What is it : Arthritis is a loss of cartilage that usually lines the bones in a joint. It can occur in all joints of the fingers and can cause new lumps and bumps to appear, swelling and stiffness of the fingers and pain. You may have arthritis elsewhere in the body, or it may be isolated to your fingers.

Arthritis usually has no known cause. It may be in your family history or be part of a generalised condition like rheumatoid arthritis. Occasionally arthritis in the fingers can be secondary to previous trauma you may have had in the past.

Management : Arthritic finger joints can cause you pain and stiffness. Initial management includes simple pain relief, anti-inflammatory medication, splinting and hand therapy. If the pain and stiffness continues to be a problem, the surgical options are usually replacing the joint or fusing it.

Post-operative : If a fusion is done then we place you in a splint for a 3-6 weeks to allow it to heal. If a replacement is done, we often like to get the fingers moving early. Hand therapy plays a role after finger surgery.