The joints of the fingers affected by arthritis are the DIP ( distal interphalangeal) end joint, PIP ( proximal interphalangeal) middle joint, and MCP ( metacarpophalangeal joint) joint at the base of the finger. Arthritis causes pain, stiffness and change in shape. Pain is the main target of treatment. Pain can be minimised with omega 3/ fish/ krill oil tablets, topical anti-inflammatory gels like " Volatren Gel", oral supplements ( such as passionfruit peel extract, Tumeric/ Curcuma, Boswellia, Pycnogenol, L-Carnitine), and short bursts of anti-inflammatory tablets.
It can help to minimise loads on arthritic joints during daily tasks. Getting tools to assist with jar opening and key turning are examples.
When pain becomes intolerable, the two operations possible are joint replacement and fusion ( stiffening) of the joint. Joint replacement can maintain some movement with pain relief, but will not necessarily improve movement. Joint replacements can also wear out.
Depending on individual needs, a joint fusion can last longer especially if heavy use is expected.
As with most hand problems, a solution is matched to your individual needs through a careful and considered approach.