Deciding On Surgery

When a chronic condition like rheumatoid arthritis causes joint damage, one of the options is surgery. The damage can cause visible disfigurement to external joints. It can also cause pain and discomfort. The pain can is primarily because of the raw joint bones rubbing together because the cartilage is gone. There can also be pain from the adaptive way patients have come to function. When you move ligaments and tendons in an abnormal way over and over it can cause pain. The real frustration for me has been that in order to get relief with surgery, my options are limited. For example, in order to correct a boutonniere deformity on a finger I could have a joint fusion. That means a fixed joint with little to no movement. The hope is that there will be some gain in stability and functionality but there could also be a loss. Losing the way I had adapted to doing things and now new problems with trying to adapt in a different way. Doctors will often recommend waiting as long as possible to get surgery because it really is the patient having to choose the lesser of two evils. C’mon science, I need those custom joints to evolve for me and the others holding out for better!