Treatments & Procedures

Finger joint replacement

What is a finger joint replacement?

Trauma or degenerative changes can cause irreversible damage to the small joints of the fingers. In advanced cases, replacement of the involved joint or joints with new joint implants can be the option of choice.

The joints closest to the nails (Distal Interphalangeal Joints) are not suitable for joint replacement. A fusion of these joint is generally the better option. The other joints of the fingers can be replaced with silicone, surface replacement or pyrocarbon implants.

The choice to replace a joint or joints depends on many factors including the patient’s wishes and expectations and the state of the hand and fingers.

Joint replacements can give excellent results, but one should keep in mind that implants can fail and some do not last longer than a 10-15 years. Another replacement procedure or joint fusion may be needed then.

The decision to have a joint replaced should not be made lightly. Thorough consultations with the hand surgeon are needed to come to the right decision for you.


Dr Paul van Minnen

Dr Nicholas Smith