If you’ve been experiencing pain from arthritis in the knuckles of your fingers, and nonsurgical treatments have not reduced your pain, your doctor may recommend Finger Arthroplasty. Although the name sounds a bit intimidating, finger joint replacement is a safe procedure that has excellent results for most patients. Today, we’re going to look at what finger joint replacement entails, what recovery is like, as well as the level of permanent results you can expect.
Finger joint replacement isn’t actually as invasive as it may sound. Arthritis in the knuckles is usually a result of excessive wear and tear on the articular cartilage that cushions the ends of the finger bones. When the articular cartilage wears out, the bones slide against each other and can cause extreme pain. In a finger joint replacement, surgeons use plastic silicon implants in place of the degraded natural tissue. This silicon has a long lifespan and is much less subject to erosion from use, making it an ideal candidate to provide long lasting relief.
Because finger joint replacement is a well-researched and studied procedure, surgeons are extremely experienced in performing it and can use either general anesthesia (where you are completely asleep) or local anesthesia (where you will remain awake but feel no pain or discomfort). Any procedure involving any level of anesthesia can have complications; so if you’ve had any issues in the past with anesthesia, or have issues with your breathing, let your doctor know well before your surgery. No surgeon can guarantee any specific result, and every surgery carries risks. Finger joint replacement can result in infection, nerve damage, or failure of the prosthesis. However, these risks are extremely low provided you choose a reputable surgeon and follow his or her instructions carefully.
After surgery, your hand will be in either a splint or a cast for about three weeks. Immediately after surgery, you may experience some discomfort that you may choose to control with pain medication. To avoid swelling or throbbing, your doctor will advise you to keep your hand elevated for the first three to five days. Once your finger is healing well, you will progress to rehabilitation. Ultimately, most patients have a return to full function with no lasting pain or stiffness. If you’re ready to move forward and regain pain-free use of your fingers, contact us today to request an appointment!