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Arthritis describes degenerative conditions that affect the connective tissues and joints of the body. Arthritis in the hands is a condition that creates pain, deformity, and limited hand mobility. When rehabilitation and non-surgical treatments don’t offer relief, surgery can be a viable option. Restoring hand function and pain relief through surgery requires a critical eye and a thorough understanding of mechanics and hand anatomy. Dr. Pinsky can provide surgical treatment for arthritis by fusing, repairing, or replacing the affected joints to help patients maximize their hand function and regain their quality of life.
Types And Causes Of Arthritis
Arthritis varies in its development, and each type exhibits unique symptoms and clinical presentation. Before conducting any procedures, Dr. Pinsky will use your medical history, physical exam, and x-rays to determine the type of arthritis and extent of joint involvement at your initial consultation. The conditions that cause your joint pain may be one of the following:
Osteoarthritis slowly wears down the cartilage that cushions the joints, and is considered a degenerative bone disease. This condition causes joint movement to be uncomfortable and develops over time to the point where the bones rub directly on one another. In the hand, this most commonly occurs along the base of the thumb, the middle joints of the finger, and the joints closest to the fingertips. Osteoarthritis can also occur following an injury to the joint.
Also causing limited movement and joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes the body’s immune system to attack the lining of the joints. The lining becomes inflamed and swollen, causing the joints to stretch and create pain. This condition can also contribute to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome, and affects the knuckles meeting the palm of the hand, the middle knuckles along the fingers, and joints in the wrists.
Depending on the severity of the pain, Dr. Pinsky will provide surgery for your arthritis if he observed the following signs:
- Symptoms such as joint pain, tenderness, and deformity have lasted for six weeks or longer.
- Diagnostic tests have shown that the joints have begun to erode throughout the wrist and fingers
- Other treatments, such as pain medication, stress reduction therapy, and healthy diet and therapy have not relieved the symptoms.
Procedures For Arthritis Hand Surgery
Dr. Pinsky offers multiple surgeries for arthritis in the hands, focusing on the surgeries being to provide relief to joint damage and cartilage degeneration. The types of hand surgeries will be determined during your initial consultation, and Dr. Pinsky will inform you of the complications, goals, and post-operative procedures before the surgery. Below are the steps Dr. Pinsky will take to ensure a proper restoration of your hand mobility and function, including:
Dr. Pinsky will first prepare the surgical area through disinfection and administering either local anesthesia, general anesthesia, or intravenous sedation for the patient’s comfort.
The procedure will then followed by either arthroplasty or arthrodesis, which includes:
During the operation, an incision will be made along the surgical area, and the site will be scrapped of the damaged cartilage from the joint. Once prepared, the bones will be stabilized with wires, plates, or screws to allow the bones to fuse together. This procedure is very reliable and mostly used for arthritis stable, pain-free joints are the patient’s primary goal for surgery..
Arthroplasty is less common but can be used to repair the knuckles at the base of the finger and the joints at the hand’s base. Arthroplasty involves removing the damaged bone or cartilage in the joint and replaces it with an artificial implant to relieve pain, restore function, and regain its aesthetic shape.
Once completed, Dr. Pinsky will clean and close the incision sites and typically splint the joint temporarily to allow healing. Dr. Pinsky will schedule follow up appointments to observe the joints and tissues as they heal throughout the upcoming months. Hand therapy is often critical to the ultimate outcome, and Dr. Pinsky works with some of the best Certified Hand Therapists on Long Island. If you would like information about Dr. Pinsky’s arthritis hand surgery, contact Dr. Pinsky today by calling (631) 870-7208 to schedule your consultation at any one of his locations in Huntington, Babylon, and East Hills, NY. Dr. Pinsky’s offices are conveniently located in both Nassau and Suffolk counties.