Treatment for Arthritis in Fingers
Joints are placed in the body to connect two different bones together. However, these joints can be affected by a condition known as arthritis, and this can cause damage to these joints and its normal surfaces. These joints are covered with a smooth surface that allows smooth mobility. The smooth surface is known as the cartilage and when this is damaged, arthritic condition may occur. There are two different types of arthritis may affect the fingers and this includes the following:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: this, on the other hand, is a different type of arthritis. This is considered as a systemic disease that may result to various problems. Rheumatoid arthritis may result to the inflammation of the soft tissues that surrounds the joints. In this condition, the joints in the knuckles and base of the fingers are the most commonly affected joints.
- Osteoarthritis: this is also known as wear-and-tear-arthritis and is considered as the most common among all types of arthritis. Individuals affected with osteoarthritis have worn out cartilages that expose the bone and the joints. The most commonly affected joints are the ones on the knuckles and the joint located at the base of the thumb.
Treatments for Arthritis in Fingers
The available treatments for this condition aim to manage the symptoms and avoid the need for a surgery. Some of the treatment options include the following:
- Anti-Inflammatory Drugs: these are often prescribed to help relief pain due to arthritis in fingers as well as the swelling on the joints.
- Joint Supplements: this usually includes glucosamine and chondroitin. Both supplements are considered as the primary building blocks of the cartilage and both are helpful against osteoarthritis.
- Cortisone Injections: this powerful anti-inflammatory drug is injected directly to the affected joint and is very helpful in alleviating pain and discomfort due to the condition.
- Hand Therapy: this should be done by an occupational therapist and this can help maintain the range of motion of the fingers and prevent the joints from stiffening.
- Hot and Cold Compress: this can reduce joint stiffness and improve the range of motion.
- Splints: this is helpful in keeping the joints relaxed but this can only be applied for a limited time so that the fingers will not be dependent to it.
Surgery might be recommended if all these methods fail to provide relief against the condition. Several procedures can be done on the fingers and this includes the fusing of the joints, removal of bone spurs and joint replacement. Joint fusion, however, is the most common procedure where the joints are held in a fixed position in order to prevent mobility on the affected joint. Since the joint is stiffened forever, this will prevent pain and discomfort. Aside from that, with this treatment for arthritis in fingers, the surgeon can straighten the deformities and eliminate bone spurs.