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Bouchard's or Heberden's nodes -surgery?

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Genie 01 Sep 11 - 02:18 AM
tonyteach1 01 Sep 11 - 09:22 AM
Genie 01 Sep 11 - 02:11 PM
Genie 03 Sep 11 - 06:50 PM
GUEST 23 Dec 17 - 11:35 PM
leeneia 25 Dec 17 - 10:03 PM
leeneia 25 Dec 17 - 10:05 PM
GUEST 26 Dec 17 - 08:30 AM
GUEST 03 Feb 18 - 04:42 PM
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Subject: Bouchard's or Heberden's nodes -surgery?
From: Genie
Date: 01 Sep 11 - 02:18 AM

I am wondering if guitarists who are afflicted with Bouchard's (middle joint) or Heberden's (smallest joint) nodes on their chording hand can be treated successfully by surgery to remove the nodes.   I'm sure the nodes could be removed surgically, but I'm not sure how long-lasting that remedy would be, especially if you keep using that hand for playing guitar chords.   I'm also not sure whether less invasive methods of removal might be available, such as with lasers.    And I don't know whether the nerves and muscles involved in using that hand would function as well after the surgery (or how soon).

I have basically lost my ability to play most barre chords because of a Bouchard's node on my index finger, which is painfully positioned against the fretboard when I play a barre chord using only that finger for the barre. (Barre chords that let me use two fingers for the barre are still ok.)

Anti-inflammatories help a lot with most osteoarthritic problems, such as stiffness and joint pain, but they're not much help when you've got a bony protrusion hitting the fret or fretboard.   So I'm wondering if anyone else has had to deal with this and what sorts of remedies might be available.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Bouchard's or Heberden's nodes -surgery?
From: tonyteach1
Date: 01 Sep 11 - 09:22 AM

I always advise beginners playing acoustic guitar to be wary of using excessive barre chords
I would rekey songs or use a capo or find other ways of playing the chords


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Subject: RE: Bouchard's or Heberden's nodes -surgery?
From: Genie
Date: 01 Sep 11 - 02:11 PM

That's interesting. I played guitar for over 30 years before I ever really attempted to use barre chords and only forced myself to start using them when I accidentally cut off the tip of my left index finger (while slicing carrots for a salad) and could not play a C or F chord any other way for a month or two.   Then I discovered the advantage of the moveable F chord and used it, not really routinely, but quite often. There are some songs I just can't do easily without using that moveable chord.    The osteoarthritis in my left hand became noticeable at least 10 years before that, and I don't think the nodes - especially the Heberden's - were in any way the result of using barre chords. I'm not sure about the Bouchard's nodes, but the only one that could have developed BECAUSE of using barre chords would be the one on the index finger. It's possible that the noticeable bone spur that hits the fret board when I do a barre did develop or worsen from doing barre chords. In any case, I really would like to have it removed if it's feasible, so that I can use a barre when I need to.

It can be very limiting not to be able to do any barre chords at all (except for things like the moveable Fm chord).   I can't play a B chord any other way, for instance, and in most of the keys I can play well in, some songs do require chords like F# or B or Bflat.    Believe me, I use all sorts of "cheats" to accommodate the osteoarthritis, like doing minor melodic runs instead of using certain difficult chords, using 2 fingers to play a D chord, reverting to the non-barred F chord, etc.   

But this thread is really about treatments for the arthritic nodes in the fingers.    I think the topic of how to live (and play) with the limitations of osteoarthritis (and other ailments) is more likely to be found and noticed if we do it in a separate thread with a clear title.

BTW, I did try googling to find info on this topic, but even when I specified "surgical removal" or "surgery for," and "Bouchard's nodes" and "Heberden's nodes," I would get deluge of pages about anything and everything to do with arthritis, including dietary supplements and NSAIDs,    I thought with all the guitarists who frequent the Mudcat cafe, there well may be some who either have personal experience with removal of these nodes or may know of others who have.   

Genie


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Subject: RE: Bouchard's or Heberden's nodes -surgery?
From: Genie
Date: 03 Sep 11 - 06:50 PM

I see there are a couple mentions of surgery in this thread about playing with arthritis, but nothing specifically about surgery to remove bone spurs or Bouchard's nodes or Heberden's nodes. Maybe someone has had experience with this.


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Subject: RE: Bouchard's or Heberden's nodes -surgery?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Dec 17 - 11:35 PM

I want to die


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Subject: RE: Bouchard's or Heberden's nodes -surgery?
From: leeneia
Date: 25 Dec 17 - 10:03 PM

Guest: google this

Suicide hotline, then the name of your city

Get a phone number and talk to somebody.


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Subject: RE: Bouchard's or Heberden's nodes -surgery?
From: leeneia
Date: 25 Dec 17 - 10:05 PM

Now then, back to guitar chords. I have played guitar for years without playing barre chords. If I can do it, you can too, whoever you are.


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Subject: RE: Bouchard's or Heberden's nodes -surgery?
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Dec 17 - 08:30 AM

Hi

I'm a 56 year old guitarist. Played for over 45 years. I developed bad Heberdens in my left and right hand middle and index fingers. Most surgeons only want (or have the skills) to fuse the DIP joint with a K wire which has an 8 week recovery.
Through sheer bloody mindedness I found a surgeon in the UK who replaced the left hand joints with Swanson 00 silicon joints August this year. I was back working after 12 days (I'm a TV sound mixer). It's 6 months down the line and I can play to about 90% of my previous ability and it gets better every week. He's told me to expect it to take up to a year to recover to near full ability.
The fingers still have some of the lumpiness and swelling but that is a trade off between recovery time and post op physiotherapy. If the lumps are to all be removed the tendons have to be cut and the joints cleaned with a saw and abrasion tools and the tendons re-attached with an 8 week healing time and months of hand therapy. My surgeon used glorified wire cutters ( I watched him under local anaesthetic) and replaced the joints from the side not cutting the tendons (some of which are attached to the knobbly bits). After two weeks I was playing again in a limited capacity and this has been all the physio I've needed.
I'm having the right hand done in March 2018.


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Subject: RE: Bouchard's or Heberden's nodes -surgery?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Feb 18 - 04:42 PM

Can you let us know the name of the surgeon?


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