Osteoarthritis (degenerative or “wear-and-tear” arthritis) is a condition that occurs when the smooth cartilage at the end of bones wear away, resulting in increased friction as the bones rub against each other during hand movements. There is further joint damage over time and there is pain from the irritation of the joint. In the hand, osteoarthritis most often affects the wrist and the small joints of the fingers.


Osteoarthritis is a common problem, however, the cause is largely unknown. The condition tends to affect middle-aged women. There may be a previous history of injury. Sometimes, there is a family history of osteoarthritis.

Types of Osteoarthritis

It is common to experience osteoarthritis in the fingers and wrist or at the base of the thumb. Please click on the links below for detailled information on the specific cases.

  • Fingers and Wrist
  • Thumb Base

More Information on Osteoarthritis

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Osteoarthritis Fingers and Wrist
Osteoarthritis Thumb Base