Treatments & Conditions | Hand Microsurgery in Erie, PA

Arthritis of the Hand

The hand and wrist have multiple small joints that work together to perform a motion. When the joints are affected by arthritis, activities of daily living can be difficult. Arthritis can occur in many areas of the hand and wrist and can have more than one cause. Over time, if the arthritis is not treated, the bones that make up the joint can lose their normal shape. This causes more pain and further limits motion.

A few common symptoms experienced by people with arthritis include:

  • Pain, most commonly after periods of increased joint use
  • Swelling
  • Changes in surrounding joints
  • Warm to touch
  • Grating or grinding sensation in the joint area
  • Small cysts

Fractures, particularly those that damage the joint surface, and dislocations are among the most common injuries that lead to arthritis. Even when properly treated, an injured joint is more likely to develop arthritis over time. When arthritis occurs due to disease, the onset of symptoms is gradual and the cartilage decreases slowly. The two most common forms of arthritis from disease are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

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