Arthritis in the hand occurs when joints are inflamed and may occur at the base of the thumb (the trapeziometacarpal joint), the middle joint of a finger, (the PIP joint) or in the metacarpophalangeal (MP) joint. The most common forms include osteoarthritis, post-traumatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis in the hand may be quite painful and greatly affect normal everyday activity. Symptoms of arthritis include stiffness, swelling and pain.
Treatment of arthritis may include anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections and individualized hand therapy involving a combination of exercises and splints. Surgery is indicated when these more conservative treatments fail and the patient has too much pain or cannot function well. Surgery can involve joint fusion or joint reconstruction. Your hand surgeon will help determine the best course of treatment for you.