In short, rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease which attacks joints in the body. It can affect the alignment and positioning of those joints, even to the extent that they become stuck in a bent position or become dislocated. Bone erosion caused by RA may make the ends of bones rough and irregular. Patients may eventually notice that their fingers begin to shift toward the direction of their elbow.
In previous posts, we have discussed different types of surgery used in patients living with rheumatoid arthritis, including synovectomy, tendon repair, and carpal tunnel release . Today’s discussion centers around joint replacement and implants.
What is Joint Replacement?
One would think that this is a simple question, right? Take the joint out and put a fake or replacement one in. But in researching this subject, I found it rather difficult to find information which went much beyond this simple concept without become ...
The wrist is one of the most common joints to be affected by rheumatoid arthritis. In fact, about 75% of people with RA have arthritis in the wrists, marked by pain, inflammation, joint structure damage and loss of range of motion. Wrist splints, like splints for other joints, help stabilize the joint. There are many types of wrist splints, both for activity or complete rest. They can be made of fabric or harder materials and they can be pre-fabricated or custom made to fit your shape and needs.
Resting splints immobilize the wrist to allow for a decrease in swelling and to stabilize the joint. They allow less movement of the fingers. Resting splints are often used after surgery to protect the surgical site and joint and allow healing. They are also used at night or during periods of lesser activity.
Wrist working splints allow movement of the finger and thumb joints, enabling the wearer to perform regular activities.  ...
In my last post, I wrote about the benefits and drawbacks of wearing splints and tried to give some suggestions for complying with a splinting regimen. I also thought that it might be helpful to talk about splinting for kids, and from a kid's perspective.
Splinting is a major treatment modality for kids. While it offers some of the same benefits as for adults, like joint protection and improved function, splints also help prevent joint deformities and contractures (shortening) of the soft tissue around the joints, like muscles and ligaments. Contractures tend to occur when the muscles around a joint are maintained in a shortened, flexed position. With RA, this sometimes happens because inflammation makes it impossible to straighten a joint completely or because it sometimes feels better to favor the limb or digit by keeping it flexed. They can also occur because of unequal growth of bones making up the joint; a common problem for children wit...
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