Dr. Alexandra Turner Plastic Surgeon MBBS BSc FRACS MED00001125632

Hand Surgery Adelaide - Carpal tunnel release cubital, trigger finger, trapeziectomy, Dupuytren’s, finger joint replacement

Finger Joint Replacement Surgery

Finger joints are essential to many activities and daily tasks. Arthritis in this area can cause significant pain, joint damage, and deformity. A finger joint replacement is an effective way to restore joint functionality and alleviate pain.

What is arthritis of the finger joints?

Arthritis can take a heavy toll on hands, causing pain, deformity and disability. Cartilage separates each bone in the fingers to stop the bones from rubbing together. Arthritis develops when the cartilage degrades, resulting in pain, stiffness and inflammation in the joints.

Reasons to have a Finger Joint Replacement

People who have arthritis in their hands often find their grip weakens, and it becomes harder to do fine movements like tying shoelaces and turning keys. Being unable to perform small tasks for yourself can negatively impact your quality of life and ability to live independently.

Over time, arthritis can cause irreversible damage to the small joints of the fingers. However, a finger joint replacement can help alleviate the effects of arthritis in the fingers.

Finger Joint Replacement procedure

A finger joint replacement procedure is performed in hospital under general anaesthetic as a day case or with an overnight stay.

The procedure involves an incision on the back of the finger to expose the joint. The surgeon will shape the ends of both finger bones and the prosthesis to fit snugly together. Then, the nearby ligaments are repositioned to support the joint, and soft tissues are stitched back together.

The finger will be secured in a splint and your hand bandaged to protect it from infection. The splint will help the finger immobilised and straight during the healing process.

Recovery after surgery

You will receive detailed post-surgery care instructions to help you recover, including information about typical symptoms that you may experience and potential signs of complications. Your surgeon and hand therapist will assist you with your recovery.

Your finger will be swollen and tender after the surgery. In some cases, this can last between four to twelve weeks. Generally, the wounds heal within two weeks, and rehabilitation exercises can be increased gradually as is comfortable.

You will wear a splint on your finger for several weeks after the surgery to limit movement. Using your finger too much too soon after the surgery can damage the new joint.

The splint will be replaced with tape attaching your operated finger to an adjacent finger at approximately four weeks. This allows gentle movement through the operated finger to begin rehabilitation. With the guidance of your hand therapist, you can gradually build up the use of your finger.


Call Dr Turner’s office today to find out how a finger joint replacement can relieve the pain of arthritis in your fingers.