What Causes Arthritis in Hand?

We're happy to share insights from our doctors.

Arthritis in hand is a condition that involves inflammation in the joints. When this type of inflammation becomes severe, there are many potential symptoms, including swelling, pain, and reduced range of motion. Whether a patient experiences finger or thumb arthritis, the medical symptoms and causes are often similar.

Are there Common Symptoms of Arthritis in Hand?

When arthritis occurs in the hand, it is common for a patient to experience a number of symptoms, including:

  • Swelling — The inflammation central to arthritis can cause the joints to swell, which decreases range of motion and leads to other symptoms.
  • Overheating — As arthritis involves inflammation, patients may experience a sensation of overheating or burning in the affected fingers.
  • Grating — When the cartilage and lining in the fingers breaks down and leads to arthritis, patients may feel like their joints are grating or grinding against each other.
  • Pain — Many patients with arthritis complain of pain and stiffness in the affected joints, often caused by a combination of the aforementioned symptoms.

What is the Cause of Arthritis in Hand?

Arthritis can arise in the fingers for a number of different reasons. Though arthritic symptoms develop in many patients due to one of the three causes outlined below.

  • Previous Trauma — When a person experiences previous trauma to the fingers, such as a dislocation or fracture, it can be a cause of arthritis. Previously injured finger joints have a much higher risk of developing arthritis.
  • Osteoarthritis — This type of arthritis occurs based on cumulative wear and tear of cartilage and joints in the fingers. As osteoarthritis materializes over time and consistent use of the fingers, it is more likely to develop in elderly individuals.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis — This type of arthritis is a chronic disease that triggers swelling in the lining of the finger joints, referred to medically as the synovium. When this lining begins to swell, it can cause pain and inflexibility in joints all over the body, including the fingers.

In order to identify the root cause of arthritis in the hand, a qualified physician needs to conduct a full examination for a proper diagnosis. Only after a complete diagnosis can a physician explain appropriate treatment options and relevant risks.

Is it Possible to Treat Arthritis in Fingers?

In short, yes, it is possible to treat arthritis in the fingers. Though the precise treatment method fluctuates based on the severity of the condition and the patient’s past medical history. Generally speaking, treatment of arthritis in the fingers falls into the following categories.

  • Medicine — In certain cases, anti-inflammatory medicine can help relieve symptoms of arthritis in the fingers.
  • Injection — When medicine is ineffective, steroid injections can help decrease the impact of arthritis in the fingers.
  • Immobilization — Often used in connection with injections, immobilizing the affected joint(s) can alleviate symptoms of arthritis in the fingers.
  • Surgery — For other patients, surgery to repair or replace the affected joint is the only reasonable way to address symptoms of arthritis in the fingers.

Do You Need Medical Help with Arthritis in Fingers?

If you need medical help with arthritis in the fingers, it can be tremendously beneficial to contact a well-established hand surgeon. At Midwest Hand Surgery, our surgeons have special credentials in the field of finger and hand injuries, including arthritis in the fingers.

With fellowship-level credentials that extend beyond standard doctor training, our surgeons have the type of skill and experience to provide the treatment you need. Moreover, Midwest Hand Surgery provides options for same-day treatment and on-site surgical intervention. If you need medical help with arthritis in the fingers, contact us today to evaluate your treatment options with our surgeons.

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