Surgery is more common on the larger joints, such as the hip and the knee. But if arthritis in the joints of the hands or feet is so bad that you can't do your daily tasks, surgery may help you move better and with less pain.
In the hands, the goal is to allow you to do basic daily tasks—such as eating, bathing, and dressing—with less pain.
In the feet, the goals are usually to allow you to be able to wear shoes comfortably and to walk as normally as possible. Surgery to repair bunions or hammer toes is fairly common.
In some cases a joint can be replaced with man-made parts. But in the small joints of the hands and feet, it's common to join (fuse) the bones together. This is called joint fusion. It means that the joint can no longer move, but the pain usually goes away.
Author: Healthwise Staff Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine Kenneth J. Koval MD - Orthopedic Surgery, Orthopedic Trauma
Medical Review:Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Kenneth J. Koval MD - Orthopedic Surgery, Orthopedic Trauma
The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.