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At The Raskin Center for Hand, Wrist & Elbow Surgery, Dr. Keith Raskin offers treatment for symptoms of hand arthritis in NYC.

What Is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a condition that affects various tissues inside the joints, causing inflammation in a joint and its surrounding tissues. For arthritis sufferers, the cartilage between the joints is progressively worn down to such an extent that the bones start wearing against each other.

The hand has several small joints that work together to produce motion, including the fine motion needed to tie shoelaces or thread a needle. When arthritis affects the joints of the hand, it makes day-to-day activities painful and difficult.

Types of Hand Arthritis

There are a number of types of arthritis that can affect the hand. Different types of arthritis create different symptoms, but most types create similar issues.

Common issues include pain, joint deformities, a decline in muscle mass, joint swelling, issues with joint and muscle functionality, joint stiffness, and weakness. Symptoms are gradual and worsen as the degeneration of the cartilage increases.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a common type of hand arthritis in which the lining of the joints is attacked by the patient’s immune system.

Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms include:

  • Finger and wrist deformity to the point where they will not straighten
  • Pain in the knuckles and the wrist
  • Flu-like achiness
  • Fatigue
  • Ruptured tendons that hinder straightening of the fingers


Osteoarthritis is a common type of hand arthritis that occurs over time as cartilage deteriorates.

Osteoarthritis symptoms include:

  • Bony nodules formed in the middle finger joints
  • Bony lumps in the joints closest to the fingernails
  • Difficulty pinching and gripping objects
  • Stiffness, especially when waking up
  • Pain, especially under the base of the thumb

Other Types

Other types of arthritis that may affect the hands include:

  • Psoriatic arthritis: The result of a skin condition called psoriasis
  • Septic arthritis: Comes about due to an infection in the joints of the hands
  • Traumatic arthritis: Caused when trauma to the hand occurs
  • Gout: Results from uric acid buildup inside the joints

What Can Cause Painful Flare-Ups?

Hand arthritis symptoms are mostly worse during the mornings. Some other factors that may trigger flare-ups include:

  • Cold weather
  • Stress
  • Repetitive motions
  • Changes in barometric pressure
  • Infection
  • Overdoing an activity

How Is Hand Arthritis Treated?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for hand arthritis. Treatment is instead mainly focused on managing symptoms. If you experience any of the symptoms of arthritis, it is best to consult with Dr. Raskin. He will diagnose your specific type of arthritis in order to determine the ideal treatment option for you.

Non-surgical treatment may include medication like painkiller pills or cortisone shots. Dr. Raskin may use an immobilizing device like a brace, splint, or sleeve to dampen the pain. He may also recommend that you consult a hand therapist, who can teach you exercises and ways to do everyday tasks that can help lessen the pain.

If non-surgical solutions are ineffective, Dr. Raskin may recommend surgery for hand arthritis. One surgical option is a joint fusion that fuses the bones. Another involves removing and replacing affected joints. Dr. Raskin will recommend the best option based on your condition.

Find Out More with a Consultation

If you’re interested in learning more about treatment of hand arthritis in NYC, contact The Raskin Center for Hand, Wrist & Elbow Surgery. Dr. Keith Raskin is a skilled and respected hand surgeon with years of experience. Arrange your consultation today.

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Please call the office during business hours Monday thru Thursday from 9:00 am until 4:30 pm for questions, concerns, and appointment scheduling.

To ensure a productive and efficient office visit, please bring any test results or applicable information with you, such as MRI scans/images, nerve conduction studies, or previous operative reports. Please be sure to bring with you both the reports and images.