Dr. Lauder Provides Information about Hand-Wrist Arthritis
More than 25 million Americans suffer from painful arthritis that limits flexibility and quality of life. The highest incidence of hand-wrist arthritis is among people in manufacturing and industrial work that requires repetitive hand-wrist bending and twisting.
Smooth cartilage in a joint provides for some shock absorption and smooth, pain-free motion. When this cartilage begins to degrade (wear out), the joint surfaces become irregular, which eventually results in painful bone-on-bone contact. This is termed arthritis.
"Initial treatment of hand-wrist arthritis generally involves activity modification, bracing, and anti-inflammatory medications," said board certified hand specialist Anthony J. Lauder of Longview Orthopedic Associates. "If these fail, we often use injections to decrease inflammation. In many instances, a single injection can provide pain relief for months."
One of the most common locations for hand arthritis is at the base of the thumb. This condition can result in severe pain and loss of motion. "Injections and surgery for this condition have been very successful in helping patients regain a level of function they’ve not had for years."
Dr. Lauder said that wrist arthritis is often related to previous injuries. Surgical procedures – including total wrist replacement – are available when other treatment methods are unsuccessful.
The first photo below shows a patient with severe rheumatoid arthritis of the wrist. The second shows the results of a total wrist replacement surgery performed by Dr. Lauder.
"Total wrist replacement is a great way to maintain wrist motion and decrease pain," he said. "It avoids a total wrist fusion, which takes away wrist motion."
Additional information is available through the American Society for Surgery of the Hand.
Severe rheumatoid arthritis of the wrist
After total wrist replacement surgery performed by Dr. Lauder