Wrist Arthritis

Categories: Hand Conditions

Arthritis affects millions of people in the United States. Often, arthritis strikes at the weightbearing joints of the body, such as the knees and the shoulders. But a significant number of people suffer from arthritis in their wrists and hands that make it difficult for them to perform the activities of daily living.

Although there are hundreds of kinds of arthritis, most wrist pain is caused by just two types:

  • Osteoarthritis (OA) is a progressive condition that destroys the smooth articular cartilage covering the ends of bones. The bare bones rub against each other, resulting in pain, stiffness and weakness. OA can develop due to normal “wear-and-tear” on the wrist or as a result of a traumatic injury to the forearm, wrist or ligaments.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic inflammatory disease that affects the joint linings and destroys bones, tissues, and joints. Rheumatoid arthritis often starts in smaller joints, like those found in the hand and wrist, and is symmetrical, meaning that it usually affects the same joint on both sides of the body.
« Back to Glossary Index