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Left Hand Knuckles Replacement

Hello everyone,

On 7th April 2016 I'm due to have my knuckles replaced.  I know that some of you have been down this route before me and although I'm not worried about the procedure (well I am a bit but I am human) I was concerned about afterwards.  I've spoken to the physios and OTs but they don't know what it's like to experience this first hand (excuse the pun).  Can you tell me what it's like after the plaster is removed 2 weeks post op in your experience?

I do have the complication that I will be unable to feed myself/brush my teeth etc.  till my left hand gets moving again but that is something which I shall just have to put up with.  (The reason I am unable to feed myself is that my right fused itself about 25 years ago and I'm unable to use it for certain things .....though it is the arm I use the most ....which sounds like gobbledegook but I know what I mean!)

I look forward to hearing from you.

Luv Legs x

5 Replies

Hi Lindalegs, I have had all 4 knuckles replaced on my right hand and 2 on my left hand. I am so glad that I had it done as it has made a world of difference for me, in both swelling and in movement.

Be careful about squeezing your hand or twisting it afterwards, because I broke one of the plastic joints while pulling my hose into the front yard. It doesn't hurt but now it clicks every time I flex my hand. (This was 5 years afterwards).

The 2 on my left hand, unfortunately, didn't work.  I think that the Dr should have shortened my tendons to hold the knuckles in place. They had been swollen for 10 years & stretched everything. At least they don't hurt, but my fingers went right back where they were-skewed to the side again.

Take your time to recover fully & follow your Occupational Therapist's advice.

Good luck to you!

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Thank you so much Tinwoman, that is really good advice.  I shall make sure I respect my new knuckles when I have them. 

I'm sorry to hear that your left hand knuckles didn't work. :-(  At my pre op assessment yesterday I did ask what could go wrong apart from infection and was told that if anything went wrong, which was unlikely, there were other things he could do to sort things out.  Have you asked about other options especially as you know the cause of the failure?

Thanks again for replying.

Luv Legs x


Actually, no, I haven't. My surgeon retired about 2 weeks after my surgery with early-onset alzheimers so I really got no further treatment. Now it's been too long, I think, to raise a stink about it now. I'm just glad that I have less pain.

I got & still have about a 110 degree angle with my new MCP joints. My OT was so shocked, she said the best she had seen was about 90 degrees. It was a lot of work & pain but SO worth it.


I don't think it's a case of 'raising a stink' it's just asking for help because your surgery didn't work.  (Considering the circumstances he probably 'forgot' to shorten your tendons!) These people are there to give us a better quality of life if they can.  It might boil down to the fact that you don't want to face the surgery nor the recovery as that's a big consideration for us all.

Well done for getting 110 deg that is brilliant!

Thanks also for replying ...all information helps me prepare.

Luv Legs x


All i can add is best of luck darling. Sorry never had it done.xxxxxx

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