About Hand & Wrist Arthritis

What is it and what are your treatment options?
Anchorage: (907) 562-2277
Wasilla: (907) 357-2267
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What is Hand & Wrist Arthritis?

There is a multitude of forms of arthritis that affect the wrists and hands. This condition is caused by inflammation of the joint, and it typically worsens with age. Millions of Americans suffer from arthritis, but there are numerous treatment options that can help minimize discomfort, improve mobility, and enhance the quality of life. The most common arthritis conditions are:

  • Degenerative Arthritis, also called Osteoarthritis, typically affects the fingers, causing pain in the joints furthest from the hand.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis, commonly called Inflammatory Arthritis autoimmune disease
  • Basal Joint Arthritis occurs in the hand near the base of the thumb

Common Causes:

  • Age
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Old Injury

Symptoms of Hand / Wrist Arthritis may include:

  • Stiffness
  • Weakness
  • Swelling
  • Limited range of motion
  • Clicking, cracking, or grinding sounds on movement

When you arrive for your initial consultation, an Orthopedic Physicians Alaska (OPA) Hand Specialist will evaluate your areas of concern, discuss your symptoms, and develop a customized and comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your unique needs. This evaluation is a necessary part of diagnosing your condition and providing the best possible care.

When diagnosing a hand or wrist arthritis, our experts will provide:

  • A medical, injury, and symptom history review
  • A physical examination
  • Multiple view x-rays

Once an official diagnosis is made, a customized treatment plan is prescribed. Treatment plans decrease symptoms as quickly as possible and then treat your underlying cause.

Common Treatments:


A removable splint can be used when your hands are especially painful, a splint can help support the joints. Soft, snug gloves can be worn when rigid splints are too restrictive.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)

Oral medications decrease nerve inflammation and pain.

Physical Therapy

An OPA approved hand therapist can help you maintain your motion and function.


An injection of steroid and numbing medications quickly decreases inflammation and pain.

Although uncommon, a joint replacement (tendon arthroplasty) or fusion may be recommended if conservative methods prove ineffective.

At OPA, our Board Certified and Fellowship Trained Orthopedic Hand Specialists are experts in treating hand and wrist arthritis.

If you are in pain and would like a treatment solution you should contact OPA to schedule an appointment at our location in Anchorage.

Schedule An Appointment

To receive an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan, please make an appointment with one of our Orthopedic Team Specialists at our offices conveniently located in Anchorage and Wasilla, AK.
Anchorage: (907) 562-2277
Wasilla: (907) 357-2267

OPA Hand & Wrist Team

(click a provider to view profile)

Owen L. Ala, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Deryk Anderson, DO

Orthopedic Specialist

Tucker Drury, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Christopher Manion, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Our Mission

To provide the finest orthopedic surgery and musculoskeletal care in North America, offering general and specialized adult care to all Alaskans and visitors.


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