The hands and feet perform thousands of actions every day, and there are a number of joints located in the fingers and toes that can be subject to overuse, arthritis, gout, and other conditions that can lead to severe pain and reduced functionality. If you are experiencing discomfort, swelling, tenderness, stiffness, and limited use of your hands or feet, or if you notice your knuckles becoming enlarged or crooked, consult a specialist who can offer you different methods to get rid of the pain. If these approaches don’t provide relief, finger and toe joint replacement surgery utilizing some of the most advanced minimally invasive surgical techniques can help you lead a pain free life.
In normal joints, bones having articular cartilage on their ends allow bones to glide easily against each other. Joints are lubricated by the synovial fluid which acts as a lubricant helping them to glide smoothly. Wearing out/damage of articular cartilage, or other causes may lead to joints getting stiff and painful. This is arthritis, and may be possible to treat with different techniques or surgery.
The diagnosis is determined by the patient’s symptoms, a careful physical exam and x-rays. Finger/toe stiffness and swelling may be present, and pain may be reproduced with manipulation of the fingers/toes. There may be deformity, such as crooked fingers and enlargement of the joints. It is important to rule out other conditions that may cause pain such as carpal tunnel or tendonitis.
Pain in small joints does not mean that you will need to lead a sedentary lifestyle. One must recognise the signs and seek help so that treatment can begin and you can return to normal life as early as possible.
Treatment options for small joint pain of the hand, wrist and other areas include medication, splinting, injections, and surgery, and depend on:
Small joint pain can be treated by several non-surgical methods like (alternative medicines like glucosamine), splinting, injections, and surgery. The majority of patients with Joint pain symptoms are treated without surgery. Injections can be used and repeated, but they do not provide long-term effectiveness.
Surgery is for patients whose non-surgical treatment was unsuccessful. Patients who require surgery suffer from severe pain and deformity. Joint replacements or “freezing” the joint are also known as fusion. Most patients can return to light use of the small joints after almost three months. The treatment option chosen should be tailored to suit individual needs.
If nonsurgical treatment fails to give relief, surgery is usually discussed. Surgical treatment should be chosen if only it has the chance of providing long-term pain relief and helps to return to daily normal function. It should be tailored to your individual needs. It can also be looked into if a joint can be preserved or reconstructed. When the damage is irreparable, a joint replacement surgery is performed. Joint replacement not only helps to provide relief from pain but also helps to restore function. The replacement joints are made of materials such as ceramics or long-wearing metal and plastic parts. This helps to improve the function and the life of the replaced joint.
After a Joint reconstruction surgery, you will be referred to a trained Physio-therapist, who can help you maximize your recovery. You may need to use a post-operative splint or cast for a while after the surgery. This helps protect the area of the surgery. During this postoperative period, you may need to keep in check the activities to allow the joint reconstruction to heal properly. Typically, pain medication you take by mouth can also reduce discomfort. Length of recovery time varies and depends on the extent of the surgery performed and multiple individual factors. One can return to most, if not all of their desired activities, in about three months after any major joint replacement surgery.