As you already know, you have numerous different joints in your hands. When it comes to your fingers, the largest of these joints are the metacarpophalangeal joints, which are located where your knuckles are. They provide gripping power and give you the ability to make a pinching motion.
In a normal joint, the two bones are connected with cartilage and a slick substance ensures that it moves smoothly. If cartilage is damaged or wears away, then the joint may stop working properly and it may become painful. Other problems could include the finger becoming displaced, which will lead to more problems. Arthritis of the MP joints is a common condition in which wear and tear destroys the cartilage in the joint.
Causes of MP Arthritis
The type of arthritis that can develop in this joint is due to a few different things. Everyday wear and tear can be the culprit. Additionally, injuries or medical conditions can lead to the arthritis development.
Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common medical condition to lead to the development of metacarpophalangeal arthritis. Thats because it damages the inner joint and destroys the cartilage eventually. There are other medical conditions that can have the same results, including gout, infections, and psoriatic arthritis.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
The most common symptoms of MP arthritis include pain, swelling, and loss of motion in the joint. The pain and stiffness may come and go, and it may worsen when you have to grip something or grasp at something. Additionally, people who have MP arthritis may experience weakness in their grip.
If you go to a doctor for an evaluation, a diagnosis will be made by x-raying your hands. Should you have a narrowing of the space between the bones, then this would indicate that cartilage is destroyed or severely damaged.
Treatment of Arthritis
If you have been diagnosed with MP joint arthritis, then there are different treatments your doctor could recommend. There are medications that can be prescribed to ease the inflammation and swelling while helping with pain as well. Some of the medications can even help to avoid further destruction to the cartilage. Most people find relief from this medication and will be able to manage a pain free life without any further treatment.
However, if the MP arthritis cannot be managed in this way, then there are surgical methods of correcting the damaged joint. The destroyed tissue will be removed to allow the joint to work again properly. If there is no way to correct the joint itself, then you may need a full joint replacement surgery or fusion of the joint in question. Generally, with joint replacement surgery, full use of the finger will be restored.
There are numerous different joints that can be affected by arthritis, and the hands are included. The MP joints, located at your knuckles are very prone to this problem. If you have been diagnosed with this type of arthritis, then talk with your doctor about treatments. You dont have to continue suffering.