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Is There Surgery For Arthritis In Fingers

Complementary And Alternative Therapies

Joint Replacement Finger and Hand Surgery For Rheumatoid Arthritis – Video 5

Some people with osteoarthritis try complementary or alternative therapies such as acupuncture and aromatherapy and find them helpful.

However, there’s a lack of medical evidence to suggest they’re effective and they generally are not recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence .

Will I Need Surgery

Not unless the deformity has a big impact on your life. For damaged fingers, your doctor or a hand therapist can provide splints and exercises. Warm wax baths may ease pain. A hand therapist may also suggest new ways to use your hands that can lessen pain and protect your joints.

If youâre just starting to develop claw toe, splints or tape can help straighten out your toes.

If youâve had claw toe for a while, a splint may not be able to straighten out the joint. These tips can make it more comfortable to walk:

  • Put a special pad in your shoe to reduce pressure on the ball of your foot.
  • Try shoes that have an extra-deep toe box.
  • Ask a shoe repair shop to stretch the toe box where you need extra room.

Comfortable shoes can also make it easier to walk with bunions.

Changes In Surrounding Joints

In patients with advanced thumb base arthritis, the neighboring joints may become more mobile than normal.

Thumb extension deformity. This patient has lost mobility at the base of the thumb due to arthritis. The next joint closer to the tip of the thumb has become more mobile than normal to make up for the arthritic joint. Normally, the thumb does not come to a right angle with the rest of the hand.

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Should I Exercise My Hands

Dont be afraid to use your hands. Regular exercise is important in reducing stiffness and keeping your joints and muscles working. Try to make sure you move any affected joints in your fingers, thumbs, knuckles and wrists as far as is comfortable several times a day. You could also see an occupational therapist or physiotherapist for specific hand exercises.

Getting Ready For Surgery

What Are The Signs of Arthritis In My Hands and Fingers?

Here are some tips to help you prepare for surgery:

  • Plan for recovery and returning home. During your recovery, which may take days, weeks or even months, you may need help with daily tasks such as cooking and showering. Make sure you have family and/or friends available to help you during this time. If you do not have help available, talk to your doctor about local support services or staying at a rehabilitation centre after surgery.
  • You may be required to attend an assessment at the hospital before your surgery. This is a good chance for you to ask questions about your surgery and recovery. Also you may be able to talk to a physiotherapist or occupational therapist about any equipment you may need, such as crutches and handrails in the shower.
  • Lose weight if you are overweight.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Start an exercise program. People with greater fitness and muscle strength usually recover more quickly from surgery. If you have severe pain, you may find water exercise more comfortable. See a physiotherapist for hydrotherapy or contact your local Arthritis Office for details of warm water exercise classes.
  • You will probably need to follow a physiotherapy or exercise program after surgery. Be ready for several weeks or even months of exercise. Remember, the amount of effort you put into your program can make a big difference in how well you recover.

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Ultrasound Imaging Of Joints In Rheumatoid Arthritis

A traditional method of monitoring the joint disease of patients with rheumatoid arthritis is X-rays, whereby images are produced by exposing photographic film . This technique has proven useful for doctors to follow the course of joint destruction. The early development of discrete bony destruction is associated with more severe rheumatoid disease. While standard X-ray radiographs contribute substantially to the clinical evaluation of rheumatoid arthritis, they do lack some sensitivity early in the course of disease. This means that substantial joint destruction must happen before changes on the standard X-ray test become apparent.

Medication And Therapeutic Modalities

  • Cortisone injection into the joint
  • Physical therapy including range-of-motion and strengthening exercises
  • Occupational therapy: A therapist can recommend modifications. You may find it helpful to try splinting or supportive gloves, as well as easy-to-hold tools, which are specially made for individuals with hand osteoarthritis and other gripping issues.
  • Topical rubs, such as Capsaicin, Icy Hot, and Bengay
  • Heat application or cold packs

Diet is a controversial topic when it comes to osteoarthritis. Processed foods that are high in trans fats cause inflammation, and avoiding them has been proposed as a possible strategy for managing osteoarthritis. The benefits of avoiding these foods reach far beyond alleviating osteoarthritis.

