I had basal joint surgery 7 weeks ago.
The biggest problem I had was that I did not have strong enough medicine and when the nerve block wore off I was a 9-10 on the pain chart !! That issue was nicely rectified the next morning with OxyContin.
The swelling and discomfort the first couple of weeks was annoying, but manageable with elevation and ice.
I have had no pain since the splint came off ( two week mark).
The thing that surprised me was the complete lack of movement my thumb had when the cast came off. (4 weeks later) I have been doing OT for two and half weeks, and most of the stiffness has gone away. We are really working hard on the strengthening now.
I am planning on doing this again in a month (gasp), I'm a little concerned since this time I will be having it done on my right
( dominate) hand. I just really want to get this done since I am all paid up for the year on my deductibles etc....plus I think the two weeks of the Holidays will be a great time to take it easy...... Says the woman with a 14 and 10 year old and a husband disabled with Parkinson's disease!
As far as being a Chef, I have to tell you that you are going to have to leave plenty of time for rehab, but I think you will be thrilled with the lack of pain.