Joint Replacement Surgery

Degenerative arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are considerable sources of pain and disability for many Americans. Our hand surgeons are experienced in joint replacement and reconstructive surgery for the hand, wrist, and elbow for pain and stiffness caused by arthritis.

Joint Replacement of the Elbow

In an elbow joint replacement, abnormal/damaged bone is surgically removed, and new parts are inserted in their places. These new parts may be made of special metal or plastic or specific kinds of carbon-coated implants. The new parts allow the joints to move again with little or no pain.

As with all joint replacements within the body, there is a risk of implant loosening, fracture or wear that occurs over time and which may require a revision surgery to repair or replace the damaged parts.

Joint Replacement of the Finger

Joint replacement of the finger replaces diseased or damaged joints within the finger or fingers with an implant made of metal or ceramic. The surgeon makes an incision along the back of the finger and the soft tissues are spread to expose the joint. The damaged portion of the bones are cut away and prepped for the implant. After the surgeon has prepped the bones in your finger, the implant is secured to the bone. The muscles, tendons and other soft tissues are moved back to their normal place. The hand surgeon will then close the incision with sutures and bandage the hand.

The patient will wear a splint to protect the hand and fingers while the hand is healing. Our orthopedic hand and upper extremity surgeons at Emory recommend the patient attend physical therapy to help restore range of motion and function. Physical therapy after joint replacement surgery usually lasts 3 or more months. Special splints and braces are also sometimes used as you recover.