Small Joint Replacement

Small joint replacement surgery is a type of orthopedic surgery that involves replacing the damaged or diseased small joints in the body with prosthetic implants. This procedure is typically performed on joints such as the fingers, thumb, wrist, or toes. Here are some key points related to small joint replacement:


  1. Osteoarthritis: This is a common condition that can affect small joints in the hands, fingers, and toes, causing pain, stiffness, and limited mobility.
  2. Rheumatoid arthritis: This autoimmune disease can cause inflammation and joint damage in small joints, leading to pain, swelling, and deformity.
  3. Traumatic injury: Fractures or dislocations of small joints can result in joint damage and instability, requiring joint replacement surgery.

Types of surgery:

  1. Finger joint replacement: This procedure involves replacing the damaged joint surfaces of the finger with prosthetic implants made of metal or plastic materials.
  2. Thumb joint replacement: Thumb joint arthritis, also known as basal joint arthritis, can be treated with joint replacement surgery, where the damaged joint surfaces are replaced with prosthetic implants.
  3. Wrist joint replacement: Wrist arthritis or post-traumatic wrist joint damage may require replacement of the wrist joint with prosthetic implants to restore function and relieve pain.

Recovery: Recovery after small joint replacement surgery may vary depending on the type of joint replaced and individual patient factors. However, it typically involves a period of rehabilitation and hand therapy to regain strength, flexibility, and function in the affected joint. Pain management, wound care, and adherence to post-operative instructions from the surgeon are also important for a successful recovery. Patients may need to wear splints or braces for support and protection during the healing process. Full recovery and return to normal activities may take several weeks to months, but most patients experience significant improvement in pain relief and joint function after surgery.