Arthritis or inflammation of the joints in the hand; Symptoms and surgical treatment
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 54.4 million adults in the United States were diagnosed with some form of arthritis or joint inflammation from 2013 to 2015. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of this condition, which is estimated to affect about 31 million people. This disease is strongly associated with rheumatic conditions such as gout and rheumatism. In this article, from the Department of Physiotherapy and Orthopedics and Dr. Salam’s Diseases, we will examine joint inflammation in the hands, or arthritis.
What is arthritis or joint inflammation in the hands?
In this condition, the joints become constricted and painful due to inflammation. Different types of arthritis are named for different reasons and conditions that lead to joint inflammation. The list below does not include the types of arthritis or inflammation of the joints and we have only reviewed most of them that affect the hands.
Types of arthritis or inflammation of the joints in the hands
The common form of this disease occurs when the soft cartilage between the bones is destroyed. Cartilage protects your bones in your joints and without it, your bones will be damaged and the joint may become painful and inflamed.
Osteoarthritis It is not a disease that you catch. This is common in older people and those who have jobs that require repetitive motions that overuse certain joints. In summary, age and repetitive stress can reduce cartilage volume.
- the pain
- Wear between bones
- femur (hard tissue that forms around the bone due to friction)
Arthritic rheumatism It is an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases occur when the body’s immune system starts attacking its own cells. In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, the body targets the cartilage in the joints and causes joint inflammation. This disease first attacks the smaller joints and causes arthritis or inflammation of the joints.
- Stiffness, pain and friction
- Weight Loss
- It can also affect parts of the body that do not have joints; Parts such as skin, eyes, heart and blood vessels.
This common form of arthritis occurs in people who have psoriasis (a skin disease that causes red, itchy, and painful patches on the skin). Psoriatic arthritis causes pain and swelling of the joints in different parts of the body, including the hands.
Arthritis after injury
An injury that damages the joints, such as a fracture, can cause severe inflammation. Due to the presence of delicate joints in the fingers, a blow to the hand can lead to arthritis of the hand.
- Common symptoms of arthritis
- Deformation in the affected joint
- Loss of joints
- Ganglion cyst near the joint
If you experience joint pain and suspect you have arthritis or joint inflammation, see your doctor and discuss treatment options.
Treatment options for arthritis or joint inflammation
If you have arthritis, your doctor is unlikely to recommend surgery. Arthritis or joint inflammation can be treated in different ways according to the main cause. The options below are not the only ones available. These are some of the most common treatments for arthritis.
Movement in pain is difficult, but movement can slow the progression of osteoarthritis by combating stiffness and replenishing cartilage in the affected joint.
Weight management also plays an important role in the management of arthritis. Obesity is a risk factor for arthritis, and by putting extra pressure on the joints, it can aggravate the symptoms of arthritis. Considering that arthritis patients are less involved in intense exercises, it is necessary to avoid eating unhealthy foods.
Your doctor or hand therapist may instruct you to do a series of hand exercises several times a day. There are various exercises for the hands. Before doing any exercise, consult your doctor who can recommend specific exercises for your condition.
Many of the symptoms of arthritis can be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs and pain relievers. Talk to your doctor about dosage. There are also some topical medications that can relieve pain and inflammation. Dr. Jerry Kidster, who works in the department of hand surgery at the University of Southern California, notes that the drug is more effective and efficient for rheumatoid arthritis. He says: Taking medicine controls arthritis and prevents the need for surgery.
When common treatment options are not effective, some doctors turn to corticosteroid injections. This medication relieves inflammation quickly, but is not a long-term option because steroids can weaken tendons and ligaments over time.
This is an injection that uses hyaluronic acid, which strengthens the bond and helps prevent friction.
Although these treatments work for many patients, your doctor may recommend surgery, depending on how far the disease has progressed, how old you are, and how active you are. And how successful have you been with non-surgical treatments? These factors also affect the type of surgery you have.
What are your hand surgery options? In simpler terms, hand arthritis surgery is divided into two main categories: joint fusion and joint replacement.
Hand joint surgery options
Arthritis surgery or joint inflammation of the hand: integration
In short, surgeons remove the damaged cartilage from the affected joint. This allows the bones to fuse together on both sides of the joint. When it comes to the finger joints, surgeons insert an artificial wire to easily fix the bones in place. In some cases, the surgeon may empty one bone and make a cone with another and connect the bones together like a lock and key.
However, whichever way this is done, the end result is the same. Your joint is replaced with a large, fixed joint hinge. By removing the friction caused by the rubbing of the bones in the joints, the surgeon relieves the pain caused by arthritis or inflammation of the joints.
Also, fusion surgery reliably ensures that joint inflammation will not return to the affected area. After all, there are no more joints to be inflamed. This can be a suitable option for people with arthritis who are in severe pain. However, eliminating pain in this way is costly.
Fusion surgery will limit range of motion and flexibility. Either way, the role of joints is to allow bones to bend. Fusion surgery for the thumb allows for more preservation. Those who perform fusion surgery are usually able to grasp and squeeze.
This surgery may also lead to problems. As with most other surgeries, there is a chance of infection and scarring. The finger is one of the most sensitive parts of the body, and hand fusion surgery creates the risk of damaging the nerves and blood vessels around it.
Arthritis surgery or hand joint inflammation: joint replacement
For those looking for a surgical solution that does not limit mobility, there is another option. Joint replacement surgery is more complicated than fusion surgery. With joint replacement, the surgeon replaces the joint with an artificial one.
In a total replacement, the surgeon completely removes the damaged joint and replaces it with an implant, usually made of silicone rubber. This implant provides flexibility and movement while relieving the pain of arthritis.
However, implants are not the same as the real thing. Plastic silicones break easily under excessive pressure and use. In fact, about 30% of them break within a decade. Some doctors use carbon or metal implants, which are less prone to breakage but less flexible. Sometimes the surgeon uses your own tissue for this. The material your surgeon chooses will depend on the joint being treated and your activity level.
Risks associated with this procedure include weakness and the risk of dislocation of the artificial joint. As mentioned above, the joint may dislocate or dislocate. It is also possible for the implant to break, leading to more stiffness and pain.
Types and alternatives to surgery
Although fusion and replacement are the two primary surgical options for treating osteoarthritis, some less common surgeries can also help with your specific condition.
The surgeon removes the damaged joint without adding a replacement. The space is filled with body tissue.
The surgeon removes the damaged tissue.
This procedure involves removing and cutting the nerves leading to the joints that cause pain.
Hematoma and diverting arthroplasty:
This controversial method is mostly used for arthritis of the thumb. The surgeon completely removes the trapezius bone at the base of the thumb. A wire holds the bones in place and is removed after the body has healed itself. No repairs are made to the ligaments.
Choosing the right method
The right method for you should be chosen after a discussion between you and your doctor. There is no definitive reason for surgery, and it depends on how your arthritis or joint inflammation is affecting your quality of life and whether you have had success with other treatments.
Surgery is also effective but risky, and is definitely not your only option. Be honest with yourself about what you need, use your doctor as a resource, and listen to their advice.