Suffering from arthritis in fingers is one of the most common complaints of people as they grow older. arthritis knee Most people don’t realize that it can be caused by different reasons. The two most common types of arthritis in fingers are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. There are additional types of arthritis that may affect some people, but they are much less common.
The Common Types of Arthritis in Fingers
Osteoarthritis is a very common form of arthritis in the world. An estimated 151 million people in the world suffer from some form of Osteoarthritis, with 27 million of them living in the United States. It is basically a condition that develops due to the natural “wear and tear” of living. It’s a condition where the joints of the body degenerate due to the wear and tear on the cartilage that cushions the bones within the joint. Cartilage is a flexible, yet tough material that covers the ends of our bones and acts as a buffer to prevent the bones from rubbing against one another.
If that cartilage is damaged or deteriorates, due to injury or long term use, the bones will start to rub against one another. This rubbing will result in possible stiffness, pain and even a lack of mobility in the affected joint.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an auto-immune disorder, where a person’s immune system attacks their own body, specifically in this case, the synovial joints. This auto-immune response can cause the finger joints to be warm to the touch, swollen, and very painful.
Symptoms of Arthritis in Fingers
While not every person suffering from arthritis in their fingers may suffer the exact same symptoms, here is a list of the most common symptoms:
- Stiffness of the fingers – this may be increased at the beginning of the day, but lessen with ongoing activity
- Inflammation of the finger joints
- Numbness in the fingers
- Reduced range of motion
- Lack of strength in fingers
- Distortion of the fingers
- Warmness in the finger joints – in the case of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Diagnosis of Arthritis in Fingers
In order to diagnose the particular form of arthritis in fingers, the physician will work through a series of diagnostic steps:
Example of a diagnostic X-ray of rheumatoid arthritis in fingers
- Physical Examination with a complete history – your physician will work with you to develop a narrative with regard to your fingers and hands as well as your ongoing symptoms.
- X-ray Examination – degeneration of the finger joints can be seen on the X-ray if the space between the bones of the finger have noticeably deteriorated.
- Blood Tests – in order to help identify the exact kind of arthritis, the physician may order a Rheumatoid Factor (RA Screen), an Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (also known as either an ESR or Sed Rate) as well as other possible tests.