Pod Casts

Arthritis of finger and thumb joints

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a condition that affects the joints, resulting in pain and deformity.

What causes the symptoms of Arthritis?

The symptoms of arthritis arise either from wear and tear of the cartilage (osteoarthritis), or from inflammation of the inner lining of the joint (synovitis), which occurs in rheumatoid arthritis.

What is the difference between Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis in the hand?

Osteoarthritis is the result of wear and tear of the cartilage which covers the ends of the bones. Osteoarthritis can also result from destruction of the joint surfaces due to an injury. In the hand, osteoarthritis tends to affect the basal joint of the thumb and the distal joints of the fingers. Read more about osteoarthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis tends to affect the wrist and the metacarpophalangeal joints (the more prominent knuckles) at the base of the fingers and thumb. It is also an autoimmune condition (a condition in which the body’s cells attack the body’s own tissues) that affects the inner lining of the joint causing inflammation, swelling, pain and cartilage destruction. Read more about rheumatoid arthritis

I feel very, very good - I'm doing a lot of things that I never used to do and I'm very happy with my hands.


Patient testimonial

Darrach Procedure

“Due to my arthritic condition in my hands and wrists, a large swelling appeared on the back of my hand and my little finger had dropped down as if the band behind it had snapped causing it to fall forward.  I had a lot of pain in my hand and the flexibility was very limited.  I wasn’t able to straighten my little finger and this caused me difficulty in using a keyboard to work with, even to wash my face or hair the little finger would drag and get caught against my eyes or nose.  I had lost complete control over it.  I’m currently on strong medication for my arthritis and I had the swelling on my hand drained and injected with cortisone, but nothing seemed to help not until my operation. 

I understand that during my operation where they numbed my arm, some damaged bone was removed and not only the tendon on my little finger had ruptured, my ring finger tendon was damaged too.  Therefore both of these tendons were repaired to join onto my middle finger.

Personally for me, although it was a long recovery period, I persevered with the strict routine of physio and rest and found the discomfort quite limited.  Now 4 months after my operation the pain has decreased dramatically, I have slightly more flexibility in my wrist, my little finger is straight again, the swelling on the back of my hand has completely disappeared and although my fingers are not able to separate to the full extent as my right hand I can still use it and it is fully functional and I’m back at work typing letters as before. To me I feel that the operation was a complete success.”


My hand is fully functional and I'm back at work typing letters as before. To me I feel that the operation was a complete success.


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