February 4, 2022
In years gone by, joint fusion- bonding bones together to eliminate painful motion- was the only way to treat advanced arthritis. In the late 1960s, joint replacement as we know it today became a reasonable option. Based on extensive anatomic research, denervation, or removal of nerves going to the responsible joint for small joint pain sensation, is now an excellent option. Unlike joint replacement, the joint mechanics are not altered. The recovery from minor surgery occurs quickly. There is minimal pain due to the operation and rapid resumption of normal activities and return to work.
Despite the advantages for the wrist and small joints of the hand, in Omaha, few surgeons offer this option. Dr. Ichtertz is among those that do. He has been offering denervation of the wrist for over 20 years, for the base of the thumb for over three years, and now for the small joints of the hand as well. It’s a nice way of getting rid of pain and maintaining motion as joint replacement is very expensive with prolonged recovery and usually results in loss of joint motion.