Friday, June 2, 2023

Treatment For Arthritis In Wrist

Hand & Wrist Specialist In The Greater Fairfield & Shelton Connecticut Areas

Treatment Options for Wrist Arthritis

Dr. Backe of Orthopedic Specialty Group P.C., is a specially-trained orthopedic surgeon specializing in hand and wrist conditions and injuries. He treats hand and wrist injuries at his offices in Fairfield and Shelton, Connecticut. His patients receive a unique treatment plan matching their lifestyle and return-to-work goals. Dr. Backe offers innovative and less-invasive treatment options and state-of-the-art technologies that benefit his patients in many ways.

Can Arthritis In The Hand Be Prevented

Arthritis cant be prevented. However, you can watch for symptoms of arthritis as you age and see your healthcare provider if you notice changes in your joints. You can also take steps to control factors that you can control. Eat healthy to nourish your body and maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight puts more stress on your joints. Dont smoke. Smoking increases your risk of arthritis.

More On Injections For Arthritis In Wrist

Generally, injections are a good option if simple treatments fail, but you dont want to consider surgery. Injection options include cortisone, hyaluronic acid, and platelet-rich plasma.

Firstly, cortisone is a potent anti-inflammatory and reduces swelling and pain in an arthritic wrist. Current evidence suggests that pain relief averages 2-3 months, although it can be longer in some people.

Secondly, hyaluronic acid is a natural substance in joints, tendons, and bones. Injecting hyaluronic acid into joints changes the joint fluid and reduces inflammation and pain.

Finally, platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, uses the persons blood. We spin the blood in a centrifuge, separating the plasma from the cells. Then, the plasma is injected into the joint, leading to reduced inflammation. Although there is good evidence for PRP in knee arthritis, we need more studies in wrist arthritis before we can recommend it.

You should speak to your doctor about which injection is suitable for you. Importantly, you should have an injection with ultrasound to help guide the injection into the right spot. You should always do your homework before having an injection. For example, some practitioners who perform injections are not doctors experienced in ultrasound-guided injections.

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Wrist Braces Or Straps

Different types of wrist supports can help in different ways. Resting splints keep the hand and wrist still when a person is resting. Working splints help keep the hand and wrist in the right position when a person is using them.

It is best to ask the advice of a healthcare professional before buying wrist braces or straps to make sure that they are suitable.

Doctors may recommend the following treatments alongside the above home remedies:

What Outcome Can I Expect If I Have Arthritis In My Hands

Arthritis Wrist &  Thumb Therapy Gloves  Meet Beauty Time

There is no cure for arthritis. However, you can usually manage mild to moderate symptoms with a combination of medication and non-medication approaches. Surgery may be an option if other treatments fail or the arthritis in your hands is severe. Your healthcare provider will explain what outcome you can expect for your type and severity of arthritis, your age, other existing medical conditions and other factors.

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Splinting And Pain Relief

Nonoperative measures for wrist arthritis are primarily aimed at relieving pain. Rest in the form of splinting with removable thermoplastic splints may be useful during exacerbations, with the wrist maintained in neutral or slight dorsiflexion, its functional position. Overuse of splinting may cause wrist stiffness and weakness. A high-quality systematic review concluded that for people with osteoarthritis of the hand, limited evidence supports use of education and exercise, mixed evidence supports a beneficial effect of splinting on pain, and no evidence supports one splinting design over another.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are useful in controlling inflammation, thereby reducing synovitis and swelling. They are most useful in inflammatory arthritis. Antirheumatism medications such as systemic steroids, methotrexate, and tumor necrosis factor inhibitors are useful in patients with RA. Allopurinol may be useful in patients with gouty arthritis of the wrist.

Weight Management And Diet

Although the link between your weight and osteoarthritis of the hands may be less clear than for weight-bearing joints such as the knees, some research shows that being overweight increases inflammation and therefore pain. Therefore, if you have osteoarthritis of the hand or wrist, it still makes sense to try to maintain, or achieve, a healthy weight.

