Hand Surgeon Questions Joint Replacement

Recovery expectations for knuckle joint replacement

My mom had knuckle joint replacement surgery for her rheumatoid arthritis. She knows that physical therapy will be required, but when can she expect to feel better? She's nervous that the surgery "didn't work" and will be in permanent pain from her arthritis.

5 Answers

Joint replacement for the metacarpal joints is a big operation. The recovery will likely take several months. The results are usually very good so tell her to hang in there and be positive. A motivated patient is the most important piece of the puzzle. Good luck
Recovery after this type of surgery for RA varies for each patient. That being said, it usually takes at least 6-8 weeks until you are doing "fairly well" and full recovery can sometimes take 3 months or longer.
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Check C. Kam
Recovery for this type of surgery takes 3-6 months. With still more improvements up to one year. Patience and reassurance can be helpful early on!

I hope that helps. Take care.

Harrison Solomon, M.D.
Generally with a joint replacement the pain is reduced if not gone completely in time, but occupational therapy is very important after the surgery. It will enable her to bend the finger, Without OT she may remain with a stiff finger. The pain should diminish with time. All surgery can take up to a year before the final product but she should see improvement within a few months of the surgery.