Osteoarthritis and inflammatory arthritis may both lead to pain symptoms in finger joints. Osteoarthritis often occurs with aging and may lead to joint swelling and deformity. Inflammatory arthritis typically occurs secondary to an underlying condition such as Rheumatoid arthritis and symptoms of joint swelling and pain may occur at an earlier age. Non-operative treatment options include over-the-counter medications. For patients with underlying inflammatory arthritis, a specialized physician such as a Rheumatologist may prescribe specific medications. In select patients, joint replacement may be considered. Another surgical consideration for some patients involves joint arthrodesis (fusion). Joint replacement surgery involves removing arthritic bone and inserting an implant that allows for movement. Implant materials utilized include silicone and pyrocarbon. In joint arthrodesis (fusion), the arthritic bone is removed and the bone ends are held together with an implant such as screws, pins, wires, and/or a plate. Arthrodesis (fusion) surgery aims to remove the joint and stop movement.
The decision regarding nonoperative versus operative treatment is complex and should be discussed with your treating physician.
Outcomes after surgery vary and risks and benefits should be discussed in detail with your treating physician. Non-operative treatment also carries risks and benefits which should be discussed with your treating physician.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to covey, substitute or supplant any medical advice. In order to establish a treating relationship, please schedule and complete your visits with a licensed physician.
Copyright 12/9/2021 Tanay Amin, MD
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