Arthritis Diagnosis And Treatment


As the leading cause of disability in the United States, arthritis causes pain, inflammation, and loss of mobility in the joints. The proper function of the hands depends upon an intricate network of joints. When arthritis sets into one or more of these joints, the dexterity needed to perform such tasks as opening a jar, threading a needle, tying a shoelace, fastening a button, and other day-to-day activities, is affected. Anyone suffering from this condition should turn to the aid and knowledge provided by Fiore Hand and Wrist.


There are numerous types of arthritis caused by a variety of factors. Arthritis can be caused by genetic factors, as well as age, injury, disease, or trauma. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The symptoms of these arthritis types tend to come on gradually as the cartilage cushioning the joints slowly breaks down. Other types of arthritis are post-traumatic, caused by trauma or injuries damaging the cartilage. Dislocations can cause arthritis of this type.


Common arthritis symptoms include:

  • Pain: often described as a “dull” pain in the beginning, emerging hours after use of the affected joint. Pain and stiffness in the morning hours is also common.
  • Warmth: arthritic joints can be warm to the touch.
  • Inflammation: swelling and stiffness affecting joint movement.
  • Deformity: change in joint shape and appearance.

To diagnose arthritis, Dr. Fiore can use several methods, including physical examination, blood tests, X-Rays, or arthroscopy. Arthroscopy is a procedure that uses a small camera inserted into the joints to see a clearer picture of the condition. Because arthroscopy is an invasive procedure, other diagnostic measures are more commonly used.


Depending upon factors, such as the type and severity of arthritis and the characteristics of the individual, such as age, lifestyle, and goals, there are various treatment options available. Non-surgical options should almost always occur first and include splinting, anti-inflammatory medication, and injections. For more severe cases, surgical options, such as joint reconstruction, fusion, or replacement can help.

  • Medication: used to control arthritis symptoms, such as pain and inflammation.
  • Injections: containing anesthetic and steroids. Relief from injections can last weeks or months. Due to the risk of side effects and infection, patients should undergo only a limited number of injections.
  • Joint Reconstruction: surgically reconstructs or preserves the joint to reduce pain and swelling and restore function.
  • Joint Fusion: a surgical procedure performed when the joint has deteriorated to a point where it can no longer be surgically preserved or reconstructed. With this procedure, the ends of the bones making up the joint are fused together, relieving pain but also halting motion.
  • Joint Replacement: performed to restore function as well as provide pain relief to the affected joints. Synthetic joints are made from such materials as ceramic, metal, and plastic. Most joints in the fingers and wrist can be surgically replaced.

Dr. Fiore specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of Arthritis of the Hand, Wrist, and Elbow. He is board certified by the American Board of Surgery and fellowship trained in hand surgery. For more information on treatment options, or to schedule a consultation, call Fiore Hand and Wrist at (281) 970-8002.

We are conveniently located within driving distance of Cypress TX, Katy TX, Spring TX, Tomball TX, The Woodlands TX, and Houston TX.

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