What is Hand and Wrist Arthritis?

Arthritis is a disease that targets and attacks the tissues of the joints (where two bones meet). Arthritis can also attack the lining of the joint (cartilage). Over time, the cartilage will break down, and the ends of the bones will become exposed, rubbing against each other and wearing away. There are various types of arthritis that can affect the hands, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis.

Symptoms of hand and wrist arthritis include:

  • Swelling and stiffness.
  • Dull or burning joint pain.
  • Deformity.

Individuals who are more likely to develop arthritis in the hand and wrist include those who are over the age of 50, are female, are overweight, have had previous injuries to the hand, or have inherited genes that cause arthritis.

Treatment Options

To diagnose arthritis of the hand and wrist, your doctor will examine your hand with X-rays. X-rays can show the loss of bone cartilage and the formation of bone spurs. A blood test is also available to determine if the cause is rheumatoid arthritis. Overall treatment depends on the type of arthritis, the stage of arthritis, and how it has affected your hand.

Non-Surgical Treatment Options

  • Bracing and splinting.
  • Medications.
  • Steroid injections.
  • Strengthening and stretching exercises.
  • Hot and cold packs.
  • Rest.
  • Occupational therapy.

Surgical Treatment

If non-surgical treatments have not been found to provide relief, surgery may be an option. There are several surgical approaches for hand and wrist arthritis, including:

  • Joint Fusion: A plate and screws are used to keep the bones of the joint together.
  • Joint Replacement: An artificial implant made of silicone, metals, ceramics, or plastic is used to replace the damaged joint.
  • Tendon Transfer: Long-term inflammation from arthritis can cause tendons to rupture. If this occurs, a portion of the healthy tendon can be used to restore hand function.

In my opinion, the staff will do what ever is humanly possible to send a person back out in the world being as close to 100% as one can be after an injury. I found every one pleasant, courteous and so very concerned about me.


Schedule a Consultation

Salem hand surgeons Dr. Keith C. Neaman, Dr. Dustin Christiansen, and Dr. Pete Tsai have extensive training and experience in the treatment of hand and wrist arthritis. To schedule your personal consultation, please call Neaman Hand Surgery at 844-338-5445. There are numerous non-surgical and surgical options to help provide pain relief and increased strength.

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