Arthritis may be a common problem, but it’s often misunderstood because it’s not one condition. Instead, it’s more than 100 different kinds of joint pain or disease. As a result, it can impact people of all ages and walks of life.
An estimated 40 million Americans struggle with arthritis — a general term for describing more than 100 different types of joint inflammation. There may be numerous kinds of arthritis, but they all share a few common characteristics: pain, reduced mobility, and cartilage deterioration.
Dr. Edward R. Dupay, Jr., offers nonsurgical and surgical treatment for all types of arthritis here at Orthopedic Associates of Southwest Florida in Fort Myers. He shares these three unique ways arthritis can impact your hands and the steps you can take to find relief.
After pain, swelling and warmth are the most common signs of arthritis in the hands because of irritation and inflammation in the joints and surrounding tissues. These symptoms can occur in some or all of the joints in your fingers, including your thumbs. They can also develop on one or both sides of your body, depending on the type of arthritis.
When you have psoriatic arthritis, you can also experience swelling in your hands that causes your fingers to resemble sausages.
Arthritis can cause a variety of deformities in your hands, depending on the type. For example, rheumatoid arthritis causes damage to joints and ligaments throughout the entire body, especially the hands. Because of all the small bones and joints in the hands, this damage can lead to severe deformities that make it difficult to perform the smallest task.
Other types of arthritis can cause bony growths or small cysts to form on your finger joints.
Unfortunately, arthritis is a chronic condition that continues to worsen as the cushioning tissue (cartilage) between your joints breaks down. Over time, these changes in your joint structure cause the surrounding soft tissue to weaken as well, including:
As these tissues deteriorate, your hands grow weaker, and it becomes harder to perform certain motions, like gripping and twisting.
Arthritis may take a toll on your hands, but Dr. Dupay has numerous treatments to provide relief.
First, Dr. Dupay performs an evaluation to diagnose the precise cause of your symptoms. The most common types of arthritis that impact hands include:
Dr. Dupay outlines a personalized treatment strategy to improve your mobility and reduce your discomfort based on your diagnosis and symptoms. These approaches often include hand exercises, medications, splinting, and injections.
If your symptoms don’t respond to conservative approaches, Dr. Dupay may recommend minimally invasive hand surgery to repair, replace, or fuse damaged joints. He performs these procedures arthroscopically, which means smaller incisions, less trauma, and faster recovery times.
Don’t let your arthritis symptoms interfere with your daily life. Contact Orthopedic Associates of Southwest Florida by calling 239-768-2272 to schedule a consultation today.
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