Joints in the hand are often affected with painful condition of arthritis. In such cases, the hands appear swollen and stiff. This restricts the function and movement of hand. The hand joint replacement surgery involves replacing the diseased hand joint with an artificial joint. As a result, the pain in hand is relieved and mobility is restored.
Typically, there exists three types of joint replacements. They include rubber(silicone), metal/plastic and pyrocarbon. In traditional times, rubber joints were commonly used. However, they are less stable than other replacements.
X-rays and MRI scans are usually done to detect arthritis in the hand. After proper evaluation, the proper treatment procedure is chosen. In severe cases, hand replacement surgery is required. The patient is usually admitted to hospital on the same day of surgery. Before surgery begins, general anesthesia is given to the patient. Small incision is then made on the back of the hand. Using specialized instruments, the damaged bone is removed from the joints of hand. An artificial joint is then inserted into replace the position of bone. A plastic splint is used to dress the wound.
One night stay in the hospital is sufficient for proper monitoring. The stitches are usually removed after 2 weeks. A cast is used to protect the hand from any injuries during healing period. Often, a physical therapy program is executed to enhance recovery. The therapy provides methods to improve hand motion. Thus, a well balanced hand is achieved. The recovery is over is about 2-3 months.
The possible risks of hand joint replacement surgery are:
- Joint dislocation
- Enhanced pain and stiffness
- Loosening of joint replacement
- Bleeding and blood-clots
- Injury to nerves