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Planning for joint replacement of thumb. Is this possible?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
Answered : 10351 Questions
Hi I am in the process of considering joint replacement of my thumb but wanted a replacement joint not a reconstruction. My dr only does reconstruction using tendon from arm says replacements do not last. I wanted to know why -if knee and hip replacements can be done successfully why not thumbs. Regards XXXXXXX
Posted Sat, 11 May 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 1 hour later
Thanks for posting your query.
In the thumb replacement surgery, whole of the joint is not replaced. Only the joint surface is replaced and it is called arthroplasty. Arthritic joint surfaces are a source of stiffness, pain, and swelling. The artificial joint is used to replace the damaged joint surfaces so patients can do their activities with less pain.
Unlike a fusion surgery that simply binds the joint together, arthroplasty can help take away pain while allowing the thumb joint to retain movement.
You can go for an arthroplasty and it is a successful procedure. Let your surgeon decide which procedure will be the best for you after a clinical examination.
I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Planning for joint replacement of thumb. Is this possible? 37 minutes later
I watched online in the USA an operation of a replacement joint in the thumb. The doctor appeared to saw off bone ends and using a type of pin replacement "cemented" in at top of joint, along with a socket replacement "cemented in" on the base end of thumb. Is this operation not normally done?.
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 44 minutes later
Thanks for writing again.
What you saw was thumb arthroplasty and it is done in severely affected cases of arthritis with no bone abnormality or a major joint deformity. This is a well accepted procedure.
Hope my answer is helpful.
Do accept my answer in case there are no further queries.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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