Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disorder, which develops when the immune system of the body starts attacking the healthy tissue that is lining the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis usually begins in the joints of wrists and hand.  The wrist is the commonest site affected with rheumatoid arthritis in the upper body.

Symptoms of Wrist Rheumatoid Arthritis:

  • Redness or warmth around the wrist
  • Wrist pain, stiffness, and swelling
  • Flu-like feeling all through the body
  • Excessive joint stiffness in the morning
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Fatigue

Diagnosis of Wrist Rheumatoid Arthritis

Diagnosis of the wrist rheumatoid arthritis starts with the examination of the wrist.  An X-ray or other imaging tests may be performed to evaluate the interior of the wrist joint. Some blood tests may also be performed to check for inflammatory indicators.

Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis Affecting the Wrist

Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis affecting the wrist depends on the severity of symptoms and the extent of the damage. Its treatments may include :

  • Medicines : Initially treatment starts with the use of analgesics, NSAIDs, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs and glucocorticoid injection.
  • Therapies : A person may also get some relief with the help of heat or cold therapy. Splinting is also a good option for supporting the wrist and relieving the severe pain. Physical therapy also helps to improve the range of motion and strength.
  • Surgery : If a person is not able to get treated with the aid of medicines or other therapies then surgical procedures may be used. The objective of wrist surgery is to relieve the pain and improve or restore wrist function. Surgery is done to remove the damaged portions of the joint, to replace the part of the joint, or to fuse the joint together.

Following are the surgical options for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis of wrist:

  • Joint reconstruction : This is done to clean the cartilage and remove painful bone spurs. It is not suitable for severe cases.
  • Joint fusion : This is done to remove the cartilage from the affected area and fuse the bones together. It is done by transplanting a piece of bone from the hip into the wrist bones.
  • Joint replacement : In this procedure, some bones in the wrist are replaced with an artificial prosthesis.