The recovery period after basal joint arthritis surgery is three to six months, according to Cleveland Clinic. Pain begins to diminish, and the patient regains motion within the first three months. Most patients can resume normal activities after about six months, sometimes sooner.
Immediately after surgery, a rigid splint immobilizes the wrist and thumb to protect the thumb, explains Cleveland Clinic. The patient rests, elevates and regularly ices the area. The doctor replaces the splint with a new splint or cast after seven to 14 days, and the patient wears that continuously for a month. After this point, the doctor removes the cast or splint, and the patient only needs to use the splint for protection during demanding activities.
Four to six weeks after surgery, the patient can begin exercise therapy and rehabilitation, states Cleveland Clinic. Therapy with the physician typically lasts for three to four months, after which time the patient completes therapy at home. Use of the hand depends highly on the individual and his rate of recovery and tolerance for pain, but most recipients of basal joint arthritis surgery typically regain full use of their hands and can complete normal activities within six months after their surgery.