The hand and wrist are made up of many small joints that all work together to create motion, including fine motor skills needed to handle small and large objects. If these complex joints are affected by arthritis, daily activities like tying your shoes or picking up a spoon can be extremely difficult and/or painful. As arthritis can occur in many areas of the hand and wrist, it’s important to get a clear diagnosis and treatment plan from the top New York hand doctors!
Arthritis is defined as inflammation of one or more joints. The most common types are Osteoarthritis (the wearing down of cartilage) and Rheumatoid Arthritis (the body’s immune system attacking its own joints). When joints are healthy, they move through their range of motion smoothly and without resistance due to the cartilage that covers the ends of the bones. Inflamed joints don’t move as easily, and this can cause pain and irritation.
There are two main causes of arthritis:
Arthritis caused by disease occurs over a long period of time. It gradually builds up, getting worse and worse. Two common types of disease-related arthritis were mentioned earlier: Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Osteoarthritis is much more common and generally affect older people. It characterized by the slow decay of joint cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that affects many parts of the body. It usually starts in the hands and feet and can gradually progress to other parts of the body.
Bone fractures, especially those that occur near a joint, can account for the development of arthritis. Even if treated properly, these injuries can still cause arthritis in the joints affected. If you’ve recently experienced some form of trauma (a fracture or other injury) that is affecting the functionality of your hand, call a New York hand doctor ASAP! The sooner we can see you, the sooner we can start treatment.
Symptoms of Arthritis include, but are not limited to:
- Loss of mobility in surrounding joints
- Inflammation may cause the joint to be warm to the touch
- Crepitation and Looseness
- Development of Cysts
Arthritis can be diagnosed by an x-ray or an examination from a Ney York hand doctor. If x-rays look normal, a bone scan can be helpful to detect early-stage arthritis. Doctors are able to do more than ever before to recover the function and range of motion of damaged joints, but the sooner you can be examined, the sooner a treatment plan can be created to give you the best chance of fully recovering. Time is of the essence!
If you, or a loved one, are suffering from hand pain – make an appointment! We know how frustrating it can be to complete daily tasks without the full use of your hand. We have the best New York hand doctors ready to develop a custom treatment plan – oftentimes without any surgical procedure at all. If you have any questions about a hand ailment, give us a call!