Hand and Wrist Arthritis
About hand and wrist arthritis
When the joints are affected by arthritis, activities of daily living can be difficult. Arthritis can occur in many areas of the hand and wrist and can have more than one cause. Over time, if the arthritis is not treated, the bones that make up the joint can lose their normal shape. This causes more pain and further limits motion. We can treat hand and wrist arthritis in Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster and Worksop.
When arthritis occurs due to disease, the onset of symptoms is gradual and the cartilage decreases slowly. The two most common forms of arthritis from disease are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis:
Osteoarthritis is much more common and generally affects older people. Also known as “wear and tear” arthritis, osteoarthritis causes cartilage to wear away. It appears in a predictable pattern in certain joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease that can affect many parts of your body. It causes the joint lining (synovium) to swell, which causes pain and stiffness in the joint. Rheumatoid arthritis most often starts in the small joints of the hands and feet. It usually affects the same joints on both sides of the body.
What are the symptoms of arthritis?
Arthritis painful and will probably affect the mobility of your hand and wrist. Other symptoms include:
- Joint may feel warm to touch due to inflammation in the area
- Pain that is either dull or has a burning sensation
- Swelling around the affected joint
- Changes in the surrounding joints
- Sensation of grating or grinding in the affected joint (crepitation)
- Small cysts may start to develop around the area
What treatments are available?
Treatment options for arthritis of the hand and wrist include medication, splinting, injections, and surgery, and are determined based on:
- How far the arthritis has progressed
- How many joints are involved
- Your age, activity level and other medical conditions
- If the dominant or non-dominant hand is affected
- Your personal goals, home support structure, and ability to understand the treatment and comply with a therapy program
Non Surgical Treatment
- Medications – Medications treat symptoms but cannot restore joint cartilage or reverse joint damage. The most common medications for arthritis are anti-inflammatories, which stop the body from producing chemicals that cause joint swelling and pain. Examples of anti-inflammatory drugs include medications such as naproxen and ibuprofen.
- Supplements – Glucosamine and chondroitin are widely advertised dietary supplements or “neutraceuticals.” Neutraceuticals are not drugs. Rather, they are compounds that are the “building blocks” of cartilage.
- Injections – When first-line treatment with anti-inflammatory medication is not appropriate, injections may be used. These typically contain a long-lasting anesthetic and a steroid that can provide pain relief for weeks to months. The injections can be repeated, but only a limited number of times, due to possible side effects.
- Splinting – Injections are usually combined with splinting of the affected joint. The splint helps support the affected joint to ease the stress placed on it from frequent use and activities. Splints are typically worn during periods when the joints hurt.
- If nonsurgical treatment fails to give relief, surgery is usually discussed. There are many surgical options. The chosen course of surgical treatment should be one that has a reasonable chance of providing long-term pain relief and return to function. It should be tailored to your individual needs. If there is any way the joint can be preserved or reconstructed, this option will be chosen.
Book an appointment to treat hand and wrist arthritis in Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster or Worksop. You can also follow us on social media.