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What Happens In Joint Replacement Surgery

Joint replacement surgery involves replacing a destroyed joint with an artificial joint. In knee or hip replacement surgery, the artificial joint is made out of metal and plastic. In the case of joint replacement in the hand, the new joint is most commonly composed of silicone rubber or the patient’s own tissues such as a portion oftendon.

Joint replacement surgery, also known as arthroplasty, is very common. Each year, orthopedic surgeons perform thousands of joint replacement surgeries in the U.S. Joint replacement surgery in the hand is typically used in treating severe arthritis that involves the small joints of the hand.

Flexor Tenosynovitis In The Fingers

Joint Replacement Finger and Hand Surgery Due To Rheumatoid Arthritis – Video 1

Synovial proliferation produces discrete rheumatoid nodules on tendons, which can result in trigger finger. The size and location of these nodules on the flexor tendon determine the degree of triggering.

Four types of trigger finger occur in RA. Type 1 is similar to nonrheumatoid stenosing tenosynovitis, in which the tendons catch at the first annular pulley during flexion secondary to small, localized hyperproliferation of the synovium. In type 2, the nodules form in the distal palm and cause the finger to lock in flexion. In type 3, nodules on the flexor digitorum profundus tendon near the second annular pulley lock the finger in extension. Type 4 trigger finger results from generalized tenosynovitis within the fibro-osseous canal. Active motion is more restricted than passive motion, and contracture and stiffness result.

Flexor tenosynovectomy and nodule excision are recommended for all types of tenosynovitis and trigger finger.

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What Are The Best Treatments For Arthritis In The Hands

November 19, 2019 By Alex Hirsch

Arthritis can be disabling, especially when it is in the hands and fingers. It can prevent you from carrying out normal day-to-day activities such as work duties and preparing meals.

Arthritis is a common disease that causes pain and stiffness within joints, including the hand. Appropriate treatment will depend on the severity of the symptoms, but they can include medications, therapy, lifestyle adjustments, and surgery.

Can Arthritis In The Hand Be Prevented

Arthritis cant be prevented. However, you can watch for symptoms of arthritis as you age and see your healthcare provider if you notice changes in your joints. You can also take steps to control factors that you can control. Eat healthy to nourish your body and maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight puts more stress on your joints. Dont smoke. Smoking increases your risk of arthritis.

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What To Expect After Plastic Surgery For Ra

Most surgical procedures for rheumatoid arthritis use minimally invasive techniques so patients have less scarring and shorter recovery times, usually ranging from two to four weeks. While some surgical procedures require a hospital stay, most can be done on an outpatient basis.

Physical therapy and rehabilitation might be necessary to improve patients hand or joint function and help them regain strength and flexibility. At UT Southwestern, we take a team approach to RA plastic surgery. Our patients have access to rheumatologists, plastic surgeons who specialize in RA procedures, physical therapists, and occupational therapists. Our collaborative approach, combined with the latest treatments, gives our patients the most comprehensive care at any stage of RA.

To find out whether you might benefit from plastic surgery for RA, call or request an appointment online.

Symptoms Of Thumb And Digit Arthritis

Osteoarthritis of the fingers

Patients who have arthritis of the fingers may have swelling, pain, stiffness, and malformation all of which interfere with the use of the hand.

Diagnosis of thumb and digit arthritis

Your doctor can usually make the diagnosis of thumb arthritis by examining the thumb. X-rays of the joint may be taken to know the severity of the disease and to determine any bone spurs or calcium deposits.

Treatment for thumb and digit arthritis

Nonsurgical treatment methods for relieving pain in an arthritic joint include activity modification, pain medications, and use of splints, and steroid injections. Surgery is usually considered if nonsurgical treatment fails to give relief. There are different surgical procedures that can be used and may include:

Synovectomy: This surgery is usually indicated for early cases of inflammatory arthritis where there is significant swelling that is causing pain or is limiting the range of motion of digits and thumb. Synovectomy is surgical removal of the inflamed synovium . The procedure may be performed using arthroscopy.

