If your hands have trouble functioning properly, whether because of stiffness or joint pain, you may have Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). RA is a systemic inflammatory illness that can frequently cause hand problems and deformities. There are a number of signs and symptoms that point to the possibility of Rheumatoid arthritis. Here are six common ones to look for.
Hand joint swelling
RA causes an inflammatory reaction around joints, which can result in swelling, tenderness, and stiffness of the hand, wrist and fingers.
Unlike other causes of arthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis results in symptoms on both sides of the body equally.
Pain and stiffness
People often complain of pain and stiffness in the knuckles. The symptoms are sometimes worse in the morning or after periods of inactivity. The skin over the knuckles may also seem red and warm.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Inflammation in the carpal canal may result in compression of the median nerve, causing carpal tunnel syndrome. People typically complain of numbness and tingling in their fingers, especially at night.
Hard, round nodules made of inflammatory tissue may appear near joints. The nodules themselves are not painful. These can also form along the wrist or elbows.
Malalignment of finger joints
If the inflammation of joints in the hand goes untreated, it can lead to the fingers and thumb becoming deformed and weak. The fingers can move away from the thumb over time. In addition, there are a variety of other deformities that can occur, resulting in weakness when trying to extend the fingers.
Hand deformities from Rheumatoid arthritis can be quite debilitating if left untreated. However, with modern medications and successful surgical treatment, people can minimize their symptoms and regain maximize function. If you suspect your hand problems may be from rheumatoid arthritis and are looking for treatment, visit Advanced Specialty Care’s hand surgery specialist in Fairfield County at our office in Danbury.
- Dr. Sohel Islam