Thumbs-up for Sweet Coffee!

Many people will be familiar with thumb pain caused by arthritis. It is one of the most common orthopaedic complaints for the hand, and can be very debilitating, limiting your ability to perform everyday activities.

Patients might be offered a trapeziectomy to relieve the pain at the base of the carpometacarpal joint (CMCJ), where part of the joint is excised, but for Ali Zafarani, and an increasing number of people, a joint-preserving thumb replacement implant was suggested.

Mr Zafarani’s consultant hand surgeon, Mr Michael Elvey, has trained to become proficient in thumb replacement surgery and listed Mr Zafarani for a Touch® dual-mobility CMCJ replacement in February 2020.

Leading up to his surgery, Ali, a retired IT engineer who is used to working with precise tools and machinery, struggled to button his own shirt, lacking the necessary dexterity and pinch strength to perform fine motor tasks, which previously came naturally to him.

Having always enjoyed a teaspoon of sugar in his coffee, Ali found the simple process of scooping and stirring the spoon would be painful and difficult to do. Everyone can imagine the frustration and discomfort this would have caused.

Following successful surgery performed by Mr Elvey at Central Middlesex NHS Hospital, Ali told us that he “is 100% pain-free – perfect!” The thumb replacement “changed my life” and has allowed him to return to a busy retirement of DIY, gardening and playing with his three grandchildren. It’s a thumbs-up from Ali!

Thanks to Mr Zafarani, who has been happily ‘telling all my friends’ about his success story, many people are now more familiar with thumb replacements, what a positive impact they can have on people’s quality of life, and on the sweetness of their coffee!

It's a thumbs up from Ali!

A functional, pain-free thumb joint is essential for grip and pinch strength. If you look closely, you can see how neatly the scar on Ali’s right hand has healed.