Arthritis of Wrist
Wear-and-tear arthritis, known as osteoarthritis, is the progressive wearing down of the healthy cushioning tissue between the joints, called articular cartilage, which acts as a natural shock absorber between the bones. It can affect almost any joint in the body, but the wrist is a common location.
Wrist arthritis is frequently, but not always, painful, and typically results in stiffness and a reduced range of motion in the joint. It is more common in women than men and impacts virtually everyone as they age, affecting nearly two-thirds of adults over age 60 and the majority of people over age 75.
People who suffer from osteoarthritis of the wrist typically experience some or all of the following symptoms:
- Wrist pain that comes and goes
- Inflammation around the joint
- Limited range of motion or stiffness
- Feeling of clicking or grinding in the joint (crepitation)
- Weakness that makes gripping and pinching objects difficult
There are no known medications or treatments that can prevent osteoarthritis, and there is no cure. However, the hand subspecialists at Lancaster Orthopedic Group can offer a variety of treatments that may provide relief from your symptoms, slow the progression of the disease, and help you get back to the everyday activities you used to enjoy.
Rest and warm compresses often help to reduce swelling, pain and inflammation. Topical and oral pain medications can temporarily relieve wrist pain. Splinting can stabilize and support the joints. For many patients, hand strengthening exercises are an effective option. Surgery may be an option for people who have severe wrist pain or have lost significant function.