Understanding Finger Joint Replacement: What You Need to Know

Understanding Finger Joint Replacement What You Need to KnowFinger joint replacement entails removing a damaged or worn joint from the finger and replacing it with an artificial joint.

This type of surgery, which is also known as an arthroplasty, is most frequently performed on patients who suffer from arthritis; however, surgeons may also consider it for patients who have other causes of joint degeneration.

If you are considering having your finger joints replaced, it is important to consult with a medical professional about the advantages and disadvantages of this surgical treatment, as well as what you should anticipate during the operation and the recovery period.


Even though it is not as common as other surgical procedures, such as hip or knee replacements, finger joint replacement is still an important medical intervention for those suffering from debilitating illnesses involving the finger joints.

What Is Finger Joint Replacement?

Finger joint replacement, also referred to as arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure that involves replacing injured or arthritic finger joints with artificial implants. Individuals who suffer from significant joint pain, stiffness, and loss of function due to illnesses such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or post-traumatic arthritis are often the ones who recommend this treatment.

Why is finger joint replacement beneficial?

Finger joint replacements are an option that should be considered in situations when a joint has been severely injured or when the bone in the joint has worn down due to arthritis.

To alleviate severe and ongoing pain is the key advantage that this surgical procedure offers. It is also possible that it can help you in regaining flexibility and range of motion in your hand while simultaneously repairing structural faults in the joint space.

Finger Joint Replacement Causes

There are a number of causes that can contribute to the necessity of replacing the finger joint, including the following:

  • Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease characterized by the breakdown of cartilage in the joints of the fingers.
  • Inflammation and damage to the joints, especially those in the fingers, are symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, which is an inflammatory illness.
  • Arthritis that develops after a traumatic injury to the finger joints, such as a fracture or dislocation, constitutes a condition known as post-traumatic arthritis.

Types of Finger Joint Replacement

Various techniques are available for replacing finger joints, such as:

Silicone Implants

This procedure involves replacing the damaged joint surfaces with silicone implants that imitate the standard shape and movement of the finger joint.

Metal and Plastic Implants

This type of implant uses metal and plastic components to replace the damaged joint surfaces, thereby giving both stability and flexibility.

Joint Replacement of the Proximal Interphalangeal (PIP) Joint

This procedure focuses on replacing the joint in the middle of the finger.

Replacement of the distal interphalangeal joint, also known as DIP, focuses on the joint that is located closest to the fingertip.

What is the Procedure: Step by step

The following procedures are routinely carried out within the context of finger joint replacement surgery, which usually takes out under general anesthesia:

Step: 1

Over the injured finger joint, the surgeon will make an incision in order to gain access to the damaged joint surfaces.

Step: 2

The cartilage and bone that have been injured are taken from the joint in order to remove the damaged tissue.

Step: 3

The process of implant placement involves precisely positioning the artificial implants in order to replace the joint surfaces that have been removed.

Step: 4

Surgical closure involves the use of sutures to close the incision, followed by the use of a bandage to cover the surgical site.

The process of recuperation and rehabilitation

It is possible to immobilize the finger by splinting it or placing it in a brace in order to preserve the surgical site and facilitate the healing process.

For the purpose of improving finger strength, flexibility, and range of motion, physical therapy may involve the prescription of exercises and stretches.

The management of pain may involve the prescription of pain medication as well as anti-inflammatory medicines in order to alleviate post-operative discomfort and swelling.

It is important to set up additional appointments with the surgeon on a regular basis in order to check on the progress of the healing process and handle any concerns that may arise.

What are the risks of replacing a finger joint?

However, just like any other surgical surgery, replacing a finger joint comes with a number of potential hazards, including the possibility of infection, failure of the implant, stiffness, and nerve injury. 

It is imperative that you have a conversation with your healthcare professional about these potential dangers before undergoing surgery.

Alternatives to Finger Joint Replacement

Alternatives to the replacement of the finger joint may be considered in certain circumstances.


Pain relievers, anti-inflammatory drugs, and corticosteroid injections may help manage symptoms.

Physical Therapy

Exercises and techniques to improve joint function and reduce pain.

Joint Fusion

A surgical procedure that fuses the affected joint to alleviate pain and stabilize the finger

Is it painful to replace the finger joint?

The surgery reduces hand pain, but you might experience temporary swelling, bruising, and pain. During the time that your body is adjusting to the new joint and the tissues are healing, you may experience some temporary pain.

However, over the course of a few months, the pain should completely go away. If you are experiencing extreme pain, your physician may recommend that you take pain medicines for a limited period of time.

Pain that does not go away is another potential adverse effect that may be related to this surgery. In the event that the discomfort does not go away after the surgery, you should consult a medical professional.

Wrapping It Up

Individuals who are suffering from serious problems affecting their finger joints may benefit from the treatment option of surgery to replace their finger joints. Patients have the ability to make informed choices regarding their healthcare and to explore other treatment alternatives with their healthcare providers if they have a thorough awareness of the reasons, procedures, and recovery process associated with this intervention.

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