Surgical Procedures For Arthritis

Surgical treatment for arthritis is usually implemented to relieve severe pain. Surgical procedures help in improving the function of the severely deformed joints that did not respond to medications and physical therapy earlier.

The following surgical procedures should considered in case of a severe requirement.

It is a type of surgical procedure that is performed to reconstruct and replace the diseased joint. It is usually performed in case of rheumatoid arthritis. Arthroplasty helps in restoring the function of a joint or correct a deformity. This surgical procedure helps in reshaping the joints. All or a part of the joint is replaced with metal, ceramic, or plastic components.

This surgical procedure does not cure rheumatoid arthritis, neither does it stop diseased activity. It only provides pain relief and improves the functioning of the joint. Recovery from arthroplasty might involve 2 to 14 days in the hospital, depending on the type of joint and rehabilitation period.

Arthroscopy for RA
It is a type of surgical procedure that uses a thin tube that has a light source. This tube is inserted into the joint through a small incision made on the skin over the affected joint. This allows the doctor to look inside the joint.

The surgery is performed to clean and remove the debris from the joint and remove free-floating pieces of bone or cartilage that might be near the joint. It is also performed to smoothen out the rough or irregular surfaces of the joints that have been damaged due to wear and tear. It also helps in reducing inflammation in the affected tissues in larger joints.

Depending on the extent of the procedure, the patient is advised to flex the joint as infrequently as possible. Crutches might be needed if the knee joint was operated on.

Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Surgery
Just like arthroscopy, this surgical procedure uses a thin tube that has a camera (or an endoscope attached) at the top. This endoscope is guided through a small incision in the wrist. The doctors are able to see structures through the endoscope. This single portal technique has both has both camera and the cutting tools.

This procedure helps in relieving the pressure on the median nerve, providing relief from the pain of carpal tunnel syndrome. Patients who have undergone endoscopic carpal tunnel surgery are not likely to stay at the hospital after the procedure. They can go home the same day.

Cervical Spinal Fusion
The other name for this procedure is arthrodesis. This surgery joins selected bones in the neck. The bone can be taken from any other part of the body or through a bone bank. This bone is used to make a bridge between two intermediate vertebrae. This procedure stimulates the growth of a new bone. Some doctors also use metal implants that hold the vertebrae together until the formation of the new bone.

This procedure is used as a follow-up procedure to spinal stenosis, herniated discs, and, in some cases, rheumatoid arthritis. This procedure usually requires a short stay in the hospital. The patient might be required to wear braces on the neck during the recovery time.

Finger and hand surgeries
There are several surgical procedures to correct the joint problem that might have been caused due to rheumatoid arthritis. Some of them are mentioned below:

  • As discussed above, carpal tunnel release helps in releasing or cutting a ligament in the wrist. This helps in relieving the pressure on the nerve that runs through the middle of the wrist that supplies feeling to the hand.
  • Tendon release helps to treat abnormal bending of fingers. The medical term for this is flexion contractures.
  • Joint resurfacing, it is a procedure that uses plastic or metal coverings to replace the damaged joints. This procedure helps in restoring the normal finger alignment, ease pain and improve function.

Phalangeal Head Resection
This procedure is performed for treating toe-joint deformities. The doctor or the surgeon removes a part of one of the toe bones called as the phalangeal head. This is done so that the toe can lie flat. The affected tendons are then attached and conformed to the correct position of the toe. Wire or a tape is helps the straightened toe in place until it has been healed.

There are variations in the surgery as some procedures involve using implants that are made of man-made material like silicone that is used to replace the bone segment that has been removed. This surgery is usually performed as an outpatient surgery, which means the patient will be discharged the same day.

These are some of the surgical procedures that are used to treat the symptoms of different types of arthritis. It is absolutely necessary that you consult an experienced orthopedic surgeon before deciding which type of surgery is the best option for you.