Very little in the world can make you feel older or more helpless than developing arthritis of the hand. Fortunately, while there is no known cure for either rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, if you catch the symptoms of hand arthritis in Louisiana early, treatment is possible, and your orthopedic surgeon can recommend ways to keep your hands and wrists flexible and strong for years to come.
First, lets discuss the two types of arthritis and how they differ from one another. Then we’ll get into the signs and symptoms that indicate you may be developing arthritis, when to see an orthopedic surgeon in Louisiana, and what kinds of treatment are available to you.
Rheumatoid Arthritis vs. Osteoarthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is actually an autoimmune disease that adversely affects the cells in your body that keep your joints coated and lubricated, whereas osteoarthritis is the “wear and tear” arthritis. The exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown, but it seems to be linked to certain genetic components in association with environmental factors, including bacterial or viral infections.
Osteoarthritis is caused by aging joints, obesity, and/or trauma to a joint (or joints) and it can affect one joint or multiple ones. Rheumatoid arthritis tends to affect joints symmetrically. So, if you have fairly uniform symptoms in both of your hands and/or wrists, it is more likely that you have rheumatoid arthritis than osteoarthritis. To be absolutely sure, though, its best to talk with a your orthopedic surgeon in Louisiana for a proper diagnosis.
What Are the Symptoms of Wrist and Hand Arthritis in Louisiana?
If you exhibit any or all of the following symptoms, it is likely that you have arthritis in your hands and/or wrists, and its time to call the orthopedic surgeon:
Stiffness, pain, and/or swelling in the fingers, hands, and/or wrists;
Warm hand or wrist joints, especially if they’re tender to the touch;
Finger joint deformities;
Numbness and/or tingling in hands and fingers;
Pain, stiffness, and/or swelling that lasts more than an hour.
Arthritis in the hands can be a serious problem, especially if you use your hands for your work. Whether you work in an office or a garage, pain and stiffness in your hands and wrists can mean major issues for your job. So, if you exhibit any of these symptoms, call an orthopedic surgeon immediately. This disorder will not just go away if left untreated.
Treatment of Arthritis of the Hand in Louisiana
Depending on how severe your hand arthritis is, your doctor may prescribe one of many treatment options. For mild arthritic pain, non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin may be effective enough to relieve pain and swelling. Some patients require a special wrist brace to stabilize the joints and keep them in the proper position so as not to cause any more damage.
Your orthopedic surgeon in Louisiana may also recommend a change of diet and stress management, physical therapy, and/or rest and exercise. In some cases, surgery is necessary, but this can often be avoided if the disorder is caught and treated early.
If you suspect that you might be suffering from wrist or hand arthritis in Louisiana, call our office today to schedule a consultation to discuss a treatment plan for your pain.