Arthritis of the Hand Fingers or Thumb
Arthritis Specialist in Houston, TX
Struggling with daily activities due to arthritis pain and deformity? Our expert hand and wrist specialists at Hand Surgery Specialists of Texas are here to help. Dial (713) 322-0054 to book an appointment in Houston, Baytown, or Katy, Texas.
Understanding Arthritis in Hand, Fingers, and Thumb
Arthritis, encompassing over 100 conditions causing joint pain or disease, primarily manifests as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. While osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative arthritis, is often a result of “wear and tear,” rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder attacking joint tissues. Both conditions can lead to severe pain and deformity, necessitating surgical intervention in advanced stages. Learn how our Houston specialists can guide you in managing arthritis effectively.
Causes & Prevention
Osteoarthritis, affecting a significant portion of the population, often emerges with age, impacting various joints in the hand. It results from the wearing down of cartilage, leading to bone friction and potential formation of bone spurs. Despite being a wear-and-tear disease, it can be managed and even prevented to some extent through proper nutrition and low-impact exercises.
Rheumatoid arthritis, though not fully understood, is believed to involve a combination of genetic, hormonal, and environmental factors influencing the immune system’s abnormal response, resulting in joint damage.
Recognizing the Signs & Symptoms
Arthritis predominantly manifests through pain, notably intensifying at the onset and completion of an activity. The inflammation often results in the affected joint becoming swollen and warm to touch. Recognizing the distinct symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can facilitate early intervention and effective management.
- Sore or stiff joints, particularly after a period of inactivity
- Pain escalation post-activity or as the day progresses
- Restricted motion range in the impacted joints
- Mild swelling, tenderness, or redness around the finger joints
Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms:
- Persistent joint pain, tenderness, and stiffness
- Symmetrical joint affection, where both sides of the body experience similar symptoms
- Frequent bouts of fatigue and diminished appetite
- Progressive finger deformities, including a tendency for joints to curve towards the pinky finger, known as ulnar drift.
Understanding these symptoms and monitoring any changes can be a crucial step in managing arthritis effectively. If you notice any of these signs, consider reaching out to a specialist to discuss potential treatment options.
Diagnosis & Treatment
Osteoarthritis, while incurable, can range from being a minor inconvenience to a debilitating condition over time. The focus of the treatment is on alleviating swelling through NSAIDs and cold therapy, coupled with sustaining joint mobility and strength through physical therapy and exercises at home. Our Houston hand specialists are here to devise a personalized treatment plan to help manage your osteoarthritis symptoms effectively.
In instances where the joints are extensively damaged, the adept surgeons at HSST stand ready to repair or replace them, often resorting to minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery that promises smaller incisions and quicker recovery periods.
The last decade has witnessed promising advancements in rheumatoid arthritis treatment. Early and aggressive medication intervention can enable a larger number of patients to lead active lives, control flare-ups with lesser medication, and potentially enjoy extended periods of remission.
The recovery trajectory largely depends on the specific surgery undertaken. Post-surgery, your hand will generally be secured with a substantial dressing and a thumb splint to offer support, with a cast being a viable option to immobilize the joint for a duration extending up to three months.
Post-operative care might necessitate physical or occupational therapy spanning up to 8 weeks, aiding patients in enhancing the strength and functionality of their hands and fingers. To explore the comprehensive range of arthritis treatments we offer, connect with the Hand Surgery Specialists at (713) 268-9053 to arrange a consultation today.