After Dr. Steinberg Treated Tendonitis in Her Thumbs, Brenda Has No Pain Whatsoever

In her career as a phlebotomist for the past 19 years, Brenda Erickson has been required to use her hands constantly when drawing blood from patients. So when she began to experience pain in her thumbs, she assumed it was related to working with her hands all the time. In fact, she was told that what she was experiencing was tendonitis and nothing could be done to help her. Her situation became progressively worse. “Any kind of gripping motion was difficult so doing simple housekeeping tasks such as making the bed was challenging.” Buttoning a shirt, writing, and even holding a book to read became impossible. “It was so bad, that if I decided I wanted to do something like make a cake, I’d have to wait until my husband was home, because I knew my hands would hurt so much I wouldn’t be able to complete the recipe.” Tasks at work were equally, if not more challenging.

Mrs. Erickson decided that she needed to pursue her diagnosis further and was determined to find the best doctor to help her. She spoke with both the doctor for whom she worked at the time, as well as one of her regular patients who also works in the medical field. “I respect the opinion of both of these people and each was adamant that the person for me to see was Dr. Steinberg.” Bruce Steinberg, M.D., is a specialist in upper extremities; when Mrs. Erickson described the feeling of her thumbs “catching and popping”, much like a rubber band, Dr. Steinberg indicted there was likely involvement of the joints themselves. “It was great to have someone understand the pain I was describing, like a steady toothache that just won’t go away. When I talked about my other symptoms such as waking in the night with shooting pain, it was obvious that Dr. Steinberg was anxious to help relieve my pain.”

Upon testing and examination, Dr. Steinberg diagnosed Mrs. Erickson with bilateral arthritis of the thumbs. Beginning with the most conservative course of treatment, she received cortisone injections in both of her thumbs. Unfortunately, Mrs. Erickson was unable to attain extended relief and thus, Dr. Steinberg performed a left thumb trapezial excision and fcr reconstruction. “It was great how quickly the pain was gone. My father saw me a week before my surgery and was very concerned about how much I was suffering. He called me every night after the surgery and was just amazed at how much better I was doing in such a short period of time.”

Mrs. Erickson was so pleased with the results of the surgery on her left hand, that she asked Dr. Steinberg to do the other as quickly as possible. “I was ready to have the right side stop hurting as well, but Dr. Steinberg told me I needed to let the left side heal before he would be able to do the right.” Six months later Dr. Steinberg performed a right side thumb reconstruction. As with her first surgery, Mrs. Erickson is delighted with the results.

“I have no pain what-so-ever. When you have suffered to the extent that it brings you to tears, you really appreciate not having it.” Mrs. Erickson and her husband are in the process of building a new home. She is looking forward to doing all of those things that make owning and decorating a new home enjoyable. “If you think about it, before Dr. Steinberg helped me, packing and moving in itself would have been impossible. Now I can enjoy all of the aspects of this exciting time.” Mrs. Erickson encourages anyone who is having problems with their upper extremities to see Dr. Steinberg, sooner rather than later. “He will listen to what you have to say, make an accurate diagnosis, help you to understand and most importantly, do all he can to make you better.”

– Brenda Erickson