Aching, stiff fingers and wrists can be a sign of osteoarthritis in the hands. This type of arthritis occurs when the smooth, slippery cartilage that normally provides a cushion between the small bones of the hand has deteriorated. Most adults over the age of 55 have signs of hand osteoarthritis that can be seen on X-rays, even though not all are symptomatic.
Recognizing the symptoms of hand osteoarthritis and getting an accurate diagnosis are the first steps to getting treatment and making everyday tasks easier. See Osteoarthritis Symptoms and Signs. There are a number of key signs and symptoms practitioners look for when diagnosing osteoarthritis in the fingers and wrists:.
Osteoarthritis OA at the base of the thumb is just as common, but has not been studied as much. In fact, when Lisa Mandl, MD, MPH, a rheumatologist at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, first started seeing patients in the clinic, she was surprised at the number of people - mostly older women - who came to her complaining of severe pain at the base of the thumb. Even though the patients had sought relief from cortisone injections, splints, physical therapy and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, they were still experiencing pain severe enough to wake them at night. The only option left was surgical repair of the joint, an option most of Dr.
Most activities that involve grasping or pinching are possible because of the thumb's remarkable range of motion. But dexterity comes at a price — an increased risk of osteoarthritis in the first carpometacarpal CMC joint, where the thumb meets the trapezium bone in the wrist. Sometimes the joint becomes so damaged that surgery is necessary.
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Osteoarthritis can affect joints in any part of the body, including the thumb. Early diagnosis and treatment help people with thumb osteoarthritis manage their symptoms. Osteoarthritis of the thumb is more common in women than men.
Osteoarthritisthe most common type of arthritis, frequently affects the joint at the base of the thumb where it meets the wrist. Known as basal joint arthritis or basal thumb arthritis, this condition is more common in women than men and is associated with aging. Over time, the cartilage that covers the ends of the bones degenerates, and excess bone forms. Basal joint arthritis can also occur following an injury to the area.