One of the distinguishing features of RA can be seen in the hands. Swelling of the knuckle joints and wrists leads to severe pain and stiffness, especially in the morning. Chronic inflammation can cause the fingers to twist in an outward direction. This can take a toll on fine motor skills. In advanced cases of RA, the hands can become disfigured and interfere with quality of life.
Nonsurgical treatments involve medications, injections, and splinting. Splinting helps support the joints but shouldn’t be worn for too long, as it leads to muscle deterioration. If these treatments don’t work, you may need surgery.