Indexed on: 07 Feb '16Published on: 07 Feb '16Published in: Zeitschrift fur Rheumatologie
The need for operative treatment of severe rheumatic deformities of the hand and wrist is decreasing due to the increased use of disease-modifying drugs; however, some patients do not tolerate or do not sufficiently respond to these drugs, which often results in the hands being affected and in advanced stages to severe deformity and loss of function. In these cases operative surgery can help to slow the progression of rheumatic destruction and restore the function of the patient's hand. This article describes the principles of surgery for rheumatoid arthritis of the hand. A meticulous synovectomy or tenosynovectomy is the first stage of treatment. With progression of rheumatic destruction various salvage procedures are necessary to preserve the best possible functional state.