Hand & Wrist Arthritis

OPA treats a wide variety of upper extremity conditions and offers comprehensive treatment options — including many non-surgical solutions.

What is Hand & Wrist Arthritis?

There is a multitude of forms of arthritis that affect the wrists and hands. This condition is caused by inflammation of the joint, and it typically worsens with age. Millions of Americans suffer from arthritis, but there are numerous treatment options that can help minimize discomfort, improve mobility, and enhance the quality of life.

The Most Common Types:

  • Degenerative Arthritis, also called Osteoarthritis, typically affects the fingers, causing pain in the joints furthest from the hand.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis, commonly called Inflammatory Arthritis autoimmune disease
  • Basal Joint Arthritis occurs in the hand near the base of the thumb

Common Causes:

    • Age
    • Autoimmune disease
    • Old Injury

Symptoms of Hand / Wrist Arthritis may include:

  • Stiffness
  • Weakness
  • Swelling
  • Limited range of motion
  • Clicking, cracking, or grinding sounds on movement

When you arrive for your initial consultation, an Orthopedic Physicians Alaska (OPA) Upper Extremity Specialist will evaluate your areas of concern, discuss your symptoms, and develop a customized and comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your unique needs. This evaluation is a necessary part of diagnosing your condition and providing the best possible care.

When diagnosing a hand or wrist arthritis, our experts will provide:

    • A medical, injury, and symptom history review
    • A physical examination
    • Multiple view x-rays

Once an official diagnosis is made, a customized treatment plan is prescribed. Treatment plans decrease symptoms as quickly as possible.

Common Treatments:

Nonsurgical treatment options treat the majority of a wrist sprain. Treatment options help reduce symptoms. The following are commonly prescribed:

A removable splint can be used when your hands are especially painful, a splint can help support the joints. Soft, snug gloves can be worn when rigid splints are too restrictive.

Taken orally or applied topically to decrease inflammation and pain.

Physical Therapy
An OPA approved hand therapist can help you maintain your motion and function

Schedule Appointment with Our Hand | Wrist | Elbow Team


The OPA team includes Alaska’s leading specialists and offers some of the latest, most advanced treatment procedures available today.

OPA treats a wide variety of conditions and offers comprehensive treatment options — including many non-surgical solutions, minimally invasive arthroscopies (repairs) and total joint replacement.

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