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Posts Tagged ‘finger splint’

Heberden’s Nodes

March 31, 2012

Osteoarthritis symptoms of the hand can include difficulty bending and flexing your fingers, joint pain, and morning stiffness. Along with joint swelling and crepitus, common with finger arthritis, Heberden’s nodes can also appear.

Heberden’s nodes are growths of bone on the distal interphalangeal joints (DIPs).  These bumps can be a clear indication of  hand osteoarthritis.

Dr. William Heberden (1710 – 1801) was an english doctor who first described these bumps:

“What are those little hard knobs, about the size of a small pea, which are frequently seen upon the fingers, particularly a little below the top near the joint? They have no connection with the gout, being found in persons who never had it: they con- tinue for life: and being hardly ever attended with pain, or disposed to become sore, are rather un- sightly than inconvenient, though they must be some little hindrance to the free use of the fingers.”

Dr. Heberden was ahead of his time.  He didn’t believe in blood-letting, sweating, and purging – all common treatment options during that day and age.  He was known as the “Father of Observation”.

An ice pack or finger splint can help.


Bouchard’s Nodes

March 29, 2012


Bouchard’s nodes are often associated with osteoarthritis.  These bony prominences appear as bumps in the middle finger joints.  These knuckles are also called the proximal interphalangeal joints, or PIPs.

These bumps may hurt, or they may not.  However Bouchard’s nodes most always affect how fingers flex and extend.  Some researchers believe these bumps are strongly hereditary and that they are caused by osteophytes.

Cold therapy, finger splints, anti inflammatory medication, and hand therapy are all treatment options for finger arthritis.

Charles-Joseph Bouchard (1837 – 1915) was a french doctor who studied arthritis.


Finger Arthritis

March 27, 2012


Which finger joints are most likely to be effected by osteoarthritis?

The mid-finger (PIP – proximal interphalangeal joint) and fingertip (DIP – distal interphalangeal joints) knuckles are most likely to suffer.  These joints can become swollen, stiff, and enlarged.  This condition is usually the result of years of wear-and tear.

Joint health supplements, anti-inflammatory medications, therapy, cortisone injections, cold therapy and finger splints can all be all used to treat osteoarthritis of the finger.