Osteoarthritis In The Hands
Osteoarthritis is the typical wear and tear of the joints due to the natural ageing process.
Prof Dr Robert Hierner is a pioneer in the field of multidisciplinary and multi-professional arthrosis therapy in the hand area.
Why does Osteoarthritis occur?
Ageing causes joints to degenerate; as a result, they become stiff and painful. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis.
In almost 70% population of seniors above 65 years of age, arthrosis symptoms are detected.
Arthrosis, or osteoarthritis, happens to the joints. Therefore, having osteoarthritis poses equal chances of having them in the hands, making joints in the hands stiff, swollen and painful.
What are the key symptoms of osteoarthritis in hands?
The symptoms of having osteoarthritis in the hands include:
Thumb (D- I):
The metatarsophalangeal joint often shows age-related joint changes (rhizarthritis), which lead to typical swelling, misalignment, (stress) pain and functional restrictions (“wringing out a cloth” becomes painful
Finger (DII – V):
The finger end joints (Bouchard arthritis) and finger middle joints (Heberden arthritis) often show age-related joint degeneration, causing swelling (“rings no longer fit”), malpositions, stress, pain and functional restrictions of finger joints.
As arthrosis progresses, joint movements become permanently painful – especially under stress. The joint may crunch while folding fingers, denoting restricted mobility of finger joints. In the advanced stage, the stiff joints may also hurt while at rest.
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How can you treat osteoarthrosis in the hand area?
Based on years of research and clinical experience, we have brought forward the “integrative therapy concept for the ageing hand”. According to Prof Dr Robert Hierner, it is an efficient treatment tool for managing age-degenerative changes to the hand.
The “integrative therapy for the ageing hand” focuses on:
- Delay or avoid hand osteoarthritis (“he who rests, rusts”)
- Therapy for osteoarthritis affected hands.
Due to ageing, the connective tissues in the hands’ joints become thick with decreased lubrication. Women are more prone to arthritic changes in the hand than men.
Poor diet and lack of exercise can expedite osteoarthritis symptoms. As a preventive measure, the hand joints must be exercised to maintain mobility. Also, a healthy diet and ample hydration are necessary to maintain joint lubrication.
For the treatment of existing age-related changes in the joint area of the hand, several therapy methods are combined with each other – depending on the cause(s) – and are sometimes used to build on each other. A distinction is made between:
- conservative (non-surgical) therapy to arthrosis in the hands.
- surgical therapy
Our hand specialist in Dubai may also recommend both treatments if needed. It is important to understand that the conservative, minimally invasive, and surgical treatment options are not alternative procedures but complementary forms of treatment.
Non-operative (conservative) Treatment
With the help of various conservative and minimally invasive treatments, a significant aid to hand disorders can be achieved without surgery. It must be noted that different treatments have different treatment goals.
The various techniques can be used alone or in combination with other conservatives, minimally invasive and surgical treatment methods.
Conservative and minimally invasive methods include:
Physical therapy is the foundation of any joint treatment. They include joint strengthening and joint restorative exercises. Some exercises include
- Wrist extension and flexion
- Thumb extension and flexion
The hand specialist will ask you to involve in activities that frequently use fingers such as typing, knitting, and playing hand videogames. etc.
Due to arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome or morning stiffness of hands, the finger joints lock and resist movement. Some homoeopathic medications can help relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis in hands and fingers.
When the above approaches are insufficient in pain management, the hand specialist can also recommend Intra-articular hyaluronic acid for pain management of joint pain, crocked fingers, trigger fingers or arthritis.
It is a part of integrated therapy for hands, in which the blood-sucking leeches are applied to one problematic joint (monoarticular pain). While sucking blood, they also secrete saliva that helps with osteoarthritis management.
External arthrosis radiotherapy is used for treating advanced arthritis. It is applied to various joint parts, including the joint nodes in hands and fingers(oligoarticular or polyarticular pain).
Surgical therapy becomes necessary when only conservative treatments show no success (anymore).
In principle, surgery is performed on the thumb earlier than on the long finger.
Depending on the localisation and severity, various surgical procedures of Arthroplasties are used:
Arthroplasty is a surgical procedure to restore joint mobility.
It is performed to remedy advanced joint deterioration or stiff fingers.
It is a rare surgical procedure in non-rheumatoid patients to replace the interphalangeal joints in the fingers.
This patient information only gives a general introduction for a better understanding of aesthetic and medical surgeries. It cannot replace the personal and detailed doctor-patient discussion. To answer your questions about your personal, individual situation, arrange your non-binding personal consultation appointment.