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Surgery is more common on the larger joints, such as the hip and the knee. But if osteoarthritis in the joints of the hands or feet is so bad that you can't do your daily tasks, surgery may help you move better and with less pain.
In the hands, the goal is to allow you to do basic daily tasks—such as eating, bathing, and dressing—with less pain. Surgery for severe arthritis in the small joints of the hands is more often seen with rheumatoid arthritis.
In some cases a joint can be replaced with man-made parts. But in the small joints of the hands and feet, it's common to join (fuse) the bones together. This is called joint fusion. It means that the joint can no longer move, but the pain usually goes away.
Current as of: July 1, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Kenneth J. Koval MD - Orthopedic Surgery, Orthopedic Trauma
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