Benefits of Joint Replacement for Hand, Finger, and Wrist Arthritis
Arthroplasty or artificial joint replacement is a potential surgical option for hand, finger, and wrist arthritis. Arthritis in the joints of the hands is painful. It reduces the range of motion and overall hand function. Furthermore, hand, finger, and wrist arthritis may change the look and alignment of the affected hand. The advantages of artificial joint replacement in the hand, wrist, or finger joints are improved hand function, range of motion, and appearance with a significant reduction in pain.
The Many Faces of Finger, Hand, and Wrist Arthritis
Types of Finger, Hand, and Wrist Arthritis
Arthritis has many causes and presentations. Two common types of finger, hand, and wrist arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative, wear and tear arthritis generally associated with the normal ageing process. Often accompanied by pain and stiffness, osteoarthritis is the wearing down of the smooth cushion of cartilage between bones. Similarly stiff and painful, rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes swelling in the joint lining. Rather than wear and tear, the swelling causes the smooth cushioning cartilage to deteriorate.
Effects of Finger, Hand, and Wrist Arthritis
Early symptoms of hand, finger, and wrist arthritis are dull burning pain. Pain may correlate with prior overuse of hands. Evidence of arthritis is related to early-morning stiffness in the hands. Additionally, the joints of the hands may feel swollen which can cause the joints to feel warm to the touch.
Progression of hand arthritis results in increased pain and stiffness with dull pain progressively becoming sharp. Pain is often severe enough to cause wakefulness at night. Joints may have a grinding or grating sensation with creaking or clicking sounds known as crepitations. Arthritic joints become loose with decreased range of motion, loss of strength, and reduced hand function. Joints become more swollen, bony nodules may appear, and hands may bend abnormally.
Your Doctor and Specialist Hand Surgeon Can Help
Visit your doctor or specialist hand surgeon if you are experiencing swollen joints, dull or burning hand pain, early-morning stiffness, or other concerning symptoms affecting your hands. Through thorough hand examination, x-rays which may show bone cartilage loss, and blood tests, your doctor and specialist hand surgeon will be able to provide you with a definitive diagnosis and treatment plan for your hand symptoms.
Causes, Prevention, and Treatment of Hand Arthritis
Inflammatory conditions, injury, and wear and tear to joints can damage the smooth cushioning cartilage and the lubricating synovial fluid between the fine intricate bones of the hands. The result is finger, wrist, and hand arthritis. Hand arthritis may not be completely preventable. However, a healthy lifestyle and diet, exercise, as well as occupational therapy to ensure proper hand use may go a long way to delay arthritis of the hands. For relief, hot and cold packs help to reduce swelling and aid stiff joints. In addition, ensure adequate periods of rest for hardworking hand muscles and joints to relieve pain and inflammation in the joints of fingers, wrists, and hands.
The choices of treatment options for finger, hand, and wrist arthritis are influenced by factors such as the type and progression of arthritis, lifestyle, activity level, and corresponding medical conditions. Along with increasing your quality of life, the goals of treatment are to decrease pain and stiffness while improving range of motion and hand function.
Non-surgical treatment options involve pain-relieving or anti-inflammatory medications, activity modification, splints or braces, and steroid injection. Once non-surgical treatment options are exhausted, your specialist hand surgeon will explore surgical intervention to optimally treat finger, hand, and wrist arthritis.
Surgical Options to Treat Arthritis of the Hand
There are many surgical options for treating arthritis of the hand, including artificial joint replacement and joint fusion. Your specialist hand surgeon will work with you to meet your individual needs to reduce pain and stiffness and improve hand function and range of motion.
When Hand Arthritis is Amenable to Arthroplasty
Arthroplasty or artificial joint replacement for finger and wrist joints is similar to the joint replacement of larger joints such as hips or knees. The goal of a joint replacement is to improve and restore hand function as well as to reduce pain and stiffness. Artificial joints for the joints of the hand are made of long-wearing materials such as metal alloys, silicon, or plastic.
Which Finger, Hand, and Wrist Joints Have Joint Replacement Options?
At CHARMS, many finger-joint replacement implants are available. The knuckles at the top of the palm, also known as the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joints, as well as the middle knuckles, or proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joints are commonly amenable to joint replacement. The distal interphalangeal (DIP) joints, the joints closest to the nail, also have finger-joint replacement options. Excellent postsurgical results have likewise been shown with joint replacement of the basal thumb joint or carpometacarpal (CMC) joint. Various implant modules are also used for wrist arthroplasty, including hemi-wrist implants and total-wrist implants.
What Are the Benefits of Joint Replacement Surgery?
Including improved quality of life, small joint arthroplasty or joint replacement surgery has many benefits. Most patients experience a good functional outcome with low complication rates and fast recovery. Patients undergoing surgery regain normal hand function, joint stability, and a reduction in pain.
Favourable Outcomes of Finger, Hand, and Wrist Joint Replacement
Favourable outcomes after finger, hand, and wrist joint replacement have a notable pain-free results. People who are the most satisfied with their postsurgical outcome have regained normal function, and grip strength, while being happy with the appearance of their hands.
We pride ourselves, at CHARMS, on our individualised planning which takes into consideration your underlying pathology, the joints involved, and your requirements to ensure excellent surgical outcomes.
To maximise hand function after joint replacement, follow the specialised rehabilitation and extensive postoperative care offered at CHARMS. Our team of Hand and Microreconstructive Surgeons, hand specialist nurses, hand therapists, and splint fabrication specialists are here to ensure optimised pre- and post-surgical care.
Thorough Diagnosis, Optimised Treatment Options, Specialised Rehabilitation, and Extensive Postoperative Care at CHARMS
At CHARMS, our caring and efficient team provide personalized Hand and Reconstructive Microsurgery services with excellent clinical outcomes. We are the centre of excellence in optimizing the latest research in Hand and Reconstructive Microsurgery.