Hand Arthritis Treatment

Hand Arthritis Treatment in Eastern Tennessee

Our Specialty

What is Hand Arthritis?

Arthritis is a disease that attacks the tissues in your joints. Arthritis can damage the walls of a joint or the smooth covering at the ends of the bones called cartilage.

At some point, the cartilage wears away, exposing the ends of your bones, which then rub against each other and break. Since your hand has a lot of joints, it’s a common area for arthritis to affect.

Arthritis of the hand makes the hand hurt, swell, become stiff, and change shape. As arthritis gets worse, you may struggle to do everyday tasks with your hands.


Some early signs are:

  • Joint pain that is dull or sharp and comes on hours or a day after you use your hands more
  • Your hands hurt and are stiff in the morning
  • Hands with swollen joints

If you have had arthritis in one or both of your hands for some time:

  • More symptoms are showing up
  • Pain can go from being dull to being sharp
  • Pain may wake you up at night
  • You might change how you use your hand if it hurts
  • Tissues near the injured joint may turn red and hurt when you touch them
  • When you bend your fingers, you’ll hear or feel grating, grinding, cracking, or clicking
  • You can’t fully open and close your fingers
  • Small bumps of bone that form on the middle joint of your finger or at the top joint of your finger
  • Your finger joints get big, misshapen, and bent in strange ways. This makes your hands weak and less able to do everyday jobs

Common Types of Arthritis of the Hand

  • Osteoarthritis – This is the most frequent type of arthritis. It breaks down and wears away bone cartilage. Osteoarthritis most often affects the wrist, thumb base, and middle and upper finger joints
  • Rheumatoid arthritis – This is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease that produces joint lining swelling, discomfort, stiffness, and function loss. Rheumatoid arthritis affects wrists, hands, and fingers, and usually affects the same joints on both sides
  • Psoriatic arthritis – This form of arthritis affects the skin and joints. Fingers swell, and joint pain and morning stiffness will occur. It often resembles rheumatoid arthritis, but it may only involve several fingers
hand arthritis


Treatment will depend on many factors which include but are not limited to:

  • Type of arthritis
  • Stage of arthritis
  • How many joints are affected
  • Your age
  • How active you are
  • Which hand is affected
  • Any other health problems you may have

Treatment options include but are not limited to:

  • Splinting and braces
  • Medications
  • Steroid injections
  • Physical therapy
  • Hot and cold packs
  • Rest
  • Weight loss if needed
  • Healthy diet

If non-surgical treatments no longer help and the cartilage at the ends of your bones has worn away, hand surgery may be your next option. Surgical options include:

Here at Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance, our hand physicians and therapists provide our patients with treatments that help reduce pain and other arthritis symptoms. Schedule an appointment today at one of our many convenient locations.

Our Hand & Wrist Surgeons

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