Arthritis of the Hands and Wrists – Need for a Surgery

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Arthritis of the Hands and Wrists – Need for a Surgery

People whose hands and wrists are affected by arthritis are not always recommended by a surgery. They are usually treated with steroidal injections or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. A surgery is always the last resort as far as treatment for arthritis is concerned.

Only when the symptoms stop responding to the medications and injections and the severity of the symptoms become unbearable, would a doctor recommend a surgery. But finally, it is for the patient to decide whether or not to take up surgery as an option.

The Need for a Surgery: Hands or wrists that are affected by arthritis can make the hands and fingers look deformed and unimpressive. But, a surgery is initially done not to improve the look, but to alleviate the joint pains and stiffness thus, improving the function.

The overall aim of the surgery is relief from pain and an increased overall function of the joints. Let us take a brief look at each of the different surgeries.

Carpal Tunnel Release: The median nerve is responsible for the movement of the thumb and for the transmission of the information from the thumb to the brain. When this nerve is squeezed, the thumb suffers the most with immense pain and numbness.

When the pain stops responding to other treatments, a surgery of the carpal tunnel would be necessary. The ligament of the carpal tunnel would have to be moved as it is responsible for applying the pressure on the media nerve.

A patient can go home soon after the surgery is done and the bandages would stay for two weeks. During this time, it is necessary to keep the fingers and thumb moving in order to avoid the scar tissue from jamming the joints.

Dupuytren’s Contracture Fasciotomy: A scar tissue in the palm and the fingers can cause the fingers to curl towards the palm. This is due to the formation of contractures. A surgery is required to cut these contractures and enable finger stretching.

This surgery would require the patient to stay overnight at the hospital and would take almost 12 weeks before one gets to use the hand fully.

Trigger Finger Release: In patients who suffer from arthritis, the finger sometimes would bend normally but wouldn’t return back into a normal position and will remain curled. The tendon that surrounds it would have to be operated upon in order to release the finger.

This involves a minor surgery and the recovery would take 15 days.

Tendon Repair: In patients who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, there is a possibility that the hands’ tendons are ruptured. A tendons’ rupture can either lead to problems with finger straightening or bending.

The surgery would involve replacing the damaged tendons with healthy ones from the unaffected fingers. If the rupture is the resultant of a rough bone, then the bone has to be either smoothened or removed to prevent the problem from repeating.

The recovery period is nearly 3 months during which time the hand should be properly rested in order to heal.

Ganglion Removal: Synovial fluid is essential to avoid friction in the synovial joints during movement. Inpatients, who suffer from arthritis, there is every chance that the synovial fluid would leak from the joints allowing the formation of ganglion cysts, usually formed at the back of the wrist.

A surgery (in very rare cases) would be required to draw the leaking fluid in order to prevent the cyst formation.

Knuckle Joint Replacement: Rheumatoid arthritis can leave the hands severely deformed and decrease their functionality completely. In such severe cases, artificial knuckles would have to be implanted in order to restore the hand flexibility.

The recovery from this surgery takes a while and it can be sometime before the hand can be used normally once again.

Thumb Joint Surgery: Rheumatoid arthritis can severely damage the thumb joint and it is not easy replacing this joint. Instead, a surgery would stiffen the damaged joint thus, completely disabling the movement of the joint. Dis baling the joint would relieve a patient from pain.

In a few cases, the joint is removed and the space is either allowed to fill with naturally forming materials or an artificial joint may be used.

Wrist Joint Surgery: Wrists affected by rheumatoid arthritis cause severe pain and either a fusion surgery or a replacement surgery of the wrist would become essential.

Based on the severity of the symptoms, the surgery would either restrict the movement of the wrist (fusion) or the affected joint would be replaced. The latter surgical option is still not being used vividly.

A surgery for arthritis of the hands and wrists can be very useful for alleviating the pain associated with the affected joints. The only matter of concern with a surgery would be the recovery time, otherwise, there are not too many serious complications that arise.

Source by mohammed