Orthopedic Doctor Steinberg Successfully Treats Thumb Arthritis with Joint Reconstruction

Mary and Louis Filoso enjoy volunteering for their church in activities as diverse as decorating for congregation dinners to sewing costumes for entertaining underprivileged children on mission trips. Mrs. Filoso shares that they have been married for 11 years and were recently chosen to be the King and Queen of their church’s Valentine’s Day Party. “We are so blessed, in so many ways. We lead an active life and enjoy sharing our time together in service to others. So it was somewhat ironic that we both ended up in arm casts, on the same side, at the same time!”

Mrs. Filoso had been experiencing discomfort in her thumb for years, and it became progressively worse. “The thumb was paining me for a long time, but I tried to get past it. Finally it got to the point that I was in constant pain and couldn’t pick up anything.” Gripping and pinching with the thumb and index finger was impossible. Fortunately Mrs. Filoso found her way to Bruce Steinberg, M.D. , specialist in upper extremities. “We feel very blessed to have found Dr. Steinberg. He has made a tremendous difference in both my husband’s and my quality of life.” Upon examination and testing, Dr. Steinberg diagnosed Mrs. Filoso with arthritis of the base of her thumb. “He wasn’t quick to move to surgery; he wanted to see if I could get enough pain relief with cortisone shots. Unfortunately, they just didn’t end up helping me enough.”

Dr. Steinberg performed a joint replacement surgery called left thumb trapezial excision FCR reconstruction. “I was not anxious to have the operation, and in fact, would not have done so if Dr. Steinberg didn’t recommend it so strongly. He told me that in order to gain any leverage, this was my option. I appreciate that he explained the procedure very thoroughly, that he would be using a tendon to form another cartilage. He knew exactly what he was doing and I felt as though as I was in very good hands.” She goes on to say that he did a great job in reconstructing her thumb. “It is obvious that Dr. Steinberg is a gifted surgeon. He was able to fix me so that I do not have any pain any more. I am able to fully enjoy all the activities that are so meaningful to my husband and me.”

Ironically enough, during the time Mrs. Filoso was in a cast and recovering from her surgery, her husband fell and broke his hand. He suffered a spiral oblique site metacarpal fracture. “Dr. Steinberg explained that my husband’s break, which he referred to as a spiral break, is very unusual.” Fortunately, Dr. Steinberg was able to treat the fracture without surgery, but rather through casting.

Mr. and Mrs. Filoso ended up having the same arms in casts at the same time. “Believe it or not, a friend of ours was also a patient of Dr. Steinberg’s, and she was in a cast at the same time as my husband and me.” With treatment by Dr. Steinberg, Mr. Filoso has been able to return to his normal activities. “He just amazes me. This summer he installed an irrigation system in our yard. He goes from doing that kind of work, to dressing up like a clown and making balloon animals for children that we meet during our mission work. I am grateful that Dr. Steinberg was able to repair his hand so that he is able to do the things that he loves.”

Mrs. Filoso continues that she happily recommends Dr. Steinberg to others. “I tell everyone, if they have a problem with their hands or arms or shoulders, they must see Dr. Steinberg. When I get onto something good, I like to spread the word.”

– Mary Filoso