Hand surgeon Mark Joseph Yuhas, MD answers your questions about rheumatoid arthritis.
What is arthritis? Can it affect the hand and wrist just the same as other joints such as the hip and knee?
Arthritis is a term that is used to describe pain and stiffness in a joint. A joint is a location in the body where two bones articulate, or move. Typically these joints have cartilage, a type of material in the body that is smooth and helps the joint to move without pain or restriction.
Arthritis involves a process where the cartilage is no longer smooth and begins to “break down”. This can result in pain, swelling, and loss of motion in many joints in the body including the fingers, hand, and wrist.