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Arthritis is an extremely common but poorly understood condition. There are over 100 types of arthritis and related conditions that make up the leading cause of disability in America. In the United States, 23% of adults (over 54 million people) have some type of arthritis. At The Center for Hand & Upper Extremity Surgery, we offer innovative treatments aimed to decrease pain and disability for those affected by arthritis.

Understanding Arthritis

Arthritis is a generic term that indicates degeneration of the cartilage which lines the joints in the body. This leads to “bone on bone” motion, causing significant pain and deformity. Osteoarthritis, also known as “wear and tear” arthritis is the most common type of arthritis. This is a process that occurs with aging, caused by the deterioration of cartilage over time with repetitive usage. Inflammatory arthritis is an autoimmune phenomenon associated with numerous inflammatory conditions, where the body’s immune system attacks the cartilage and causes joint destruction.

The most common arthritis joint symptoms are swelling, pain, stiffness and a decreased range of motion. Symptoms may come and go and may range from mild to severe. Over time, severe arthritis may lead to chronic pain and the inability to complete everyday tasks.

Arthritis of The Hand

Arthritis can affect joints throughout the entire body, including the hand. There are many small joints in the hand and wrist that work together to produce motion. When joints in the hand are affected by arthritis, simple everyday activities can become extremely challenging.

Finger arthritis (also known as “interphalangeal joint arthritis”), is the most common form of arthritis in the hand. To learn more about finger arthritis and how it can be treated, click here.

Base of the thumb arthritis (also known as “basilar joint arthritis” or “first carpometacarpal joint arthritis”), is the second most common form of arthritis in the hand. To learn more about arthritis of the base of the thumb and how it can be treated, click here.