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Small Joint Surgery for Osteoarthritis - Topic Overview

If osteoarthritis in the joints of the hands camera.gif or feet camera.gif is so severe that function is impossible (rare with osteoarthritis), surgery may allow some pain-free motion.

In the hands, the goal is enough pain-free motion to allow the person to do basic daily activities such as eating, bathing, and dressing. Surgery for severe arthritis in the small joints of the hands is more commonly seen with rheumatoid arthritis.

In the feet, the goals of surgery are usually to allow the person to be able to wear shoes comfortably and to walk as normally as possible. Surgery to repair bunions camera.gif or hammer toes slideshow.gif is fairly common in osteoarthritis.

Joining together (fusion) of smaller joints may be more commonly used than replacement.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: April 08, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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