Elbow, Hand & Wrist Arthritis Treatment

Arthritis is condition that involves the breakdown of the protective cartilage around the joints, which results in pain, stiffness and inflammation.

Non-Surgical Arthritis Treatment Options

Treatment is designed to relieve pain and restore function. Anti-inflammatory or other analgesic medication may be of benefit in relieving pain. Brief periods of rest may help if the arthritis has flared up. You may also be advised to wear finger or wrist splints at night and for selected activities. Heat modalities in the form of warm wax or paraffin baths might help, and when severe swelling is present, cold modalities may be of help. It is important to maintain motion in the fingers and use the hand as productively as possible. Hand therapy is often helpful with these exercises, splints, and modalities. A cortisone injection can often provide relief of symptoms, but does not cure the arthritis. Surgery is usually not advised unless these more conservative treatments fail.

Surgical Arthritis Treatment Options

Surgery is indicated when the patient either has too much pain or too little function. The goal is to restore as much function as possible and to eliminate the pain or reduce it to a tolerable level. There are two types of surgeries listed below. Your hand surgeon will help you decide which type of surgery is the most appropriate for you.

  • Joint fusion - the arthritic surface is removed and the bones on each side of the joint are fused together.
  • Joint replacement & reconstruction - the degenerated, rough joint surface is removed to eliminate the irregular bone-to-bone contact that causes pain and restricts motion. The removed portion of bone may be replaced with a tendon or with a joint replacement implant.

If you have questions, or to make an appointment, call: 404-778-3350.