KNUCKLE REPLACEMENT SURGERY

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I am waiting surgery to replace two of the knuckles on my right hand. Can I ask others for there experience and advise on this procedure. How was the operation it is planned as a numb block so I will be awake. How was the recovery. I understand that it is a long time in a brace afterwards. I am a keen hand knitter and wondering if I will be able to carry on this my favourite relaxing hobby afterwards.

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  • Ellen
    Ellen Moderator Posts: 1,694
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    Good Morning @Acephoneop Lovely to meet you and welcome you to the Online community.

    I see you are about to have two knuckles replaced on your right hand. This is not a very common procedure but I have found a couple of things which might interest you.

    The first is this -

    you need to scroll down a bit to find MCP joint surgery.

    This is an 'old thread' which I remember from 2016:

    Now @lindalegs is still a regular poster so may well pop by to chat to you.

    If you felt up to it it would be good to know how you get on.

    Very best of luck

    Ellen.

  • lindalegs
    lindalegs Member Posts: 5,393
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    Hi @Acephoneop Good to meet you.

    I had all my knuckles replaced (Swanson's) on my left hand a few years ago. Although I'm right handed I can only feed myself with my left hand so the recovery was very challenging for me and my husband. This was because we both live contentedly within the boundaries of my disability but overnight the boundaries increased massively, at a time when other things were also happening putting massive pressure on us both.

    The surgery went on far longer than anticipated due to the complexity of my deformed fingers so the tourniquet did start to hurt, but my anaesthetist was on hand to help me out when I told him. If you're just having 2 knuckles replaced then your tourniquet shouldn't become painful because it will only be on for a short time. I will add though that if you experience any pain, speak up, as the team are there to help you through and keep you as comfortable as possible.

    After 2 weeks in plaster, a splint was made which made life a bit easier and I was given finger exercises to do that I did religiously. I've had a quick skim through my old post (link above in Ellen's post) and it looks by Day 20 I was starting to feed myself again.

    I would add that recovery from any surgery always seems to go on forever whilst you're going through it, but once on the other side, you realise that it's only a short time really in the measure of things. For me it was worthwhile because it took away pain, gave me more agile fingers and, as an example, I was able to knit once again after not being able to do so since the start of my rheumatoid 36 years ago!

    If you need to ask anything else, please do, and I'll always help if I'm able.

    Love, Legs x
    'Make a life out of what you have, not what you're missing'
  • Acephoneop
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    thank you for coming back very reassuring. Also pleased that you were able to knit again after recovery. The pain and lack of movement are the main reasons it is the only option for me and now just waiting for the nhs to actual get the operation date sorted and start the road to recovery. Thank you again always good to have information from someone who has been through that operation. All the best Anne

  • lindalegs
    lindalegs Member Posts: 5,393
    edited 31. Mar 2022, 14:19
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    You're welcome Anne (@Acephoneop) and please do ask if you think of anything else, before or after your procedure.

    Hope you get your date very soon, as often, the worst time is waiting for it to happen.

    Love, Legs xx

    Love, Legs x
    'Make a life out of what you have, not what you're missing'
  • Acephoneop
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    Just one last question my surgeon likes to use plastic joints as he says he finds them the best. Can I ask what type of joints were used for yourself thanks

  • lindalegs
    lindalegs Member Posts: 5,393
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    The Swanson replacement joints are made of silicone elastomer which, I suppose is the 'plastic' your surgeon refers to. These are used nowadays for all knuckle replacements and are what I have. To the best of my knowledge they're not screwed or fastened to your bones in any way but their design means they stay in place due to the soft tissue encapsulating them.

    In earlier times they were metal and were screwed into place but screws worked loose over time ...I only know this because of a friend having had it done some 40+ years ago.

    I'm sure at your pre-op assessment, which will be arranged when you have the date of your surgery, you will see the whole team, including your surgeon, and they will talk you through the whole procedure.

    Love, Legs xx

    Love, Legs x
    'Make a life out of what you have, not what you're missing'
  • Acephoneop
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    Thanks that is great. I had my pre-op assessment 5 months ago but sadly my surgeon has now unexpectedly retired so will be done by one of the surgeons from another hospital as he was the only one in my hospital. I appreciate all the answers and it is great to speak to someone who has experienced the actual op.

    Anne x