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What is hand and finger Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis is an auto-immune mediated systemic inflammatory condition that can damage the nourishing lining and cartilage surfaces of many different joints in the body. The small joints of the hand and wrist are particularly prone to being involved, and can suffer significant pain and/or deformity. The care of the Rheumatoid hand and wrist should be managed cooperatively by a rheumatologist and a hand specialist to minimize pain and optimize functionality.

Hand/Finger Rheumatoid Arthritis is an inflammatory condition that affects the articular surface of the joints in the fingers (Distal interphalangeal joint, Proximal interphalangeal joint, Metacarpal joint) and the radio carpal joint (wrist joint). The condition is a result from the immune system attacking the cartilage within the joint (articular joint surface) and mistaking it as a foreign invader. The articular cartilage is destroyed and erodes away the absorbent material (cartilage)which protects the bone on bone contact against compressive forces with accompanies movement when you flex and extend the fingers and wrist. As a result pain, stiffness and swelling occur during movement and upon awaking from sleep in the morning.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.