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Hand Joint (Small) Replacement Surgery

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Hand Joint Replacement Surgery in Sadashiv Peth, Pune

During hand joint replacement surgery, the damaged joint is removed and replaced with an artificial joint.

What is Small Joint Replacement?

In small joint replacement surgery, damaged parts of the joint such as cartilage, synovium, and bones are removed. Artificial parts called implants are put in place of the parts that are removed.

Why is Small Joint Replacement Done?

The joint comprises bones, cartilage, and synovial fluid. Cartilage is responsible for preventing friction between bones. When the cartilage wears out, various problems can develop due to which joint replacement is required. The most common cause for small joint replacement is osteoarthritis. Also known as degenerative arthritis, this condition mostly affects the base of the thumb and the small joints of the fingers. Due to the wear and tear of the cartilage in the hand, it becomes stiff and swollen, leading to pain and inflammation. This interferes with an individual’s daily life and normal hand functions are lost. Osteoarthritis mostly occurs due to old age. However, it can also occur due to repetitive stress on the hand joint.

How is Small Joint Replacement Done in Pune?

In small joint replacement surgery, the patient is first put under general or regional anesthesia. After this, your surgeon at Apollo Spectra will make an incision on the back of your hand, where the affected joint is. The tendons will be moved aside to access the damaged parts and remove them. Most commonly, the joints that are replaced in the hand are finger joints, wrist joints, and knuckle joints. Implants aren’t placed in the thumb because they tend to fail quickly due to high lateral forces. Instead, the thumb joint is fused, if causing pain.

What Happens After Small Joint Replacement Procedure?

After a small joint replacement procedure, the patient is taken to a recovery room where they are kept under observation for a few hours. Most patients are discharged within a few days after the procedure. They are required to wear a protective splint for a few weeks after their surgery during recovery. Their surgeon will give them certain instructions that they need to follow for quicker recovery, such as keeping their hand elevated to avoid swelling.

After the splint is removed, patients would have to engage in certain exercises with the help of a physical therapist, to regain mobility and function in their hand as well as recover well. Most patients can recover within 6 to 12 weeks after the surgery.

What are the Complications Associated with Small Joint Replacement Procedure?

As with any surgery, there are a few complications associated with a small joint replacement procedure. These include –

  • Infection
  • Pain or stiffness in joint persisting despite surgery
  • Over time, the implants may wear down or become loose. This may require additional revision surgery.
  • Damage to nerves, blood vessels, or other parts in the region surrounding the affected joint, during surgery
  • Artificial joint dislocation

When to See a Doctor at Apollo Spectra, Pune Regarding Small Joint Replacement Surgery?

You should consider seeing your doctor regarding small joint replacement surgery if –

  • You are experiencing severe hand pain and it is interfering with your daily activities
  • You are experiencing pain even when you are resting
  • You are experiencing pain despite undergoing other treatments such as steroid injections, anti-inflammatory medications, or wearing a splint
  • You’re experiencing post-traumatic arthritis, after a severe injury or trauma

Request an appointment at Apollo Spectra, Pune

Call 1860-500-2244 to book an appointment


Most patients can return to their daily activities, after small joint replacement surgery and find relief from pain as well as gain most of their range of motion.

1. What are the implants made of?

The implants that are placed after removing damaged parts during small joint replacement surgery can be made of special carbon-coated materials, metal, or plastic.

2. What is the advantage of small joint replacement surgery?

There are various advantages of small joint replacement surgery, including –

  • Relief from small joint pain
  • Restoration of function and mobility of the joint
  • Improvement in overall hand function
  • Improvement in alignment and look of hand joint

3. What are the alternative procedures for the treatment of small joint arthritis or pain?

Some other procedures that can be done for the treatment of pain in small joints include –

  • Steroid injections for joints
  • Wearing protective splints
  • Physical therapy exercises of the hand
  • Anti-inflammatory medication or oral medication
  • Arthrodesis surgery (In this surgery, bones are fused to eliminate motion between damaged joints, thus reducing pain)
  • Resection arthroplasty (In this surgery, bones and/or parts that are damaged due to arthritis are removed)
  • Surgery to repair joint-related injuries in ligaments or tendons


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