Our hands are critical to most activities that we do on a daily basis. One of the most common issues that can affect the functionality of the hands is arthritis. Most people assume arthritis only impacts the large joints of the body, such as the knee, hip, or shoulder, but the truth is, this condition can just as easily impact the joints within your hands.
What is Arthritis of the Hand?
Arthritis refers to a large group of conditions that cause inflammation, pain, and deterioration of joints. Most forms of arthritis are progressive, which means the condition will continue to worsen with time. When arthritis affects the joints in the hand and fingers, it causes pain, swelling, stiffness, loss of mobility, weakness, and other symptoms in the specific joints it affects.
Causes of Hand Arthritis
Hand arthritis is most often the result of the development of one of these conditions:
Also known as wear-and-tear arthritis, osteoarthritis causes degeneration of joints’ cartilage. When cartilage gets severely damaged, the bones meeting at the joint begin rubbing against each other, causing inflammation, pain, and stiffness. Osteoarthritis is known to affect the wrist joint, thumb joint (the meeting point between the thumb and wrist), and finger joints, especially the middle and top joints.
Osteoarthritis treatments include medications to relieve symptoms, physical therapy, ice and heat therapy, injection therapy, and surgery, which includes joint replacement and joint fusion.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
RA is an autoimmune disease that causes the body’s immune system to attack the membrane (synovium), which acts as a lubricant between bones, that lines joint capsules. It also destroys the cartilage in joints, leading to friction of the bones and erosion of the bony endings. RA mostly affects the small joints of both hands and feet, and often affects the same joints on both sides (both hands, both feet, etc.) RA often causes the deformity of the joints it impacts.
Rheumatoid arthritis is often treated with corticosteroids, anti-inflammatory pain medications, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, and surgery, which includes joint replacement, joint fusion, and synovectomy.
This disease is an inflammatory condition that’s quite similar to rheumatoid arthritis. The difference is that it also causes visible skin symptoms. The joints become painful, swollen, and stiff, especially in the morning, with psoriatic arthritis. It also causes skin lesions, which can appear with other symptoms or independently.
Psoriatic arthritis treatments include corticosteroids, anti-inflammatory pain medications, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, and surgery, which includes joint replacement and joint fusion.
Expert Hand Surgeon in Miami Lakes and Plantation, FL
If you are experiencing pain or reduced function in your hands and are looking for quality hand care, the experienced Dr. Tosca Kinchelow can help. Dr. Kinchelow is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who diagnoses and treats all kinds of hand conditions and injuries. She can perform a thorough assessment of your hands, provide personalized care, and create a customized treatment plan to relieve pain and improve function and mobility, allowing you to perform your normal daily activities once again.
If your condition requires surgery, you can rest assured that Dr. Kinchelow will do a great job. We use state-of-the-art surgical technology and techniques to improve surgical outcomes and help you recover quickly.
To schedule an appointment, call us today at (888) 908-9036 or fill out our online appointment request form. We have offices in Miami Lakes and Plantation for your convenience.