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What Type Of Hand Surgery Is Most Commonly Performed On The Specific Joints Affected By Arthritis

  • Base of the thumb: Where your thumb and wrist join. Common surgical options include removing part or all of one of the trapezium bone , tendon transfer or joint fusion.
  • Knuckles : Joint replacement is almost always considered for this repair. Rheumatoid arthritis can cause serious damage and disability to your knuckles.
  • Second joint of your finger : Osteoarthritis commonly causes stiffness and loss of motion. Joint replacement or fusion are considered for these joints. Because you use these joints frequently, there is a chance your implant could wear out. In this case, your provider may recommend further surgery.
  • Top of finger joint : Joint fusion is commonly used to treat arthritis in this joint.

Who Gets Arthritis In Their Hands

What are the treatment options for hand and wrist arthritis?

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

  • Youre older. Osteoarthritis is commonly seen after age 50. Rheumatoid arthritis typically first appears between the age of 35 and 50.
  • Youre a woman.
  • Youre overweight.
  • Youve had previous injuries to your hand. If youve 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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What Are Surgical Treatments For Wrist Arthritis

If severe symptoms interfere with your daily life, you may need surgery. Surgical options include:

  • Proximal row carpectomy to remove a few carpal bones in the wrist, giving bones more room to move without friction.
  • Denervation surgery to disconnect nerves in the wrist joint, relieving pain.
  • Fusion surgery to join one or more wrist bones to prevent rubbing and friction.
  • Joint replacement to replace damaged bones with artificial implants.

Should I Exercise My Hands

Dont be afraid to use your hands. Regular exercise is important in reducing stiffness and keeping your joints and muscles working. Try to make sure you move any affected joints in your fingers, thumbs, knuckles and wrists as far as is comfortable several times a day. You could also see an occupational therapist or physiotherapist for specific hand exercises.

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Symptoms Of Hand & Wrist Arthritis

Symptoms for rheumatoid and osteoarthritis are slightly different.

Osteoarthritis symptoms include:

  • Pain and swelling caused by the bones within a joint rubbing together due to lack of cartilage
  • Soreness and stiffness when moving the hand or wrist after periods of inactivity
  • Bone enlargement in the finger joints

While rheumatoid arthritis can affect children and the elderly, it is most commonly seen in middle-aged people, with the majority of sufferers being women. Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in the hand and wrist include stiffness, pain, and swelling in the joints, which may worsen after periods of inactivity.

Some patients may develop rheumatoid nodules firm bumps under the skin near the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis can develop quickly or occur gradually over several years.

Treatment For Hand And Wrist Arthritis In Cincinnati

1 PC Magnetic Therapy Hand Support Strap Glove Arthritis Wrist Pain ...

The hand and wrist experts at the Clifton Hand Surgery Center, part of the Beacon Orthopaedics family, are dedicated to helping patients with hand and wrist arthritis achieve relief. Arthritis of the hand, fingers, thumb, and wrist can cause pain, stiffness, difficulty moving, and other symptoms. Fortunately, our experienced hand and wrist specialists offer a full range of treatments designed to alleviate these symptoms and get patients back to enjoying their favorite activities.

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What Is Arthritis Of The Wrist

Your wrist is a joint between your hand and arm that allows for a range of motion. It is made up of eight separate bones, connected by strong ligaments. Like the more commonly known arthritis of the knee and hip joints, the wrist is also a frequent target of degenerative arthritis.

Arthritis is basically the wearing away of the cushion on your joints known as cartilage. As the cartilage wears away, the bone-to-bone contact causes pain with movement. Arthritis in the wrist usually occurs after previous trauma involving a wrist fracture, wrist ligament tear , or just wear and tear over time.

How Is Hand Osteoarthritis Diagnosed

It’s often possible for your doctor to diagnose osteoarthritis of the hand from your symptoms and a simple examination, without any need for tests. Although x-rays will show changes in the shape or structure of the joint, they’re often not needed to confirm the diagnosis. Blood tests are sometimes helpful if there’s any doubt about whether it’s osteoarthritis or another type of arthritis that’s causing your symptoms.

