Artificial Joint Replacement of the Finger Greer SC
Medical School: Med Coll Of Ga Sch Of Med, Augusta Ga 30912
Graduation Year: 1995
Medical School: Med Univ Of Sc Coll Of Med, Charleston Sc 29425
Graduation Year: 1968
Artificial Joint Replacement of the Finger
A Patient's Guide to Artificial Joint Replacement of the Finger
If nonsurgical treatments are not successful in easing problems of finger arthritis, your doctor may recommend replacing the surfaces of the joint. Joint replacement surgery is called joint arthroplasty.
This guide will help you understand
What parts of the finger are involved?
The finger joints work like hinges when the fingers bend and straighten. The main knuckle joint is the metacarpophalangeal joint (MCP joint). It is formed by the connection of the metacarpal bone in the palm of the hand to the finger bone, or phalanx. Each finger has three phalanges, separated by two interphalangeal joints (IP joints). The one closest to the MCP joint (knuckle) is called the proximal IP joint (PIP joint). The joint near the end of the finger is called the distal IP joint (DIP joint).
Ligaments are tough bands of tissue that connect bones together. Several ligaments hold each finger joint together. These ligaments join to form the joint capsule of the finger joint. The joint capsule is a watertight sac around the joint. The joint surfaces are covered with a material called articular cartilage. This material is the slick, spongy material that allows one side of a joint to slide against the other joint surface easily. When this material wears out, the joint develops a type of arthritis called osteoarthritis and becomes painful.
Related Document: A Patient's Guide to Hand Anatomy
What does the surgeon hope to achieve?
Arthritic joint surfaces can be a source of stiffness, pain, and swelling. The artificial joint is used to replace the damaged joint surfaces so patients can do their activities with freedom of movement and less pain.
What should I do to prepare for surgery?
The decision to proceed with surgery must be made jointly by you and your surgeon. You need to understand as much about the procedure as possible. If you have concerns or questions, you should talk to your surgeon.
Once you decide on surgery, you need to take several steps. Your surgeon may suggest a complete physical examination by your regular doctor. This exam helps ensure that you are in the best possible condition to undergo the operation.
On the day of your surgery, you will probably be admitted to the hospital early in the morning. You shouldn't eat or drink anything after midnight the night before. The length of time you spend in the hospital depends a lot on your recovery from anesthesia after surgery. In general, finger joint surgery can be done on an outpatient basis, meaning you can leave the hospital the same day.
What happens during the operation?
Before we describe the procedure, let's look first at the artificial finger joint itself.
The Artificial Fin...