Hand and Wrist Arthritis
Treatment for Hand and Wrist Arthritis in Cincinnati
The hand and wrist experts at the Clifton Hand Surgery Center, part of the Beacon Orthopaedics family, are dedicated to helping patients with hand and wrist arthritis achieve relief. Arthritis of the hand, fingers, thumb, and wrist can cause pain, stiffness, difficulty moving, and other symptoms. Fortunately, our experienced hand and wrist specialists offer a full range of treatments designed to alleviate these symptoms and get patients back to enjoying their favorite activities.
Types of Hand and Wrist Arthritis
In general terms, arthritis is a disease of the joints, where two bones meet. There are a number of types of arthritis that may affect the hands and wrists.
This is the most common form of arthritis, and is often referred to as “wear and tear” arthritis. Over time, the cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones in the hands and wrist breaks down, where they meet the joints. This causes a rough surface where the bones can rub against each other, leading to pain, stiffness, swelling, and loss of motion.1
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune arthritis, which can sometimes be triggered by an infection or environmental factor that causes an inappropriate immune response. Often, it has no known triggers. This disease causes the immune system to begin to attack joints, and can also cause damage to ligaments and cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis can cause pain, swelling, deformities, stiffness, and other symptoms.2
Inflammatory arthritis is caused by an overactive inflammatory response in a joint. This type of arthritis could be caused by a condition like gout, Lyme disease, or rheumatoid arthritis.
Psoriatic arthritis is an inflammatory arthritis which sometimes accompanies psoriasis, a skin disease. While this type of arthritis more commonly affects larger joints, it can impact the joints in the fingers.
Basilar Thumb Arthritis
The thumb joint at the base of the thumb is called the basal joint, and it is often affected by osteoarthritis. When the cartilage of the basal joint wears down after use or trauma, it causes friction when the bones rub against each other. Basilar thumb arthritis can cause pain, difficulty gripping or pinching, swelling, loss of strength, and an enlarged or bumpy appearance to the thumb, among other symptoms.3
Hand and Wrist Arthritis Symptoms
Any joint may be affected by arthritis. In the hands and wrists, arthritis can affect the thumb, the knuckles, the joints of the fingers, and the wrist joint.
Signs and symptoms of hand and wrist arthritis may include:
- Bumps or nodules on the joint
- Decreased motion
- Difficulty gripping or pinching
- Joint weakness
Treatment for Hand and Wrist Arthritis
At Beacon Orthopaedics, we always provide the least invasive treatment necessary to alleviate a patient’s symptoms. In the case of hand and wrist arthritis, non-surgical treatment may include:
- Eating Non-Inflammatory Foods: Foods like nuts and seeds, fish, vegetables, fruit, olive oil, whole grains, and beans help to calm inflammation.
- Managing Stress: Arthritis flares can be triggered by stress, so it is important to take steps to reduce the stress in your life. Getting plenty of rest and avoiding caffeine and alcohol can help.
- Exercise: Arthritis can cause joint pain and stiffness, and this only worsens with inactivity. Low-impact exercises like swimming, yoga, and tai chi can help you preserve joint mobility and strength.
- Physical Therapy: Our certified hand therapists can help you develop proper movement habits and educate you on how best to manage your hand and wrist arthritis. They can also fabricate custom braces that can help support and protect your arthritic joints to allow you to function as best as possible.
- Regenerative Medicine: At Beacon Orthopaedics, we offer a number of regenerative medicine treatments such as injection therapy that may help alleviate pain and stiffness caused by hand and wrist arthritis.
- Immobilization: Wearing a brace or splint can help alleviate joint stress.
- Medication: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) can help with both the pain and swelling of hand and wrist arthritis.
Surgical Treatment of Hand and Wrist Arthritis
If non-surgical or minimally-invasive treatments don’t provide patients adequate relief from their hand and wrist arthritis, it may be time for surgical treatment. At Beacon Orthopaedics, our hand and wrist experts perform a number of procedures that can benefit arthritic patients, including:
- Joint Fusion
- Total Joint Replacement
Surgery is followed by therapy with a specialized hand therapist who can help patients make the most of their recovery.
Contact Beacon Orthopaedics
Hand and wrist arthritis can make everyday activities like writing, typing, driving, and cooking difficult and painful. If you suffer from arthritis of the hand or wrist, the specialists at Beacon Orthopaedics in Cincinnati can help. Contact us to schedule a consultation with an expert.
1 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Osteoarthritis. Available: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/osteoarthritis/. Accessed November 2, 2021.
2 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Rheumatoid Arthritis. Available: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/rheumatoid-arthritis/. Accessed November 2, 2021.
3 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Thumb Arthritis. Available: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/arthritis-of-the-thumb/. Accessed November 2, 2021.