Herbert P. von Schroeder, MD, MSc, FRCSC, University of Toronto Hand Program and Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network, Toronto, ON.
Osteoarthritis is a highly prevalent and disabling condition of the hand in the geriatric population. It is commonly and effectively managed by surgical means. The interphalangeal joints and base of the thumb are most frequently involved, particularly in women, whereas post-traumatic osteoarthritis of the wrist is more common in men. Surgical procedures include simple debridement, soft tissue stabilization or osteotomies for milder cases. Joint arthroplasty, including excision procedures, and joint arthrodesis (fusion) are indicated for more severe arthritis. The type of procedure used depends on the location of the affected joint, patient age and physical demands placed on the hand. Surgery can effectively alleviate pain and improve hand function to improve an individual's quality of life.
Key words: osteoarthritis, hand, arthrodesis, arthroplasty, surgery.