Heberden’s nodes and osteoarthritis

Question

Is there a surgery for Heberdon’s nodes?

Answer

Dear Donna,

Heberden’s nodes, as you know, are the enlarged bony swellings in the joints at the ends of the fingers.  They can be disfiguring and painful.  However, they are just as likely to be painless.  Generally, they are not operated upon or replaced. If there is severe deformity or pain, I suppose the joint could be fused surgically but I have never a patient who needed this. 

Joan Bathon, M.D.

About Joan Bathon, M.D.

Dr. Bathon was a Co-Deputy Director of the Division of Rheumatology at Hopkins Bayview. She was also the founder and director of the Hopkins Arthritis Center.