Hand & Finger Arthritis

Hand & Finger Arthritis

Arthritis is a disease that attacks the tissues of your joints. A joint is where two bones meet. Arthritis can attack the lining of your joint or the cartilage, the smooth covering at the ends of bones. Eventually the cartilage breaks down, the ends of your bones become exposed, rub against each other and wear away. You have many joints in your hand, therefore it’s a common site for arthritis to happen. Arthritis of the hand causes pain and swelling, stiffness and deformity. As arthritis progresses, you can’t use your hands to manage everyday tasks as you once could. The base of your thumb, your knuckles, second joint and top joint of your fingers are common sites for hand arthritis. Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis are common types. Treatments include splints/braces, medications, steroid injections and healthy life choices. Surgeries include joint fusion, joint replacement and tendon transfer.

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Hand & Finger Arthritis

What parts of the hand are most affected by arthritis?

The four areas of your hand attacked by arthritis are:

  • The base of your thumb, where your thumb meets your wrist.
  • Your knuckles.
  • The middle joints of your fingers.
  • The top joint of your fingers nearest your nails.

Who gets arthritis in their hands?

You are more likely to get arthritis in your hands if:

  • You’re older. Osteoarthritis is commonly seen after age 50. Rheumatoid arthritis typically first appears between the age of 35 and 50.
  • You’re a woman.
  • You’re white.
  • You’re overweight.
  • You’ve had previous injuries to your hand. If you’ve dislocated or broken any joints in your hands or fingers, you are more likely to develop arthritis.
  • You’ve inherited genes that cause the development of arthritis.
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