Toshiko Can Again Enjoy Sewing After Thumb Arthritis Treatments from Dr. Steinberg

 Toshiko Butler has always enjoyed arts and crafts including sewing and crocheting, and has even attended painting classes. So over the years, as she began to experience pain and lack of function in her right thumb, her inability to enjoy her hobbies was frustrating. “It was very painful. My hand hurt so much; I couldn’t do the things I love.” Any kind of twisting, turning or gripping actions were painful and difficult. Mrs. Butler saw another doctor who treated her with injections, however she obtained no relief. As her discomfort became progressively worse and her function continued to decline, Mrs. Butler realized that she needed additional help. A friend recommended that she see Bruce Steinberg, M.D., specialist in upper extremities.

“When I first met Dr. Steinberg, he made me feel very confident that he could make me better.” Mrs. Butler says that sometimes she finds it difficult to understand complicated medical terms. “With Dr. Steinberg, it was different from any other time. He explained everything to me and wanted to be sure I knew what he was saying. He asked me questions to make sure I understood him.” Dr. Steinberg diagnosed Mrs. Butler with severe arthritis in her thumb and performed a right thumb trapezial excision and FCR reconstruction.

A few years later, Mrs. Butler’s left thumb began to cause her a great deal of pain and she once again was having difficulty with function. “I went to see Dr. Steinberg to see if he could help me again.” Dr. Steinberg diagnosed Mrs. Butler with left side arthritis of the thumb and attempted to treat her initially through a conservative course of injections. “I was not looking forward to the appointment because I had shots before with another doctor. But with Dr. Steinberg, he was speaking to me the whole time, and I didn’t even know he had given me the shot. I realized he was talking to distract me so I wouldn’t be afraid.”

Unfortunately, Mrs. Butler was unable to obtain lasting relief from the initial procedure and thus Dr. Steinberg performed a left thumb trapezial excision and FCR reconstruction.
Following her second surgery, Mrs. Butler was having dinner in a local restaurant one evening. “The waitress saw my cast and asked what happened. I told her I just had surgery at Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute. She asked me the name of my doctor and was excited when I said ‘Dr. Steinberg’ because she had been one of his patients and loved him, too! We spent a few minutes talking about how much he helped us.”

Mrs. Butler happily shares how the quality of her life has improved, even in her ability to perform the simplest of tasks. “Now I can tear open the sweetener package for my coffee and pick up the container of cream. I can fix my own coffee just the way I like it! Every day I am able to do more and more. In fact, as I’m drinking my coffee in the morning, I put my left hand on the cup to warm it up before I begin my exercises.”

Mrs. Butler appreciates that Dr. Steinberg also helped her to understand how important therapy would be to her recovery with each surgery. She is very impressed with the JOI Rehabilitation Department, not only in the way she was treated during her appointments, but also the direction she has received for home routines. “Sometimes it is tough, but my therapists help me to keep working on my exercises, especially at home.”

“I am so glad Dr. Steinberg is my doctor. He made everything easier. He spoke to my head, and he also spoke to my heart.” Mrs. Butler is happy to recommend anyone to Dr. Steinberg. “He is full of kindness and he really wants to help you. I am glad to have a doctor who I trust 100%”.

– Toshiko Butler