Hand, wrist and elbow joint replacement is often performed due to arthritis causing bones to rub against each other, causing pain. By replacing the damaged joint with an artificial joint, the pain is eliminated.
Joint replacement in the hand, wrist and elbow is challenging due to the number of bones in this area. It’s important that you consult a hand and upper extremity surgeon specially trained in this technique.
Finger joint replacement
Finger joint replacement is a minimally invasive technique. The surgeon makes a small incision on the finger’s palm or top side, removes the damaged joint, and places a silicone implant in its place. The artificial joint functions similarly to a door hinge, but doesn’t fully replicate normal finger motion.
Wrist joint replacement
In a wrist joint replacement, a plastic and metal hinge is inserted in place of the wrist. After the surgery, you will have some restrictions on what you can do so you don’t cause any issues with your implant.
Elbow joint replacement
In an elbow joint replacement, a metal and plastic hinge replaces the elbow.
What is the recovery like?
After surgery, you may not be able to use your hand or arm as normal. You may have restrictions on what you can lift and carry, and you may have to wear a cast, brace or splint while you heal. You will work with a Certified Hand Therapist or a physical therapist to regain strength and abilities so you can return to doing everyday activities.
After a hand or wrist joint replacement, you’ll work with a Certified Hand Therapist to regain strength and use of your hand. After an elbow replacement, you’ll work with a physical therapist.