Rheumatoid arthritis has in the past ten years had its disease course altered and modified by many drugs knows as DMARDs which act upon the immune system to suppress inflammation. However no drug to date an reverse joint or tendon destruction that has occurred . It is also a progressive disease that may seem controlled yet slowly still affects the joints, ligaments ans tendons of the hand despite medication. And each year there are newly diagnosed patients who may not even know the have RA or even one of the so called sero negative spondyloarthropathies. Recovery froma surgical procedure depends upon what procedure is done. Joint replacement, joint fusion, ligament reconstruction, tendon transfer, tendon repair, are some of the more common hand and wrist procedures. Each has its own unique circumstances but a very basic ballpark figure for reconstructive hand surgery is that is it is a 2 -3 month process involving surgery, splinting, and therapy of differing degrees and magnitudes and frequencies. Still for "recovery" it is different for a wrist vs a single finger vs multiple locations. Talk to your surgeon for the specifics with respect to what you are correcting or fixing and what you do.