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Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Hands

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Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Hands

Picture of rheumatoid arthritis in the hand

Hands and wrists are the most common location for deformities caused by rheumatoid arthritis. As joint damage progresses, the joints between the hand and fingers (metacarpophalangeal joints-MCPs) swell and move upward (dorsal subluxation). The tendons over the joints slip and cause the fingers to bend toward the little finger (ulnar drift). In addition, muscles in the hand thin and weaken, creating valleys between the long tendons.

Current as of: December 9, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Nancy Ann Shadick, MD, MPH - Rheumatology

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This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.