Your regular doctor may recommend you explore different options for hand surgery in Rock Hill NY to treat your arthritis. While it isn’t always necessary, hand surgery can relieve people from pain for years, and it is an especially good fit for people who have tried all other methods of relief but still suffer from extreme pain.
Replacement or Fusion?
One thing your hand surgeon will discuss with you is whether to fuse the bones of the joints that are giving you pain or replace them through an arthroplasty. Fusion relieves patients of pain but does take away finger mobility. In an arthroplasty, the surgeon removes the knuckle and replaces it with a flexible implant. The surgeon may recommend fusing some joints and replacing others. The actual decision is based on the amount of pain you are suffering and what level of mobility you need.
For people with rheumatoid arthritis, the knuckles are the area in which they experience the highest level of pain and inflammation. It is important that you visit a hand surgeon right away if you think you may have to have your knuckles replaced. The success of this surgery is often dependent on how much healthy tissue is remaining, so the longer you put it off the more serious your condition might become. This reduces your chances of a successful implant.
The second, or interphalangeal joints are often stiff and don’t move well in people with conditions such as osteoarthritis. Your hand surgeon may recommend replacing the middle and ring fingers joints, as you need these to help grip things. Some doctors prefer to always fuse the joints instead, because they get heavy use and can tolerate the resulting stiffness. This fusion is also a life-life solution for people who then don’t have to worry about implant failure and can live more pain-free lives.
Last Knuckles at the End of the Finger
Hand surgeons generally recommend fusing the joints closest to the ends of the finger. People who elect to have this surgery do not see increased mobility, but do it to get rid of the pain. Most people who have this surgery have good to excellent results, with some having to return for additional surgery if the bones don’t grow or align properly.
If you are considering surgery for your arthritic hands, sit down at a place that does hand surgery Rock Hill NY to discuss your various options. You may not see an increase in mobility, but for people who have serious pain despite other treatments, surgery may be the best solution.