Health TipsSevere Rheumatoid Arthritis Hands

Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis Hands – Severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can have serious effects on the hands. In its later stages, RA can erode the joints and cause them to become crooked or even deviate outward from the wrist.

The Most Common Joints Involved In Rheumatic Arthritis

Joints and tendons of the hand are surrounded by a thin membrane called synovium, which produces fluid to lubricate and nourish the joint. When rheumatoid arthritis affects the joints and tendons, the synovium breaks down. This can result in inflammation, pain and damage to a tendon. The hands are the most common joint involved in rheumatoid arthritis, and they are often involved early on in the disease process. Symptoms are usually pain in the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joints and proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joints of the fingers.

In RA, the joint lining swells to form a hardened layer. This inflammation destroys the cartilage that cushions the end of bones, causing joint damage and loss of function. The swollen joints can look and feel doughy or spongy to the touch. This is unlike the firm knobby enlargement that occurs in osteoarthritis.

The hands are often the most affected joints in severe rheumatoid arthritis, with the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) and proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joints being the most commonly involved. Smaller joints in the hands, wrists and feet are also affected in many patients. Some of the deformities that can occur with rheumatoid arthritis in the hands include Boutonniere deformity and swan-neck deformity. Both are unique signs of the disease and can make it difficult to do everyday tasks like buttoning a shirt or gripping a glass.

Recommend Surgery to Correct Deformity and Pain Relief

In some cases, your hand surgeon may recommend surgery to correct the deformities and relieve pain or improve your function. Your rheumatologist and hand surgeon will work together to decide what treatment option is right for you. Surgical options might include joint replacement, fusion or tendon transfer. Pain is a common symptom of rheumatoid arthritis, particularly in the hands. The joint pain is usually a throbbing and aching pain that can be worse in the morning or after periods of inactivity.

The joint pain is sometimes associated with stiffness, which can make it difficult to do simple tasks. For example, you may be unable to fully bend your fingers or form a fist.

The joints most often affected by rheumatoid arthritis are the proximal interphalangeal (PIP) and metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joints of your hands. The distal interphalangeal (DIP) joints are generally spared, although they are sometimes involved. Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease, can cause a range of problems for your hands. These include joint weakness, swelling, and deformity.

RA Can Be Treated With Various Therapies

Your hands can feel so weak, stiff and painful that simple tasks such as opening a jar or turning a doorknob become difficult. This is especially true when RA inflammation affects your fingers and wrists. RA also damages the cartilage and bone in your hands’ joints. This leads to a condition called marginal erosion. The damage may be accompanied by fluid buildup, which causes swelling in your hands’ knuckles. The fluid may also make the joints feel swollen and stiff. RA can be treated with a variety of therapies, including physical therapy and occupational therapy. These treatments can help with pain, swelling, and deformity in your hands.

Fatigue is one of the biggest problems with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Many people find that learning to live with fatigue helps them to cope with the condition. Managing fatigue involves making changes to your daily routine and getting help from other people. It also includes eating a healthy diet and staying well-hydrated.

You can reduce your fatigue by doing physical exercise, adjusting your sleep patterns and taking time off when you feel tired. It also helps to try to plan your activities carefully and spread them out across the week. The severity of your fatigue is influenced by many things, including the type of RA you have, your weight and how much you get done each day. In some cases, you may be able to control your fatigue through medication or psychological treatment.

Reference :

Hammond, A. (2004). Rehabilitation in rheumatoid arthritis: a critical review. Musculoskeletal care2(3), 135-151.

Grassi, W., De Angelis, R., Lamanna, G., & Cervini, C. (1998). The clinical features of rheumatoid arthritis. European journal of radiology27, S18-S24.


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