Finger joint replacement or fusion
Prosthetic joint replacement surgery can be considered for a painful and stiff finger joint. This is an operation most commonly performed for advanced osteoarthritis.
Finger joint replacement requires careful planning and exacting post operative hand therapy. It is not suitable for patients who cannot attend hand-therapy appointments regularly for at least six weeks after surgery. The operation is under general anaesthetic as a day case procedure.
I have used the Ascension Pyrocarbon proximal inter-phalangeal joint replacement, and metacarpo-phalangeal joint replacement, for more than years. Pyrocarbon, is a strong ceramic like material with similar mechanical properties to bone. Joint replacement requires removal of the existing joint surfaces with a very specific geometry that allows the two parts of the pyrocarbon prosthetic joint replacement to be inserted with a tight fit: no cement or screws are used to hold the prosthesis in position.
Patients can find further information on the Ascension website:
For some finger joints stability is more important than mobility. I will offer some patients joint fusion. This can be done as a local anaesthetic day case procedure. The joint can be fused using either buried wires and screws or in some patients the "Carpal Fix" device: https://www.extremitymedical.com/upper-extremity/carpalfix/
The index and middle finger proximal interphalangeal joints are more likely to be suitable for fusion, where as the joints of the small and ring finger are more likely to be suitable for replacement