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Osteoarthritis of the Hand

Osteoarthritis of the Hand

Osteoarthritis of the Hand



Osteoarthritis is a condition that can affect any joint in the body, however, it most often affects the knees, hips and the small joints in the hands. A soft tissue called cartilage protects the ends of bones where they move against each other in a joint. When the cartilage is worn down, either through everyday use or as a result of an injury, the action of the bones rubbing against each other is the cause of osteoarthritis. We can treat hand osteoarthritis in Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster and Worksop.

Osteoarthritis can develop with age, as your joints become more worn. If you’ve previously had an injury or surgery on a joint, you may be more likely to develop osteoarthritis in that joint. You may also have a family history of osteoarthritis which increases the chance of you developing it yourself.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in the UK and affects nearly 9 million people. There is no cure for osteoarthritis, however, there are ways of managing and treating the condition.


Osteoarthritis in the hands most commonly affects the base of the thumb and the end joint of the fingers, although any hand joint can get arthritis. The main symptoms of hand osteoarthritis are:

  • Stiff and painful joints

  • Poor grip strength

  • Swollen, enlarged or knobbly joints

  • Limited range of movements

  • Grating or popping sound when moving the hands known as crepitus

Sometimes, the stiffness is worst in the mornings when you wake up and may ease as you begin to move about. Symptoms may come and go or you might experience them continuously which affects your ability to do everyday activities.

Mild cases of osteoarthritis of the hand can be managed through regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight. More severe cases may need painkillers and additional support or treatment.


Lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise may help prevent or manage mild cases of hand osteoarthritis. Plus, you can use painkillers, such as paracetamol, to treat any pain flare-ups.

There are several other non-surgical treatment options for osteoarthritis of the shoulder:

  • Exercise therapy – strengthening exercises to improve symptoms in your hand.

  • Adapting your lifestyle – changing how you do certain tasks and using aids to support you e.g. tools for opening jars or bottle lids.

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – different painkillers that can be prescribed by your GP.

  • Steroid injections – short-term pain relief for arthritis sufferers that can last several weeks.

  • Supportive aids – e.g. a night splint that supports the joints whilst you sleep.

Surgery to treat hand osteoarthritis is less common. This is partly to do with the complexity of the hand as well as the limited options. Surgical procedures range from fusing the joint to replacing a knuckle. Surgery is usually reserved for people with particularly painful osteoarthritis in their hands. Book your treatment for hand osteoarthritis in Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster and Worksop. You can also follow us on social media.

Our Specialists in
Osteoarthritis of the Hand
Mr. Dan Morell
Mr. Dan Morell
Find us

138 Beckett Road, Doncaster DN2 4BA

Call us

07946 396194

01302 238291

Contact us

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