Causes of finger osteoarthritis


Finger arthrosis describes a non-inflammatory degenerative cartilage damage to the finger joints, which leads to pain when moving.

The osteoarthritis occurs as degenerative, non-inflammatory disease of the joints especially in higher age on. The is affected Articular cartilage, of the due to overuse in the course of life is harmed and ultimately causing discomfort.

Increased stress levels of a hinge section, as for example at Obesity and unilateral load in the case of joint misalignment occur, favor the wear and tear of the cartilage.In principle, any joint can be affected. Knee and hip osteoarthritis are of the greatest economic importance. The finger osteoarthritis prepares in the Coping with everyday life not infrequently significant problems and leads to in severe cases Deformities of the hand.

Forms of finger osteoarthritis

Several forms of osteoarthritis can be distinguished in the upper extremity. While the so-called omarthrosis affects the shoulder joint, a distinction is made in the hand between the occurrence of osteoarthritis on the middle and end joints of the fingers and on the metatarsophalangeal joint.

If the end joints of the fingers are affected by arthritic changes, one speaks of Heberden's osteoarthritis, and the middle joints of the fingers of Bouchard's osteoarthritis. The disease of the thumb base joint is called rhizarthrosis. While Heberden's osteoarthritis and rhizarthrosis occur mainly in women, Bouchard's osteoarthritis has an even gender distribution.

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The Symptoms osteoarthritis can be in Early and late symptoms subdivide. In a early stage The person affected usually feels one of the disease morning movement pain of the affected joint, which is improves during the day. Since the Pain intensity decreases with the duration of movement, one speaks of a Starting pain. After prolonged exposure, a Stress or fatigue pain occur. The so-called is also typical for an early stage of the disease Final phase pain, a pain that with a terminal movement (e.g. maximum flexion) of the joint occurs.

At Advanced disease late symptoms occur. The morning start-up pain often becomes one Persistent pain, of the also at night occur and to Trouble sleeping can lead. Significantly advanced wear and tear of the cartilage surface can lead to severe restrictions on movement to lead. In the area of ​​the finger joints occur in the late stage of the disease deforming joint changes on. This is the case with Heberden's osteoarthritis, for example Heberden knot called Swelling of the end joints of the fingers. In addition to pain and restricted mobility, these changes also represent an increasing cosmetic problem represent.

From one activated osteoarthritis one speaks when inflammatory episodes of the joint occur. An activated osteoarthritis is differentiate from rheumatoid arthritisthat usually End joints of the fingers and metatarsophalangeal joints not affected.


The typical symptoms of osteoarthritis are diagnosis the disease mostly based on the physical exam deliver. In addition, a X-ray examination help the doctor make a diagnosis. The radiologist searches for it typical characters like one Narrowing of the joint space, compression of the bone tissue below the cartilage zone, bony attachments on articular surfaces and Cysts in bone tissue. The Laboratory examination of blood samples is in contrast to rheumatoid arthritis mostly inconspicuous.

Causes of finger osteoarthritis

Since finger arthrosis is a degenerative disease acts is a advanced age is the most important risk factor at all. Finger arthrosis, like most other arthrosis, usually does not occur in younger people. The main age of onset is mostly beyond the age of fifty.

Like most other joints in our body, the middle and finger joints also represent one hinge-like connection of our finger bones represent. A Joint capsule made of connective tissue connects the two ends of the bone. Your Inside is what is called the synovium, the synovium lined. This produces a small amount of clear liquid (Synovia), as Joint lubricant acts and for the Supply of the articular cartilagewhich does not have its own blood vessels, is responsible for nutrients. Of the Articular cartilage coats the ends of the bones and ensures a smooth layer smooth gliding the articular surfaces.

In the course of life it can be too Damage to the cartilage come that through becomes rough, cracked and thinner. The burdenthat occurs with the movement of the joint can now no longer evenly distributed over the joint surfaces will the Wear on the cartilage increases. The underlying bone reacts to the unusual stress with growth. To the on in the heaviest stressed areas it becomes thicker and in the outskirts can be detected in the X-ray Bone attachments occur. As the joint wears, it also comes to a Irritation of the synoviumwho point to it with a increased formation of synovial fluidt responded. As a result, it comes to Joint swelling and to inflammatory Activation of osteoarthritiswhich further worsens the nutritional situation of the cartilage and the Additionally drives the degeneration process.

Next to the Age as the most important risk factor for the development of osteoarthritis, that plays gender a not insignificant role. So are Postmenopausal women more often affected by osteoarthritis of the finger than men of about the same age. The reasons for this have not yet been finally clarified, but it is suspected hormonal influences. Because osteoarthritis often occurs in families, a genetic predisposition is also discussed. Joint wear and tear in close relatives increases the personal risk of falling ill as well.

The fact that uneven loading and joint misalignments favor the development of osteoarthritis is the reason for that Occurrence of the disease in the knee and hip jointson which greater forces act, very much much more oftenthan is on hand. But also in the area of ​​the finger joints there can be unphysiological stresses, like for example with daily manual labor occur to Development of arthritic changes contribute.

Will the osteoarthritis favored by another underlying disease, one speaks of a secondary osteoarthritis. These favorable factors include Metabolic diseases how diabetes or the gout, in which Uric acid crystals in the joint deposit.

The Rheumatoid arthritis, one inflammatory, autoimmune joint disease, even if they are called independent clinical picture must be distinguished from osteoarthritis, for Joint wear and thus to one secondary osteoarthritis.

A rarer cause, which also favors the occurrence of osteoarthritis, is the hemophiliaat which it too Bleeding in the joints and Joint damage can come. However, these occur mostly on the larger joints such as the hip and knee joint on.