use of thumb once again.  It is true that the presence of a thumb separates us from monkeys!!!  I can do anything that requires use of my thumb now.  I am planning to have my left thumb done soon.

 

*not harvesting the tendon and simply pinning it is the procedure of choice in California and in the U.K.

The whole surgery is accessible through the internet if you care to preview prior to surgery.

 

Joyful






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