Wrist Arthritis

Wrist Arthritis Treatment in Kansas City, MO

What is Wrist Arthritis?

Your wrist is a complicated joint made up of many smaller joints that work together to enable you to move your wrist. When the joints are healthy, the bones move easily over each other because smooth cartilage covers the joint surfaces.

Arthritis is a disease that affects the joints and causes this protective cartilage to wear away over time. Without a smooth surface on the joint, the bones rub against each other, which can damage the joint.

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Wrist Arthritis Symptoms

Symptoms depend on the type of arthritis. Some people’s symptoms are very bad and get in the way of their daily lives, while other people have mild signs that may come and go.

One of the first signs of arthritis in the wrist is pain, and when you move your hand, try to open a jar, or turn a lock, the pain may worsen. You might also go through:

  • Less ability to move
  • Joints that are red, hot, or swollen
  • Pain that is worse in the morning and gets better as the day goes on
  • Hand and wrist weakness

Common Types of Wrist Arthritis

Even though there are many kinds of arthritis, the wrist is most often affected by:

  • Osteoarthritis – Osteoarthritis is when the cartilage breaks down. People often get it as they get older, and most of the time, it’s caused by years of wear and tear on the wrist joint
  • Arthritis caused by an accident – This kind of arthritis happens after an accident, like a broken bone or sprain. Even if the bones and ligaments heal well after an accident, arthritis can happen years later
  • Rheumatoid, or inflammatory arthritis – Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. It usually starts in small joints like the wrists and usually affects both sides of the body. In this form, the immune system targets healthy cells, like cartilage, and damages them

Wrist Arthritis Treatment

Treatments for arthritis in the wrist vary on the type of arthritis and how bad it is. Here is a list of nonsurgical treatments:

  • Switching between hot and cold packs
  • Braces or leg braces
  • Medications
  • Exercises for the hands with physical therapy
  • Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen
  • Limit or stop doing things that make the pain worse
  • Injections of steroids

If your symptoms are so bad that they get in the way of your daily life and other treatments don’t help, you may need wrist surgery. Some surgical options are:

  • Surgery called “denervation” is used to cut nerves in the wrist joint, which relieves pain
  • Fusion surgery joins two or more wrist bones together to stop them from rubbing against each other
  • Joint replacement, or wrist arthroplasty is a surgery that uses artificial devices to replace damaged bones

Wrist Arthritis Care in Kansas City

If you have any of the above symptoms, please call Orthopedic Health of Kansas City to schedule an appointment with one of our Kansas City wrist experts at one of our convenient locations.