Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hand FAQ

Question:

My father had implants done on his knuckles of his left hand because his hand was so bad from arthritis. He now has the same problem with his right hand, but he's reluctant to go through the surgery again because he said it only helped his pinky and ring finger. Is this normal?

Answer:

There is a type of surgical implant done on the lower knuckles of the hand called silicone arthroplasty. It has been fairly successful for many people, but it doesn't seem to be consistent with all fingers. A recent study found that this type of implant had a better result in the two fingers you mention, the little finger and the ring finger, than the index (pointing) finger and middle finger. This could have something to do with how the knuckles themselves work. Each finger moves slightly different from the others and their range differs too. Kevin C. Chung, MD, et al. Outcomes of Silicone Arthroplasty for Rheumatoid Metacarpophalangeal Joints Stratified by Fingers. In Journal of Hand Surgery. Nov. 2009. Vol. 34A. Pp. 1647 to 1652.

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