Arthrodesis: A fusion, also called an arthrodesis involves removal of the joints and fusing the bones of the joint together using metal wires or screws. Even though this surgery eliminates all motion at the base of the thumb, the resulting fusion is very hard.

When is arthritis surgery for the thumb and digits recommended?

Your surgeon will discuss the options and help you decide which type of surgery is the most appropriate for you.

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Sequelae Of Ra That Mimic Extensor Tendon Ruptures

When diagnosing extensor tendon ruptures secondary to RA, 3 other sequelae of RA that mimic this problem should be considered. First, MP joint dislocation produces a fixed deformity with a flexed and ulnarly deviated finger. Second, volar and ulnar subluxation of the extensor tendons into the gutters between the phalanges limits extensor function as the extensors essentially become flexors in this position. In this condition, the patient can sometimes maintain MP extension actively after the finger is passively extended. Finally, paralysis due to posterior interosseous nerve compression can also cause symptoms similar to extensor tendon rupture when it affects the common extensor muscle. Differentiation between tendon rupture and paralysis can be difficult, and the most reliable diagnostic maneuver is to test for the presence of MP joint extension while flexing the wrist . Because the tendon is not in continuity when it is ruptured, wrist flexion does not restore MP joint extension.

Surgery Can Relieve The Pain Of Some Types Of Hand Arthritis

Most people with hand arthritis just live with it. However, there are two types of surgery that can effectively eliminate arthritis pain and improve your quality of life. Dr. Tom Miller talks to orthopedic surgeon and hand expert Dr. Douglas Hutchinson about these operations and what conservative methods you might want to consider for hand arthritis.

May 16, 2019

Dr. Miller:


Dr. Miller:

Dr. Hutchinson:

Dr. Miller:

Dr. Hutchinson:

Primarily, if the joint of the finger is stiff and painful and has arthritis on x-ray, which is common, one of the things we’ll do the most commonly is fuse that joint. That just means putting a screw across the one bone into the other bone and making that joint effectively go away. You can’t bend it at the end, but it stays straight the whole time.

Dr. Miller:

Dr. Hutchinson:

Dr. Miller:

Dr. Hutchinson:

Dr. Miller:

Dr. Hutchinson:

Dr. Miller:

Dr. Hutchinson:

We always want them to avoid certain activities. You don’t want to open a can with a hand crank if you have thumb arthritis. You want to go out and buy an automatic can opener. That’s something our hand therapists insist on. They think that should be done at age 20 we should all get automatic can openers.

Dr. Miller:

Dr. Hutchinson:

Dr. Miller:

Dr. Hutchinson:


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What Is A Joint Fusion When Is It The Best Surgical Option

Fusion of a joint involves removing the joint and surgically “fusing” the bone ends so that the two bones effectively become one solid bone. This procedure terminates all motion at that joint and thus eliminates the pain. The benefit of fusion is pain relief and the downside is elimination of motion at the fused joint, which can hinder function. This surgical option is reserved for patients with advanced arthritis.

Joint fusion is usually the best surgical option in patients who are younger and very active. Younger patients may not be candidates for joint replacement because of the increased stress demand on the joints which accompany higher activity levels. This increased stress demand can quickly wear out an artificial joint.

What Is Arthritis Of The Hand

Joint Replacement Finger and Hand Surgery For Rheumatoid Arthritis – Video 2

Arthritis is a disease that attacks the tissues of your joints. A joint is where two bones meet. Arthritis can attack the lining of your joint or the cartilage, the smooth covering at the ends of bones. Eventually the cartilage breaks down, the ends of your bones become exposed, rub against each other and wear away. You have many joints in your hand, therefore its a common site for arthritis to happen.

Arthritis of the hand causes pain and swelling, stiffness and deformity. As arthritis progresses, you cant use your hands to manage everyday tasks as you once could.

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Treatment For Hand Arthritis In The Greater Chesapeake

If you have a hand injury or chronic condition such as arthritis, turn to the experts at Greater Chesapeake Hand to Shoulder. Our team of hand experts have a profound understanding of the complex networks of blood vessels, nerves, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones that make up the hand and fingers.

