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What are possible complications of hand surgery for arthritis?

Hand Surgery Geriatrics
DOCTOR’S ANSWER (1)

The general complications from surgery include

  • Infection
  • Bleeding from the surgical wound
  • Injury to nearby nerves and tendons, causing temporary/permanent dysfunction of the related nerve or tendon.

The possible specific complications related to the types of surgery for osteoarthritis of the hand include:

  1. For arthroscopic surgery: Iatrogenic cartilage injury, causing further wear, septic arthritis
  2. For joint balancing procedures involving osteotomy (bone-cutting) and fixation with implants: Non-union of the intended fixation site, irritation of surrounding tissue due to attrition against the metal implant.
  3. For excisional and interpositional arthroplasty procedures: Subsidence of the bone after removal of the joint, instability and recurrence of pain.
  4. For replacement arthroplasty procedures: Dislocation of the artificial joint, loosening of the implant, early wear of the plastic components of the artificial joint

All the above complications are treatable and manageable with either non-surgical or surgical means if necessary.


Dr Aaron Gan
MBBS (Singapore), MRCS (Edinburgh), MMed (Surgery)

Centre for Hand And Reconstructive MicroSurgery

3 MOUNT ELIZABETH,

MOUNT ELIZABETH MEDICAL CENTRE #06 - 05,

Singapore 228510


30 views 8 Nov 2019
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Disclaimer: Any answers provided are for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment.

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