Sometimes gout can affect the hands and this can look very much like osteoarthritis. If your doctor thinks it may be gout then they’ll want to check your urate levels through a blood test. Urate is a waste product which is normally flushed out of the body through the kidneys. But if it builds up it can form crystals in the joints, leading to sever pain and swelling.

It’s less common for the joints where your fingers meet your hand to be affected by osteoarthritis, so if you have pain and swelling in these joints your doctor may ask for blood tests to check for rheumatoid arthritis.

Psoriatic arthritis can also affect the hands and may look similar to osteoarthritis. There are no blood tests et present for psoriatic arthritis, but this type of arthritis is linked to the skin condition psoriasis. Your doctor may therefore ask if you or anyone in your family have a history of skin problems.

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Arthritis In Wrist Treatment

Usually, we try simple treatments for an arthritic wrist first. Examples of simple measures include:

  • Activity modification: Most people with wrist arthritis find that simply changing how they lift helps their symptoms.
  • Medications: Applying a topical cream such as ibuprofen can be helpful
  • Wrist splints: Wearing a splint on your wrist can help you perform activities with less pain.
  • Exercise therapy: Performing simple daily activities reduces pain and improves function. We suggest seeing an experienced hand therapist.

In complex cases, injections can help reduce pain and improve function.

Finally, surgery should only be considered as a last resort. Surgical procedures include wrist fusion, proximal row carpectomy, and wrist replacement. They all have positives and negatives, so you should speak to a good hand surgeon if youre considering surgery.

How Are Wrists And Hands Affected By Arthritis

Treating wrist arthritis

Any joint in your fingers, thumbs, knuckles and wrists can be affected by arthritis. Many different types of arthritis can affect your hands and cause joint pain, swelling and stiffness. People with hand arthritis often find their grip weakens and it becomes harder to do fine movements, such as turning a key or tying shoelaces.

Find out about aids and equipment that can make everyday tasks easier. Learn ways to protect your hands and manage your symptoms.

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How Do You Treat Wrist Arthritis

Arthritis doesnt have a cure but treatments can help manage your symptoms and relieve pain. You can also try limiting activities that cause pain in your wrist, if possible. A splint may help with this, as it eases physical stress and provides support. You can order a custom-made splint to cover your wrist and forearm or get an arthritis glove. These allow you to wiggle your fingers.

Arthritis Of The Wrist

The ends of the bones within a joint are covered by a spongy tissue called cartilage, which is lubricated by synovial fluid. These help in the smooth, friction-free movement of the joints. Wear-and-tear or damage to these tissues can lead to arthritis. Arthritis is an inflammatory condition of the joints. Arthritis in the wrists can cause swelling, pain, stiffness, weakness and joint deformity, all of which interfere with the daily activities of the wrist.

The wrist joint is comprised of eight carpal bones that join the radius and ulna, the two forearm bones. Traumatic injuries, fractures and joint dislocations in the wrist make you more susceptible to developing arthritis.

There are several types of arthritis. The most common are:

Your doctor performs a thorough physical examination and orders blood tests, X-ray imaging and bone scans of the wrist to diagnose and ascertain the severity of arthritis.

Nonsurgical treatment methods for relieving pain in an arthritic joint include activity modification, NSAIDs, use of splints and steroid injections.

Surgery is usually considered if nonsurgical treatment fails to provide relief. There are different surgical procedures, usually performed through arthroscopy , and may include:

Your surgeon will discuss your options and help you decide which type of surgery is most appropriate for you.

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What Does Arthritis Feel Like

Not everyone with arthritis will have the same symptoms. Development of symptoms depends on the type of arthritis and how severe your condition is. RA tends to produce long-lasting stiffness, swelling, and redness of the joints. People with RA may also feel fatigue, general discomfort, and lack of appetite.

What Are The Symptoms Of Wrist Arthritis

Arthritis Wrist &  Thumb Therapy Gloves  Gift Fleur

Symptoms vary depending on the cause. For some people, symptoms are severe and interfere with daily life. For others, symptoms are mild and may come and go.

