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 ...
Alternative Names Pain - wrist Prevention To prevent carpal tunnel syndrome: Adjust your keyboard so that you do not have to bend your wrist upward while typing. Take frequent breaks from activities that require wrist movement. Work with an occupational therapist. To prevent gout attacks: Limit alcohol. Lose weight if you are overweight. Drink plenty of water. Eat lower amounts of liver, anchovies, sardines, and herring. Your doctor may prescribe medication. References Swigart CR. Hand and wrist pain. In: Harris ED, Budd RC, Genovese MC, Firestein GS, Sargent JS, Sledge CB, eds. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology . 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2005:chap 44. Wright PE II. Carpal tunnel, ulnar tunnel, and stenosing tenosynovitis. In: Canale ST, Beatty JH, eds. Campbell 's Operative Orthopaedics . 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2007:chap 73. Mercier LR. The forearm, wrist, and hand. In: Mercier LR, ed. Practical Orthopedics . 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2008:chap 7.
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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