7 Weeks after L/H Knuckle Replacement

7 Weeks after L/H Knuckle Replacement

Hi everyone,

I am now splint free day and night and what a relief that is! I still exercise my fingers by moving them one at a time towards my thumb to build the muscles up as the tops of my fingers still tend to drag the knuckles to the left and I have to take care of keeping my repositioned tendons in place.

Below are before and after photos and although my first finger knuckle is still swollen after the op, all my fingers are straighter than they were!

When I hold things now I use all my fingers instead of just the first finger and thumb making things feel more secure in my grip. Also my wine glass is safe in my hand now so a win, win situation I think!

Love, Legs x

12 Replies

  • Hello, I want to thank you for updating us with your progress after having this procedure. It's very useful to people like myself who are going to need the same operation at some point, my hand looks very similar to your second before pic....classic RA?!! 🙄 😢 My frustration is with my Rheumy team however as they took sooo long to get me on the right medication...I appreciate I was very sensitive to many I tried but even so they could see I was getting worse at each appointment but hey ho!! I really really hope it works for you and it does look so much better and great that you're starting to feel the benefit. My husband has a nasty habit of cracking his knuckles...very very insensitive and lots of tellings off!!! Good luck and please keep blogging it's been very informative! x

  • Hi 3LittleBirds2, First of all I can let you borrow a sharp stick to prod your husband with every time he cracks his knuckles! :-)

    I've kept up a progress report because it was something I would've liked to have had before my surgery. (Although in saying that this NRAS forum did help with my queries.)

    I do hope you're on the right meds now, the trouble is once the damage is done the only way ahead is surgery ....ouch! If your Rheumy team offer you any hand ops please feel free to message me with any queries you might have.

    Love, Legs x

  • Hi Legs...Thank you I will!! I've always hated it when people do that and even more so now...it's gives me the shudders as anyone with RA affecting their hands could surely understand!! I'm on Rituximab but like you said the damage was already done before I started it... Plastics were going to operate 18 months ago but Rheumatology said no..she's still got movement, too "young" and we want to get her medically controlled, so I've steadily got worse and now it's looks deformed, having regular physio but it doesn't do much. Like you I need the knuckles replaced and tendons tightened. Due to see Hand Surgeon this week but he's on long term sick so goodness knows when I'll next see him!! How long did it take your hand to become like that? Really glad it's improving and thanks for the offer to message you which I will take up definitely. 🙂 X

  • It's hard to pinpoint a time when the deformity occurred because at first my hands were really painful and swollen and it was something I just didn't notice. I've had RA since I was 27 so my hands were affected most in the earlier years when the meds weren't as good. (I'm now 58 and have been on all sorts of Dmards over time but I'm now on Enbrel which is FANTASTIC! [I needed to shout that from the rooftops! ])

    I had reasonable movement beforehand (sorry pun!) but my grip was very weak because my fingers had all dislocated. I have at least 2 more ops to face after this one but I've asked for a break so my surgeon has given me an open appointment for a year.

    Let me know how you go on won't you. :-)

    Right off to sharpen my stick for your hubby!

    Love, Legs x

  • Wow that looks amazing congrats on your new hand. I bet your enjoying being able to do things again.

  • Hi Jaclyn, yes it is good to be free of plaster and splints .....I can now get up to all my old tricks again and more besides! ;-)

    Love, Legs x

  • Thanks for posting and keeping us all up dated. Now go and enjoy your glass of wine, you deserve it!!

  • I did, more than the one ;-) thank you Suzannedale. :-D

    Love, Legs x

  • Hope this is as successful for you as me. Had R hand done 30 years ago for the first time. Was in hospital for 3 weeks. Can you believe that! Second time about 15 years ago. My hands are not good to look at but manage to function. Problems with opening jars, tendency to drop things and can't use a needle and thread etc. However, manage to cook and do light housework so not a complete waste of space!

    Best wishes Pam

  • Hi Pam, I suspect there will still be stuff I can't do but already I notice I'm using all of my hand to hold things whereas I only used to use my thumb and first finger the other three just fell uselessly to the left. I am really pleased with the outcome. I don't think my hands will ever be used for advertising hand lotions but as long as they function better that's all I want.

    3 weeks in hospital, wow-wee I would think you got a bit bored towards the end! Though nowadays I do think we go home too soon - I had one night! Ha-ha.

    Thanks for telling me your experience.

    Love, Legs x

  • Looks great, you must be so pleased, and what a neat scar!

    I hope you continue to go from strength to strength and enjoy the benefits of the surgery.


    Fiona xxx

  • Hi Fiona, yes it is a neat scar and very different to yours ...not that I'm saying yours is bad! I'm supposed to have 2 more operations on my left hand yet but when my surgeon told me he was ready to move on to the next I told him I'm not! I have an open appointment for a year which will give me chance to find out whether any more ops will be of benefit to me.

    Thanks for replying :-)

    Love, Legs x

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