Shoulder and Elbow Surgery

Shoulder and Elbow Surgery for Arthritis – The Pros and Cons

Arthritis can cause server pain in the joints and surrounding tissues and can impair movement significantly. You can ease these symptoms present in the shoulder and elbow with shoulder and elbow surgery. You should definitely learn more about this option, how it works and how effective it is in order to decide whether it is right for you or not.

Shoulder and elbow surgery for arthritis is not very popular mainly because this medical condition does not affect these particular joints severely. However, it has been performed for quite some know and thanks to research and technology advancement, is has evolved and improved throughout the years. Still, since the procedure is complex and invasive while the positive results are not fully guaranteed, it is not performed in all hospitals.

In its essence, shoulder and elbow surgery involves the replacement of the joint or joints affected by arthritis with artificial ones. This replacement may be partial or full, depending on the how many elements of the joint are affected. Partial replacement surgery is possible because both the elbow and shoulder joints are complex and have a number of elements comprising them.

What are the benefits of this type of surgery for arthritis sufferers? The main benefit is pain relief. You will no longer experience pain in the each joint and the surround area, after you recover fully from your surgical wounds. You should expect the effect to be permanent, if the surgery has been done successfully. Since you will no longer feel pain, you may even find your range of movement to be somewhat greater.

The potential drawbacks of shoulder and elbow surgery are serious and should be taken into account as well. As a patient, you should know that an artificial joint can never work as a natural one no matter how good it is. This means that the range of your movements will be more limited than before you had arthritis. Still, if joint pain has been disabling for you, you may find that the range of arm movements you have is actually broader. In general, you should be able to do simple daily tasks after the surgery, but you may not be able to play basketball or baseball as you used to, for instance.

You may have to undergo revision surgery which involves the replacement with the artificial joint with a new one. This is certainly a disadvantage for many people. This revision surgery is necessary because even the artificial devices wear and tear over time. Usually, an artificial joint is designed to last for at least 10 years. You may never have to have it replaced or you may have to have it replaced after 5 years, for example. In any cases, you should be aware of this possibility. Revision surgery is similar to the primary shoulder and elbow surgery. The recovery period and cost are similar.

Now you know all the benefits and drawbacks of shoulder and elbow surgery for arthritis. You can readily decide on this option. Just keep in mind that it is usually recommended only to patients who experience pain that cannot be relieved with other treatments and that is disabling.

Hand and Wrist Surgery

Hand and Wrist Surgery for Arthritis – Is It a Good Treatment Option?

Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis may cause serious damage to the joints, ligaments and bones on the hand and wrist. One of the treatment options is to have hand and wrist surgery. It is worth looking at this option in greater detail so that you can decide whether it is for you or not.

The first thing that should be pointed out is that hand and wrist surgery for arthritis is often recommended as a last resort. This is due to a number of reasons. Firstly, thanks to the advancement of medicine, this condition affecting the joints and mobility, in general, can be effectively managed with medication and other forms on non-invasive treatment. In fact, the progression of rheumatoid arthritis can even be fully stopped with the appropriate treatment. On the other hand, surgery is an invasive procedure and hides all sorts of risk, including temporary or permanent inability to use the hand normally. In addition, its effectiveness may not be as high as needed.

These are just generalizations, however. There are different types of hand and wrist surgery for arthritis that are needed in different cases. They involve different procedures and produce different results.

There is a surgical procedure for treating carpal tunnel syndrome. The carpal tunnel ligament that passes over the median nerve in the wrist is divided so that it no longer presses the nerve and causes pain. This surgery is done under local anesthetic. It involves an overnight stay in a hospital and has a very short recovery period.

Dupuytren’s contracture fasciotomy, trigger finger release surgery and ganglion cyst removal surgery are procedures that treat deformities in the hand due to arthritis that cause discomfort and a level of disability. These procedures are generally simple and safe, but the recovery period involves some rehabilitation. In addition, the damage control achieved with the hand and writs surgery may not be full.

Knuckle joint replacement surgery may be necessary if the fingers are severely deformed and/or if pain in them is severe. The recovery period is long lasting and involves daily rehabilitation. In the end, you will no longer feel pain, but your hand will not be as flexible as before while your grip will not be as strong as before.

Thumb surgery can be performed on the thumb knuckle or on the base joint. The former procedure usually involves just stiffening of the knuckle joint. Even though you will no longer be able to move it, this is procedure is not disabling. Patients keep using their thumbs and hands normally. The base joint may be replaced with a capsule formed by other ligaments or by an artificial joint. In this way, you will be able to use your thumb, even though movement will be somewhat impaired.

Wrist joint fusion and wrist joint replacement are procedures that are very invasive and require long-term rehabilitation and comprehensive post-surgery treatment, in general. You may be unable to use your hand and wrist even for simple tasks during the first few weeks after the hand and wrist surgery.

Now you know all about hand and wrist surgery, so you can make a well-informed decision.