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Joints wear down over time causing stiffness and pain. Cartilage is the interface padding between two bones in the joint that allows smooth gliding and movement. Overtime, the cartilage can become worn-out and thin. Either systemic factors or the normal “wear-and-tear” of repeated use can trigger an inflammatory response that can alter and ultimately destroy the tissues (cartilage and bone) of the joint.
Patients with arthritis usually experience pain or weakness when doing daily tasks. These symptoms can be triggered by normal tasks such as opening jars and grabbing items.
Arthritis of the joints of the wrist and hands is very common, particularly in the thumb, and several treatment options exist including: medications, splinting, hand therapy, injections, and surgery. Surgery is usually recommended in severe cases or when there are issues with joint function. Sometimes joint replacement is recommended in cases where alternative, less invasive methods have failed.
If you would like more information on arthritis, we invite you to review an educational website endorsed by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.