Melbourne Hand Surgery 

Please note: Due to high demand our next new patient appointment at Melbourne Hand Surgery is in 4 months. There are no further appointments available in 2018 unless existing booked patients cancel.So we can streamline your care and ensure that urgent and emergency conditions are seen in a timely manner we require that all patients provide a referral from their general practitioner prior to seeking an appointment date. Once we have received your referral we will contact you to schedule an appointment. Referrals can be submitted by secure messaging (Argus, HealthLink, MedicalObjects), email, mail or fax.  

Melbourne Hand Surgery closes for the holiday season at 5pm on Monday 17 December 2018; we will resume consulting and operating on Monday 14 January 2019.

Osteoarthritis

Definition

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Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition where the smooth articular cartilage that covers the ends of the bones is gradually destroyed. The end result is that bare bone ends rub against each other, which causes pain and stiffness. Osteoarthrits can affect any joint in the hand. It most commonly affects the base of the thumb (termed "basal joint arthritis" or "1st CMCJ arthritis", as in the picture on the right and x-ray below) and the fingers (interphalangeal joints).

Osteoarthritis in the fingers

Hebeden's nodes are bony nodules (termed "osteophytes") that form at the end joints of the fingers (the "distal interphalangeal joints"). They are not treated with surgery, and nor are Bouchard's nodes, which is the term given to the bony nodules that form around the proximal interphalangeal joints.

forlife 200x145Digital mucous cysts are also found around the distal interphalangeal joints in people with osteoarthritis. They are ganglion cysts that arise from the distal interphalangeal joint and form a lump between the joint and the nail fold. They are more common in women than men and they commonly create a ridge in the nail. Mucous cysts can be conservatively treated through observation and aspiration (where the contents of the cyst are drained with a needle and syringe) but this method of treatment carries significant risks of recurrence and of infection - and these infections can result in a need for admission to hospital and multiple surgeries to treat the infection. Surgical excision of mucous cysts involves the excision of the cyst and any osteophyte related to the cyst; it is a very effective method of treatment. This procedure can be performed under local anaesthetic as day surgery (wide awake hand surgery).

Non surgical options

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Non surgical options include

  • use of heat and ice
  • analgesics (such as paracetamol)
  • anti-inflammatories
  • corticosteroid injections
  • splinting
  • changed activities

Indications for surgery

Surgery is indicated for osteoarthritis when pain severely limits daily activities despite adherence to non-surgical therapies.

Surgical options

Surgical options involve joint preservation or reconstruction wherever possible. The two main surgical treatments are:

 

FRACS

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