It could be. Arthritis in your hands and wrists can be very painful and can make daily living activities challenging.
But, it doesn’t have to keep you down. The orthopaedic specialists at the Bone & Joint Center can help.
If you are just starting to feel the pain and swelling of arthritis, don’t wait. In some cases, we may be able to treat your arthritis and save some of the surfaces from further damage.
During our first appointment, we will determine the severity of your arthritis, examine which fingers and wrist joints are affected and talk about your lifestyle and your goals for mobility.
Your orthopaedic specialist may treat your condition with anti-inflammatory medications to reduce the pain and swelling. The medications only treat the symptoms; they do not stop the progression of arthritis. Your provider will monitor your body’s response to supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin, which help you maintain cartilage.
What if medications do not work?
If these medications do not provide you with relief, we may try a combination of steroid injections and splints. Depending on the effectiveness of the injections, we may repeat them after a few weeks or months. We will need to be careful with the number of steroids because they break down the tissues in tendons and ligaments.
Splinting your hands during activity can support your joint and relieve pain and pressure. You must take care not to wear the splint too often so your muscles stay strong enough to support your joints naturally.
If nonsurgical treatments are not effective, or your arthritis is advanced, we may consider some surgical options. We may consider joint fusion or joint replacement to relieve your pain. We will weigh those options very carefully. Sometimes joint fusion or finger joint replacement relieves pain but limits your ability to move.
The specialists at the Bone & Joint Center have the expertise to determine the best treatment to ensure long-term function and not simply short-term relief.