Wrist pain is one of the first signs of arthritis in the wrist. The pain may worsen when you rotate your palm or try to open jars or turn doorknobs. You may also experience:

  • Reduced range of motion.
  • Red, warm or swollen joints.
  • Stiffness thats worse in the morning and improves throughout the day.
  • Wrist and hand weakness.

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Reducing The Strain On Your Hands And Wrists

We use our hands a lot in daily life. If you have osteoarthritis in your hands or wrists, taking some time to think about how you use them, and how you could reduce the strain on them, can bring great benefits. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use your hands, just that you should think about ways of using them differently.

It may be helpful to see an occupational therapist or hand therapist, who will be able to offer a lot of useful advice on this. But many people discover for themselves different ways of doing things that help to ease the strain on their joints. Examples include:

  • using gadgets such as electric tin openers or tools with softer, chunkier handles that don’t need such a tight grip
  • using a backpack or shopping trolley to avoid carrying heavy bags in your hands
  • taking more frequent breaks from tasks that put more strain on your joints or switching between harder and easier jobs
  • using both hands for some of the tasks that you normally do one-handed
  • having taps or door handles changed for those that are easier to use
  • looking out for easy-to-handle fastenings when choosing clothing or shoes.

Find out more about looking after your joints.

Symptoms Of Wrist Osteoarthritis

Common symptoms of arthritis in the wrist include pain at the wrist joint , focal swelling, and difficulty picking up objects. Sometimes, bony spurs can pressure the nerve within the carpal tunnel causing pain, pins and needles, and numb fingers.

Generally, we make a diagnosis with a plain X-ray of the wrist. However, an MRI scan is sometimes needed to show early cartilage wear or ligament damage. Also, blood tests may be necessary if we think you have inflammatory arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

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How Is Arthritis In The Hand Treated

Treatment options depend on the type of arthritis, stage of arthritis, how many joints are affected, your age, activity level, the hand affected and other existing medical conditions.

Goals of treatment are to:

  • Improve mobility and function.
  • Increase your quality of life.
  • In the case of rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis, to slow the progression of the disease.

Treatment options include splinting/bracing, medications, injections, non-drug approaches and surgery.


Splits or braces support and protect the affected joint, reduce deformity, provide joint stability, lessen strain, and promote proper joint alignment. Your healthcare provider, occupational therapist or hand therapist will discuss splinting/bracing options, how and when to wear them and how long to wear them .


Steroid injections

Steroids reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Steroids are usually used if medications dont control inflammation or if the inflammation is limited to a few joints. Injections are administered directly into the affected joint. Because steroids can weaken tendons and ligaments, injections are repeated only a few times.

Other management strategies

A complete treatment plan for arthritis of the hand includes these additional approaches:


If nonsurgical treatments no longer provide relief and the cartilage at the ends of your bones has worn away, surgery may be an option. There are several approaches:

What Causes Arthritis In The Wrist

Are there treatment options besides surgery for arthritis in my hands and wrists?

The wrist joint is part of the skeletal system. Several bones come together to form the wrist joint.

Cartilage at the ends of bones allows them to glide against each other. Age and some health conditions can wear away this cartilage. When this happens, bone rubs against bone, causing swelling, pain and stiffness. This is arthritis.

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The Newest Surgical Option For Wrist Arthritis

Today, total wrist replacement, also known as arthroplasty, is becoming more common. New generation implants used for total wrist replacement have been released and received FDA approval in the past year.

These modern implants allow the surgeon to replace the entire wrist joint with a device made of specialized metal and high-density polyethylene materials. The recent outcomes for patients undergoing total wrist replacement have been excellent, with high patient satisfaction.

Most people today do not want their wrist joint fused solid, with no motion. With the superb results we have seen with the newer implant designs, replacing the wrist joint with an artificial implant device has gotten much more attractive.

I believe these are “game changers” as they much more naturally reproduce normal wrist range of motion and have improved support of the high wear parts of the implant design itself.

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