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Arthritis: Dallas Plastic Surgeons Dr. David and Dr. Solomon Azouz explain this condition

Dallas Plastic and Hand Surgeon Dr. David and Solomon Azouz review Arthritis:
symptoms, surgical, non-surgical treatment, cost, insurance, and recovery.

What is Hand & Wrist Arthritis?

Arthritis is the swelling and tenderness of one or more of your joints in the hand or wrist. The main symptoms are joint pain and stiffness, which typically worsen with age. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.


Osteoarthritis involves wear-and-tear damage to your joint’s cartilage — the hard, slick coating on the ends of bones where they form a joint. Cartilage cushions the ends of the bones and allows the joint to glide. When the cartilage is damaged, the bones can grind on one another. Grinding on the joints can cause pain and restricted movement. This wear and tear can occur over many years, or a joint injury or infection can hasten it.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

In this case, the body’s immune system attacks the lining of the joint capsule, a tough membrane that encloses all the joint parts. This lining (synovial membrane) becomes inflamed and swollen. Thus the most simple definition of Rheumatoid arthritis is that it is “synovitis.” Rheumatoid Arthritis is a disease process that can eventually destroy cartilage and bone within the joint.

The cause of arthritis is unknown; however, some things can raise your chances of getting it:

Age: As you age, your joints tend to get worn down.

Gender: Most types of arthritis are more common among women.

Genes: Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and ankylosing spondylitis are linked to certain genes.

Injuries: They can cause joint damage that can bring on some types of conditions and can worsen the disease.

Infection: Bacteria, viruses, or fungi can infect joints and trigger inflammation.

Work: If you go hard on your joints at work, you might be more likely to get osteoarthritis.

Some patients can have a combination of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Dr. Azouz works closely with Rheumatologists who help medically treat this condition.

Hand and wrist arthritis symptoms include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Changes in the look and function of the joints
  • Warmth
  • Clicking or popping
  • Cysts
  • Muscle fatigue

What is the surgical management of Arthritis?

Arthritis in the hands is treated with a variety of different methods. Surgical management for this condition is indicated in patients with severe pain, patients who have failed medical management, or patients that have severe damage to the joint-inhibiting function. Arthritis at the base of the thumb is the most frequent location that is treated with surgery.

Fusion, also known as arthrodesis, involves bonding the joints together to create a stable and pain-free joint. The joint will be limited in terms of motion but is placed in a functional position. Fusion is commonly performed in the bones near the tips of the fingers.

Joint removal is commonly performed at the base of the thumb. Usually, the bone known as the trapezium is removed and replaced with a tendon graft from the wrist.

Joints of the hand are typically replaced with a silicone implant or a metal joint. Patients usually have a joint replacement for the joints located closer to the wrist PIP and MCP joints.

What is the recovery after surgery for hand arthritis?

Dr. Azouz typically performs surgery for hand arthritis as day surgery. Patients will have a long-acting nerve block that will numb the hand for 12 to 24 hours. Patients will then elevate and protect their hands with an elevation pillow and a specialized splint. Patients will return for follow-up appointments, and Dr. Azouz will recommend when a patient can return to work and exercise activities.

Arthritis Surgery Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost for hand arthritis surgery?

Dr. Azouz will determine the surgery cost through history and physical examination. Insurance companies generally cover surgery for this condition.

Nonsurgical Options For Arthritis

Dr. Azouz can help you manage your hand pain and or wrist pain with some non-surgical treatments which, help prevent damage to the affected joint, and keep inflammation at bay.

Medications, such as:

-Painkillers: over-the-counter or prescription

-Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Dr. Azouz's Locations

Dr. Azouz has privileges at a variety of hospitals and emergency rooms throughout the DFW metroplex including Dallas, Fort Worth, Richardson, Plano, Flower Mound, Addison. Patients frequently travel to see Dr. Azouz from Frisco, Allen, Mckinney, Arlington and Rockwall. It is not uncommon for patients to even travel from across Texas including East Texas (Tyler, Longview), West Texas (Midland, Odessa) and central Texas (Waco, Austin) to see Dr. Azouz.

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