We understand how important pain-free hand and finger motion and function is to daily activities, including work, self-care, sports, and leisure. Our orthopedic and plastic surgeons specialize in hand surgery, and we can offer state-of-the-art nonsurgical and surgical care to treat a full range of hand and finger injuries and conditions.

Call us today to schedule a consultation with our at or request an appointment online now for any of our Greater Chesapeake locations. We look forward to helping you feel less pain in your hands and regain hand motion and function, so you can get back to doing what you love.

Possible Benefits Of Surgery

Arthritis is usually a chronic condition and sometimes can lead to disability. However, there are many ways you and your doctor can lessen these problems. One of the ways may be surgery. Joint surgery can offer several benefits: Relief of pain is the most important benefit of joint surgery. Many people with arthritis have constant pain. Some of this pain can be relieved by rest, heat and cold treatments, exercise, splints, and medication. When these therapies don’t lessen the pain, surgery may be considered. Improved movement and use of a joint are also important benefits of joint surgery. Continuous inflammation and the wearing away of bone and cartilage can cause joints, tendons, and ligaments to become damaged or pulled out of place. Losing the use of a joint, such as a hip, knee, hand, elbow or shoulder, can seriously hamper a person’s activities. When this happens, surgery to replace or stabilize the joint may be suggested. An improvement in the appearance of deformed joints, especially in the hand, can be expected with some types of surgery.

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When Should I Talk To My Doctor About Joint Surgery

If you have any of the following signs you should talk to your doctor about the possibility of surgery.

  • You have pain that stops you going to sleep at night.
  • Your pain does not improve with rest, medicines, exercise or other treatments.
  • Your affected joint makes it difficult for you to look after yourself and you require help from others for everyday tasks.
  • Your condition makes it difficult for you to work or look after people who require your care.
  • Your pain is keeping you from doing things you enjoy, such as exercising or doing hobbies.

What To Expect During Recovery After Finger Joint Fusion

The 5 Most Common Types of Arthritis

After surgery, you can expect some bruising, swelling, and pain at the site of operation. You will probably be wearing a cast for a few weeks to stabalize your hand. Dr. Mark will tell you when you can come back in to have your stitches removed . You will be prescribed pain medications to relieve your pain and an antibiotic to prevent infection.

You will need a few weeks to recover and regain the function of your hand and fingers. These will probably include some physiotherapy sessions to aid the healing process.

Arthritis can be a debilitating disease, causing pain and joint deformity. It commonly affects the fingers and the hand which may limit their function. Fortunately, surgical treatment can be useful in managing severe arthritis that fails conventional treatment. Dr. Mark Gittos in Auckland, New Zealand, offers finger joint replacement and joint fusion to treat arthritis. He is a plastic surgeon that specializes in hand surgery and cosmetic surgery. Call us today to set up an appointment and get a full evaluation by Dr. Mark or to learn more about your condition.

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How Is Arthritis In The Hand Treated

Treatment options depend on the type of arthritis, stage of arthritis, how many joints are affected, your age, activity level, the hand affected and other existing medical conditions.

Goals of treatment are to:

  • Improve mobility and function.
  • Increase your quality of life.
  • In the case of rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis, to slow the progression of the disease.

Treatment options include splinting/bracing, medications, injections, non-drug approaches and surgery.


Splits or braces support and protect the affected joint, reduce deformity, provide joint stability, lessen strain, and promote proper joint alignment. Your healthcare provider, occupational therapist or hand therapist will discuss splinting/bracing options, how and when to wear them and how long to wear them .


Steroid injections

Steroids reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Steroids are usually used if medications dont control inflammation or if the inflammation is limited to a few joints. Injections are administered directly into the affected joint. Because steroids can weaken tendons and ligaments, injections are repeated only a few times.

Other management strategies

A complete treatment plan for arthritis of the hand includes these additional approaches:


If nonsurgical treatments no longer provide relief and the cartilage at the ends of your bones has worn away, surgery may be an option. There are several approaches:

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