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Hand and Wrist Surgery for Early-Onset Arthritis

Jan 24, 2015

If you’re dealing with the painful symptoms of arthritis of the hand or wrist, you understand how much the pain can affect your daily life. Simple activities have become difficult and you experience pain almost every day. Luckily, hand and wrist arthritis surgery is an effective option that is safe and has changed the lives of many people. If you are fortunate enough to have caught your arthritis in the early stages, the damage that has been done is probably minimal. If this is the case, there should be no reason why you couldn’t make a full recovery after undergoing treatment.

Contact your doctor when you first begin experiencing arthritis symptoms like swollen, painful, and stiff joints. Catching your arthritis early is a critical part of preventing permanent damage to your joints. Your doctor will perform a physical examination in order to diagnose your specific type of arthritis.

Surgical treatment is most effective when performed in the early stages of arthritis. If you were diagnosed with the early stages of hand or wrist arthritis, you may undergo one of the following procedures. These surgical procedures are typically performed as preventative measures to make sure that the arthritis does not become any more severe.


During this procedure, the surgeon will remove the inflamed synovial lining of your extensor tendons, which are the tendons that allow your fingers to stretch out.

When you’re dealing with arthritis, the synovial fluid becomes inflamed, causes swelling in the back of the hand and wrist, and can eventually cause tendons to rupture. By removing the lining, the fluid does not have the chance to become inflamed.


This procedure is very similar to tenosynovectomy, except the synovial tissue is removed from the joint compartment rather than the extensor tendons.

Joint Reconstruction

This procedure is common in patients with damaged tissue and a mild case of arthritis. This would not be appropriate for patients dealing with severe bone degeneration. Small incisions are made and the damaged tissue is removed. This is one of the most effective procedures for arthritis of the hands and wrists.


While these methods have been used to treat early and mild cases of arthritis of the hands and wrists, there will still be a recovery period to work through. It’s important to follow your surgeon’s directions for recovery to reduce the risk of infection and reinjury.

You will probably have a splint or cast after surgery to protect your hand or wrist while it heals. You’ll also need to rest your hand or wrist and avoid movement to prevent reinjury. The length of recovery will depend on which surgery you had performed, but most people make a full recovery after a couple of months.

If you begin to experience symptoms of hand or wrist arthritis, contact your doctor right away. It’s very important to begin treatment as soon as possible in order to prevent more serious damage from occurring. If you’re considering undergoing surgery to reduce painful symptoms caused by a wrist injury or arthritis, click here to download our e-book, How to Choose an Orthopaedic Surgeon. This educational guide will provide you with all the information you need to find a reputable surgeon.