Arthritis of the fingers: Symptoms and Treatment
Before we start talking about diseases of the joints of hands, no harm will be to clarify the terminology and some of the general provisions. First, any inflammatory joint disease called arthritis, regardless of affected hip joint or metacarpophalangeal joint of the middle finger of his left hand.
Second, although all tend arthritis inflammation in the joints , cause inflammation and its pathogenesis may be quite different. In gout violated exchange of purine bases and joint uric acid accumulates, and in rheumatoid arthritis synovial membrane is attacked by circulating immune complexes. In both cases, the person will be an inflammatory joint disease that is arthritis.
And the third point. Pain in the joints, swelling of the affected area, flushing of the skin, fever, skin lesions over the zone, the deformation of the outer joint, deformity of the joint space and impaired motor activity of the joint - it's symptoms common to the arthritis, regardless of struck the knee or arthritis patient fingers.
Differential diagnosis of arthritis of the joints of hands
We now turn to more specific things. Which is often a cause of arthritis of fingers? Excluding the factors and traumatic arthritis of unknown etiology, which most can be attributed to the group of arthralgias, the arena will be one main cause of arthritis of fingers - is connective tissue disease, rheumatoid arthritis.
It is difficult to name a single cause of rheumatoid arthritis - perhaps the decisive role played by heredity, and perhaps interfering environmental factors (infections acquired diseases of the immune system and internal organs). Be that as it may, the answer to the question of the etiology of rheumatoid arthritis in modern medicine there.
What is characteristic of this disease? Arthritis of the joints of fingers often is symmetrical, that is, if the left hand hurts, it hurts and right. Affects the interphalangeal joints and metacarpophalangeal, pain is often not after exercise in the morning, and is accompanied by the so-called morning stiffness. At the onset of the disease, it takes no more than half an hour, and eventually up to three or even four hours of sleep.
Another "business card" of rheumatoid arthritis are so called joints exceptions - is distal (last) interphalangeal joints and first metacarpophalangeal joint. As a rule, they are not affected at all or process affects the later stages. Rheumatoid arthritis - a chronic and incurable disease, and over time it leads to a deformation of the affected joints. At this point, all the patients were already aware of their diagnosis, so that this feature of the disease attributed to a differential diagnostic features is not likely, but the mention of it we must.
Quite different flows gouty arthritis finger: symptoms are bright, the disease has a paroxysmal character, accompanied by signs of fever and general malaise. Gout is more common for the localization in the joints of the lower extremities - struck first plyustne-phalanx joint, but in many cases are affected and joints of the hands, because to write off the disease can not be.
Diagnosis is based on blood uric acid is not difficult.
Pain in the joints of the hands can not be tied to any gout or rheumatoid arthritis. Perhaps the reason for it is actually located in the spine - cervical osteochondrosis struck and the pain is only a reflection of the pain in the neck.
With long-term traumatic effects on the joints of the hand (for example, the teachers working with the board) in the past may develop degenerative processes: in this case we speak about arthritis, but acceding to develop inflammatory arthritis banal fingers.
At what age will debut disease?
Rheumatoid arthritis can occur at any age. If the disease manifests in childhood or adolescence - we say that the patient has juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. If under 30 you are not aware that such a disease of the joints - no hurry to rejoice, the disease can make itself felt at any age. Gout is more common after age 40. Men are more prone to the disease, women will join them after menopause.For young people, gout is extremely uncharacteristic.
Infectious arthritis can occur at any age, but the arthritis resulting from degenerative processes in the joints (as a result of a traumatic impact) - a lot of people older than 45.
How to treat joints of the hands?
It all depends on the nature of the disease. In rheumatoid arthritis, prolonged treatment in the acute period is aimed at reducing symptoms of inflammation, and there are suitable anti-inflammatory drugs (and non-steroidal and hormonal) that can be applied in the form of ointments, pills or intra-articular injections. In fact, the impact of these methods are suitable for the treatment of arthritis, the fingers of any origin, but only in the acute phase (when severe symptoms of inflammation).
In the next phase begins difference in the treatment of arthritis of fingers depending on what is causing the disease. In gout our actions are aimed at normalizing the purine metabolism, reducing the concentration of uric acid in the blood and help in this Urikozuricheskie and urikodepressivnye drugs and diet. In rheumatoid arthritis, all of our efforts are directed at modulating the immune response, and in the course are immunosuppressants, cytotoxic agents and new therapies, such as monoclonal antibody therapy.
Finally, in the final stage of the disease treatment again can be very similar - is arthroscopic surgery and total joint replacement. As you know, it is better not to bring, though, this is not always dependent on the doctor and the patient.