I am 47 and have just had three of my fingers fused 12 days ago. I have osteoarthritis in each of my fingers on the DIP joints and also in some of the middlle joints as well.
I am right handed and was hoping to start with my left hand - but my right hand was just too painful to put off any longer. I have started with my pointer, middle and pinky fingers.
The op took about 1 hour under a GA. They also had to take a small bone graft from my wrist as there was not enough good bone left in my fingers. It was only day surgery - and I returned home with three bandaged fingers and another bandage around my wrist. I had to keep my hands elevated in a sling for a week or so to reduce swelling. They were uncomfortable and I did have to take painkillers. I returned to the doctors 5 days later and he removed the bandages. My fingers were very stiff - but he got me to bend them at the middle joints. He then told me just to keep cohesive tape over my fingers, help with the swelling and to put them back into the correct shape and he would see me again in 2 weeks. The brusing has now almost gone - but they are still pretty uncomfortable. I did have to return to the doctors last week as 2 of them were infected. I am now on antibiotics and they are improving.
I am still not driving as I would not feel confident to be able to grip the wheel if there was a problem.
All in all the op seems to have gone well - although it is still early days...
I am able to still make a reasonable fist by bending my middle joints, although my little finger is harder as the middle joint knuckle needs replacing and it is much harder to bend. I will have the fine wires still in the finger tips until at least Xmas. The doctor said that he would remove them if later if they were bothering me. I have Acrylic nails and the doctor advised me to keep these on before the op. They do protect the tips of my fingers, but I can still feel the tip of the wire (especially in the pointer finger).
Hope this helps