Arthritis can be a debilitating condition that can cause chronic pain and stiffness, and will generally get worse over time. Fortunately, you and your doctor can discuss different treatment options to deal with your arthritis to help control the pain and other issues it presents. With rest and medication, it can help to deal with the pain. However, it doesnt actually do anything to remove the pain – it merely masks it. In some cases, the doctor may recommend arthritis surgery to help you. Joint surgery on the hands, elbow, and wrist could help to reduce your pain and to return more of your mobility.
Is Surgery Right for You?
Not all patients are good candidates for surgery, so this is something you will need to talk with your doctor about. They want to make sure you are healthy enough for surgery, and that the surgery will actually be able to help you. You and your doctor will also want to discuss other treatment options that are available.
If both of you decide that surgery is the best choice, the doctor will explain the procedure. There are different types of surgery for arthritis. In some cases, the doctors will use fusion techniques, which will fuse the joint, which can relieve the pain, although it may limit some of the mobility. They may also use arthroscopic surgery to remove some of the debris around the joints, which can reduce pain. In severe cases, they may consider replacing all or part of a joint.
Have the doctor explain the surgery, along with the pros, cons, and the risks. Make sure you also understand the recovery time and what types of therapy you will have to do. You can then decide whether you want to proceed and have the surgery.
Getting Ready for the Surgery
As mentioned, you need to be healthy enough to have surgery. Make sure that you and your doctor consider all of your other health issues first. The doctor may want you to change your dietary habits, quit smoking, and to eliminate unhealthy behavior before the surgery to ensure a better healing rate. They will also want to know what medications you are on so that you arent taking anything that could interfere with the procedure, and so you arent taking any conflicting medications after the surgery.
Ask About Follow-Ups
The surgeon will want to see you several times after the surgery to make sure you are healing properly and that the surgery was successful. Make sure you understand the follow-up schedule. Also, make sure you have a way to contact the doctor in case you have any complications after the surgery.
Choosing to have arthritis surgery is a big step, and it is not something that you can take lightly. Make sure you ask your hand surgeon as many questions as you have, and be sure that you really are ready to have this type of surgery. It can be beneficial, as it can relieve a lot of your pain and stiffness, but you still have to make the decision on your own of whether you want to go through with the surgery.
Contact us at one of our hand and wrist surgery offices in West Bloomfield, Howell, Warren, or Macomb to get in touch with a medical professional.