RA Hand Surgery

RA is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the body engages in friendly fire against its own joints – including the finger joints. If finger involvement is severe, reconstructive surgery may be needed. There are many types of surgery that can help treat the problems associated with hand RA. Sometimes, carpal tunnel surgery can help because many people with RA also have carpal tunnel syndrome. Tendon release or tendon repair can treat abnormal bending of fingers, or repair or reattach tendons, respectively. Surgeons can also remove inflamed tissue (synovium) in the hand. This can decrease inflammation and pain, and can be done in tandem with other RA-related hand surgeries.

Just as people can have other arthritic joints like their knees and hips replaced, finger joints can be replaced. This can be done by replacing damaged joint surfaces in the fingers with plastic or metal-and-plastic implants, or by removing, then replacing the ends of the joint bones with metal and/or plastic components.