Arthritis Q&A by Dr. Shiel

I have had arthritis in my hands for several years, in addition to Heberden's nodes. Some of the nodes are constantly very painful and water blisters have begun forming on the nodes. What can I do?

Answer:

Heberden's nodes are bony prominences that occur at the smallest joint at the end of the fingers. They develop as a result of inflammation that occurs in the bone under adjacent cartilage that has wear from degenerative arthritis (osteoarthritis). They can become inflamed at times and be painful. Sometimes a tiny fluid-filled cyst, called a ganglion, forms adjacent to the involved joint.

To reduce inflammation, sometimes anti-inflammatory medications can be of help. If a cyst has formed at the joint, it can require an evaluation by a hand surgeon to consider surgical removal. You should discuss the best options for you with your doctor.

Thank you for your question.


Last Editorial Review: 2/13/2012



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