Finger Joint Replacement
Because of the high number of small joints in your hands that are in constant use, arthritis commonly affects the fingers and wrist. The joints become stiff and painful, making everyday tasks like tying your shoes all but impossible. When the joints become too arthritic to function normally, surgery may be suggested as the best option for both mobility and pain control.
Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine boasts one of the best and most well-rounded joint replacement teams in the area. Thanks to huge medical advancements in the recent past, finger joint replacement surgeries have come a long way in terms of ease of surgery, the recovery process, and overall outcome.
Treatment and Recovery
Before deciding on surgery our hand and wrist specialist, John Stark, MD, will sit down with you to discuss your situation and decide if non-surgical treatment is possible first. When that is not the case, we’ll proceed with a joint replacement.
The operation typically takes about two hours. Because of the small size of finger joints and the intricacy of replacing a joint, this procedure is more generally difficult than larger joint replacements, such as the knee or hip, though the mechanics of the surgery are essentially the same.
A small incision is made traditionally on the back of the finger, though in recent times it is sometimes made on the palm side instead. Through the incision, the damaged parts of the bone are removed along with any scar tissue or debris. Then the artificial joint is inserted and fixed in placed. The artificial joint acts the same way a door hinge does, allowing the finger to bend and straighten at will without stiffness or pain.
Once the procedure is over, you are able to go home. Some patients can start rehabilitating the finger only a couple days after the surgery, while others may need to wait a little longer. Physical therapy is required for about six weeks which will include strengthening the joint and learning ways of protecting it from strain. A few post-operative visits with your doctor will ensure that the joint replacement was a success.
If you have further questions about having a finger joint replacement or would like to make an appointment to come see us, call Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine at 904-825-0540 or request an appointment online.