Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease of the joints and bones, which primarily affects the elderly. Osteoarthritis commonly occurs in aging adults who experience wear and tear on their joints over the years. Osteoarthritis in hands is characterized by the deterioration of the joints, which can cause certain degrees of pain. If osteoarthritis is left untreated, it can eventually lead to the development of permanent joint and bone disabilities.
There are three types of osteoarthritis namely, osteoarthritis of the knee, osteoarthritis of the spine and osteoarthritis of the pelvis/hip. When diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the knee, a doctor may recommend exercise programs for treating the disease. However, when the problem is osteoarthritis of the spine or hip, treatment is different. Usually, it is best to seek a doctor’s opinion before starting any exercise regimen for treating osteoarthritis of the hands because there are instances where these conditions do not respond well to exercise routines.
Osteoarthritis of the hands (osteoarthritis patellae) is similar to other types of this disease. The most common symptom of osteoarthritis of the hands is the inability to use the hand and the inability to manipulate objects such as a pen or pencil. In addition, there are other symptoms that are common in sufferers of post-traumatic arthritis of the hands like lack of sensation when touching parts of the body especially delicate and warm parts.
If you feel that your arthritis in hands is caused by work-related injuries, then your doctor may advise you to use immobilizers and to minimize your movements. You will be advised by your doctor also to keep your hands dry at all times. This is to avoid further damage to the nerves. To reduce the inflammation, your doctor may prescribe a steroidal injection. However, continuous steroidal injections may cause side effects because they can lead to kidney damage.
Surgery is another option that your doctor may suggest. However, this procedure requires an extensive history and physical examination by the doctor. Some of the surgeries used to treat arthritis in hands are arthroscopic gout surgery, joint replacement surgery and compartment syndrome. Arthroscopic gout surgery is usually performed to relieve pain caused by inflamed gouty joints.
On the other hand, if the arthritis in hands is caused by an autoimmune disorder, then your doctor may prescribe immunosuppressive drugs such as cyclosporine, methotrexate and mercaptopurine. These drugs are effective in reducing inflammation. However, prolonged use of these medications may cause severe damage to the internal organs. Surgical removal of joint tissues may also be necessary. Your doctor may also recommend that you undergo laser-assisted in Situplasty to help relieve pain and treat arthritis in hands.