Hand Osteoarthritis

Pain, stiffness and loss of strength are the main consequences of osteoarthritis of the joints (CMC-I and IP osteoarthritis). This can be treated surgically, although in some cases splinting, proper pain management and hand therapy are sufficient.

We usually try non-invasive treatments first. When pain is not sufficiently reduced, surgery may help. For both treatments you can contact Dr. Karim.

The following descriptions are only about the operation, and therefore not about splinting, pain relief treatment or therapy.

STEP-BY-STEP PLAN

Preliminary visit
If you request an appointment you can nearly always count on being received by Dr. Karim within 2 weeks. We hold a preliminary visit in which we assess your requirements

Insurance
If you have health insurance, it may cover this type of surgery. Find out more.

X-ray
If your doctor has not yet taken an X-ray, we will ask for one.

Operation
The procedure will normally take place after 2 weeks

Plaster
Your hand and forearm will be in plaster for at least six weeks.

Rest
You have to take 2 weeks off after the procedure.  If desired, hand therapy will be performed along this period.

Follow-up
After the operation you will return for us to see how you are.

Long recovery process
The recovery process will require a lot of discipline, specific exercises and patience.

Final checkup
Three months after the intervention you will return for a final checkup.

Before the operation

Travel
Because you cannot drive home after an operation (no car or bicycle), it is important to make travel arrangements.

Drugs
Do you use blood-thinning drugs? Please let us know if you do. Ask the doctor from whom you get the prescription and find out if you can temporarily stop treatment. Your doctor will tell you how many days before the operation you should or can stop taking the blood-thinning drug. Dr. Karim wants to ensure this is possible in order to avoid unnecessary risks.

Disease
Fever or flu the day before the operation? Contact Dr. Karim to decide if the operation can be performed or should be postponed.

Cosmetics and personal care products
We understand that you always want to look your best, but on the day of surgery you cannot use skin care products or makeup.

Alcohol
You may feel nervous about the operation, but you can’t drink alcohol the day before (or on the day itself, of course!)! Drinking alcohol increases the chances of subsequent bleeding of the wound.

During the operation

Signing of the consent form

General anaesthetic

Removal of the bone mass causing the pain

Filling of the cavity with a piece of tendon or a prosthesis

Stitching of the skin

Operating time: about 90 minutes

After the operation

Plaster
Your hand and forearm will be placed in a plaster cast. This usually occurs immediately after the operation and, in any event, always within 24 hours.

Sling
You will be provided with a sling to hold your arm up so that your hand is at rest and does not swell (or does so minimally).

Water
You can not wet your hand until you have checked with us.

Pain
Your hand will feel sore for the first few days. This lasts for a maximum of two weeks.

Drugs
If necessary, you can take two 500 mg paracetamol tablets four times a day.

Sleep
Sleep the first day with your hand raised a little, for example on a pillow, to prevent / reduce swelling.

Stitches
The stitches are removed after ten days.

Risks

Bleeding
This is common. The skin turns blue around the contour (bruising). It will disappear after a few days.

Infection of the wound
Very rare.

Plaster cast too tight
If your fingers swell and your hand starts to hurt a lot, it may be from the plaster cast. In that case you should contact us to remedy the situation.

Distrophy
Very rarely, persistent painful swelling develops. Contact us immediately if you notice this.

Results

The purpose of this operation is to reduce your pain. You will not regain the strength in your hand.

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Facts about the Hand Osteoarthritis treatment

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Anesthesia

about 90 min

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