What is Arthritis of the Hand?

  • Inflammation of a hand or wrist joint or joints
  • Can occur in many areas of the hand and wrist and can have more than one cause
  • Non-surgical and surgical treatments are used, depending on how far the arthritis has progressed

The hand and wrist are comprised of many bones and joints that work together to produce motion. Joints affected by arthritis can greatly diminish the ability to perform simple activities of daily living. If the arthritis is left untreated it can cause the bones that make up the normal joint to lose their shape, causing more pain and further restricting motion. The slick tissue that enables hand and wrist joints to move easily is called articular cartilage. It covers the ends of bones and creates a slippery smooth surface for the joint. This surface is kept slick by synovium, an oil-like fluid produced by the joint lining. While there are more than 100 types of arthritis, two types are the most common forms – osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Osteoarthritis affects older people, as a rule. It wears away cartilage in certain joints.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease that causes the synovium to swell, resulting in pain and stiffness in the joint.
  • Arthritis can also occur when a joint is damaged due to injury or disease.

Our Treatment Approach

Lumin OrthoCARE hand specialists are experts in treating arthritis. They have help thousands of patients regain mobility and live relatively pain free. Your physician will carefully examine your hand and wrist joints and will order X-rays to see the many small bones. Sometimes a bone scan is another helpful tool in diagnosing arthritis. Non-surgical options are the first treatments of choice for our hand specialists. Depending on the severity of the disease, number of joints involved, your age and medical history and your personal situation, your physician may recommend a variety of conservative interventions including:

  • Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications
  • Combination steroid and anesthetic injections
  • Splinting of the affected joint

If conservative approaches fail to provide the desired relief, a number of surgical options are available. Your physician will discuss the most appropriate procedure to meet you specific needs and situation. Surgical options include:

  • Joint preservation or reconstruction
  • Joint replacement or fusion

The goal of all surgical interventions is to relieve pain and restore function. Lumin OrthoCARE hand specialists are also leading the way in new approaches to treatment such as repairing joints before the entire surface becomes damaged, minimally invasive surgery to repair hand and wrist joints and cartilage repair and replacement.


  • Disease
  • Injury to the hand or write joint


  • Dull or burning in hand or wrist joints
  • Joint stiffness
  • Persistent joint pain if the disease has progressed to an advanced stage

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