The rheumatoid arthritis-induced inflammation can happen all over the body, but RA’s effects tend to be most apparent in one’s hands. The damage can lead to gnarled ligaments, twisted joints, and joint destruction in the arthritic condition’s later phases.
The deformities in rheumatology arthritis patients are turning less serious and less frequent due to early disease determination and effective treatment. Anyhow, besides being pain-inducing, the hand changes can render doing daily tasks challenging for the patient. Keep reading to know more about the deformities.
What Leads To The Issue
People mistakenly think that RA is just a joint condition. In fact, it is an issue that mainly affects the tissues, including the tendons and ligaments. This particularly applies to the hands. These parts have numerous bones, known as metacarpals and phalanges, which joints connect. These joints must facilitate the mobility of the fingers.
The immune cells of RA patients mistakenly attack the joints’ lining, known as the synovium. It usually creates a fluid that lets the joints smoothly move on the cartilage covers of these connective parts.
If inflammation makes the synovium swell, then a fibrous, abnormal tissue layer, known as the pannus, develops. In turn, that releases chemicals causing bone erosion, ligament damage, and cartilage destruction.
That destruction causes joint capsules and ligaments to be less capable of supporting the joints, which in turn makes the connective areas lose their alignment. Consequently, the joints turn into dysfunctional parts, with pain and visible abnormalities.
Effective medication that limits the arthritic issue’s progression has aided in mitigating the deformities associated with the condition. The prescription drugs commonly used to treat rheumatoid arthritis include leflunomide, hydroxychloroquine, minocycline, sulfasalazine, and methotrexate.
Those who get methotrexate treatment have sometimes been experiencing rheumatoid nodules, which are among the common rheumatology symptoms. It is possible to reduce the size of those with another treatment option, surgery, or corticosteroid injections.
This generally includes splinting and exercise, and it can make the process of hand deformities progressing to be slow. It is also likely to make the patient’s hands, wrists, and fingers function better.
Splints, including purpose-built rings, are useable to make the affected finger’s joints stable.
This is not common for RA patients any longer due to the efficacy of other treatment options. Besides, the nodules tend to come back after surgery. Anyhow, it may be necessary to fix serious hand issues.