Hand osteoarthritis

We make your hand fit for use again

Our hands are a masterpiece of nature. They fulfil the most varied purposes, from gripping, to touching, to communicating. Pain in the finger joints or in the wrist can indicate joint wear (arthritis). This is often painful and significantly limits the functions of the hand.

At Schoen Clinic we have a comprehensive range of treatments for treating osteoarthritis in the hand or in the finger joints.
Our hand surgeons advise you individually about the most suitable treatment for you and how to sustainably prevent pain.

Causes & symptoms

What do we understand by wrist osteoarthritis?

If the cartilage in your wrist becomes worn, this is known as wrist osteoarthritis. Due to the loss of the cartilage your joint bones between the radius or the ulna and the carpal bone rub painfully against one another. The “shock absorber” that exists in the healthy joint has become worn down or is even completely gone.

Causes: How does osteoarthritis in the hand or wrist occur?

In many cases, the trigger of cartilage damage is a previous injury, such as a broken bone or a torn ligament between your carpal bones. It can happen that this is undiagnosed for a long time and thus, over the years, osteoarthritis in the wrist can develop. Diseases such as rheumatism are also possible causes of cartilage damage.

Joint wear of your thumb cartilage joint, which is known as rhizarthrosis (trapeziometacarpal osteoarthritis), occurs when the tension of the stabilising ligaments decreases over the course of the years. Your thumb saddle joint is, in principle, a ball joint: It enables movement on all levels: You use it during many everyday tasks, such as operating keyboards or holding a drink bottle.

Osteoarthritis can also occur in the small finger joints. The middle and end joints of the fingers are frequently affected by this; more rarely, the base joints of the fingers are affected.

Wrist osteoarthritis: Symptoms that are signs of wear

If you suffer from wrist osteoarthritis, you will feel pain of varying intensities. In addition, your mobility is limited. Your complaints often arise before or after a strain. Carrying a shopping bag can then already become difficult, as can opening a bottle or doing gardening. Weather sensitivity can also occur: With this, your pain gets worse with cold and wet weather and better when it is warm. Sometimes the affected joint swells up - or maybe even the whole hand and the lower arm.


Diagnosis: find the exact causes of your symptoms

Our experienced hand specialists in Schoen Clinic can often diagnose wrist osteoarthritis already through observing your joint. To confirm the diagnosis we use imaging techniques such as X-ray imaging.

Imaging techniques give certainty

We first take a conventional X-ray image in various planes. Then we recognise the wear of your joint and an thus determine the degree of severity of your osteoarthritis. If no exact diagnosis can be made on the basis of the X-ray images, additional examinations are necessary. For this, we use computer tomography or magnetic resonance tomography (CT/MRT).