Melbourne Hand Surgery 

Coronavirus update: All consultations at Melbourne Hand Surgery are now conducted via telehealth (phone or video consultation), except where we have previously confirmed the requirement for an in-person physical examination or wound care management.  Mr Babazadeh is accepting referrals; Dr Tomlinson is not accepting urgent referrals and is on sabbatical leave. 

Emergency and urgent surgery is currently being conducted in hospitals. We anticipate a return to full elective surgery services from 31 July, in line with Victorian Government directives on the staged recommencement of elective surgery. Out of an abundance of caution we will apply the same approach to the recommencement of elective rooms procedures. 

Our practice will be closed on Fridays until further notice. We will use this website banner to provide general updates on changes to our practice and the availability of non-urgent procedures and surgery in the weeks and months ahead. Thank you for your understanding as our community works through these unprecedented and rapidly evolving times together (last updated: 20 May 2020).


Distal interphalangeal joint (DIPJ) replacement

DIP joint arthroplasty can be performed for painful osteoarthritis and post-traumatic arthritis. Most commonly surgeons recommend joint fusion (arthrodesis) for painful, stiff osteoarthritis of the DIP joint, especially in younger patients and patients who use their hands for moderate or heavy work. Unfortunately due to the small size of the DIP joints it is difficult to obtain a good prosthesis and a stable result. Joint replacements are more likely to be performed with satisfactory results in the proximal interphalangeal (PIP) and metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joints.

That said, in selected patients good results have been obtained with DIP joint replacement. Your surgeon can advise you whether you are suitable for this treatment and what the risks and benefits would be for you.


DIPJosteoarthritisfromRadiopaediaDOTorgA 2012 study reported on the results of Swanson replacement in 131 DIP joints for painful osteoarthritis or post-traumatic arthritis. Thirty-seven joints in 28 patients were done using a technique that cuts and then repairs the extensor tendon, which requires post operative immobilisation for 8 weeks. The following 94 joint replacements in 60 patients were done without cutting the tendon, so that joints could be mobilised immediately. Patients were assessed after an average of 57 months (4 and 3/4 years) and reported that their pain was significantly improved following surgery. The average range of joint movement was 39°, and patients were generally 11° off being able to fully straighten the joint. The overall complication rate was 5% (7 joints), with 3 instances of cellulitis and one instance of osteomyelitis (which required subsequent fusion). Two joints had subsequent fusions because of side-to-side joint instability. One patient had a persistent droop to the joint ('a mallet-type deformity'), which was corrected by tendon shortening.


Sierakowski A, Zweifel C, Sirotakova M, Sauerland S, Elliot D. Joint replacement in 131 painful osteoarthritis and post-traumatic distal interphalangeal joints. J Hand Surg Eur Vol May 2012 vol. 37 no. 4 304-309.



This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.

Search only trustworthy HONcode health websites: