Early symptoms of arthritis of the hand include joint pain that may feel “dull,” or a “burning” sensation. The pain often occurs after periods of increased joint use, such as heavy gripping or grasping. The pain may not be present immediately, but may show up hours later or even the following day.
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Thumb Arthritis Surgery and Treatment
Symptoms from arthritis at the base of the thumb usually come on slowly, although some patients experience it rather abruptly.They may be doing an activity that causes some impact in the thumb, they may fall onto their thumb, and all of a sudden their thumb is sore, only to see their doctor and be given a diagnosis of arthritis.
It’s probably been there for years and was probably asymptomatic. But usually it’s a slow onset that gets worse over time. Patients experience this as described merely with pinching activities, and eventually it becomes intolerable. This is a point where you may get referred to either a therapist to make an appropriate brace for you, because bracing does help.
You can treat this with anti-inflammatories, and some doctors like to administer injections into the joint. Ultimately, if it because unmanageable with these vitalities, surgery is recommended. The most common operation for arthritis at the base of the thumb involves removing a bone. The bone is a trapezium. This is a bone that’s at the bottom of the thumb metacarpal.
If you excise this bone, there’s no longer a bone for the metacarpal to rub against. The problem is you need to do something else to suspend that bone so it doesn’t collapse against the next bone in the wrist. So usually a ligament reconstruction is added to that, and a classic operation is called an LRTI, which stands for ligament reconstruction and tendon into position, because some doctors will use a piece of tendon to put into the space created by the excised trapezium.
By and large, the operation’s a day care procedure that takes up to an hour, but most patients usually need either splinting or casting of their thumb for approximately six weeks after surgery to allow these ligaments to heal.
Once the cast is removed after your surgery for arthritis at the base of the thumb, the thumb is usually very stiff for many months. Some patients prefer to go to physiotherapy to get adequate help to regain their motion.
The overwhelming majority of patients, however, obtain complete pain relief from their surgery. Some patients may notice a bit of stiffness, and some may notice a bit of pinch weakness ultimately, but it’s rarely a functional problem.
If you think you may have arthritis at the base of the thumb, you should seek attention from your family physician, who may refer you to a specialist with expertise in hand surgery. Most of these surgeons are either plastic or orthopedic surgeons. Rheumatology Now : Hand Arthritus Symptoms Patient Communication System
Presenter: Dr. Bertrand Perey, Orthopaedic Surgeon, New Westminster, BC
NOW health Network Local Practitioners: Orthopaedic Surgeon
Well hand arthritis is basically known as just inflammation of the joints and the surrounding tissues in the fingers and also in the hand, there are so many joints in the hand and the fingers. There’s usually two types of arthritis that we encounter: either osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. The difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis is that with osteoarthritis it generally happens with age and as a general wear and tear of your joints from deformity or just overuse.
With rheumatoid arthritis, that usually happens within our body defenses attacking our tissues, it’s also known as autoimmune response. People that are mostly affected by osteoarthritis are usually older individuals, usually also women are more likely to get osteoarthritis than men. With rheumatoid arthritis again, women more than men are known to get rheumatoid arthritis. That can happen anytime.
Some of the symptoms of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis include definitely pain, possibly swelling, redness around the joints. Having difficulty grabbing or holding things, you might see some joint deformity, even changes to your muscles and other things. In physiotherapy for hand arthritis they tend to do more in the way of exercise to strengthen and improve the flexibility around the joints of the hand and fingers. Also they provide splinting of the hand to prevent deformity, also they may provide heat and cold modalities, and patient education for proper pain management of your hands.
If you have any questions about the hand arthritis that you may have, it is important to follow up with your physician or physiotherapist to get the correct diagnosis early to prevent the symptoms from getting worse.
Presenter: Mr. Lieon Kit, Physiotherapist, Vancouver, BC
Now Health Network Local Practitioners: Physiotherapist