Arthritis in the joints of the wrist can be as a result of osteoarthritis which is wear and tear to the cartilage or rheumatoid arthritis which is an inflammatory response by the body which results in cartilage damage. Joints that have had previous trauma or injury are more susceptible to arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis often affects the joint between the two bones of the forearm resulting in damage to the tendons that straighten your fingers resulting in joint deformity such as bent wrists or gnarled fingers.
Both types of arthritis can cause swelling, pain, limited motion and weakness in the wrist, however in the case of rheumatoid arthritis this is usually accompanied by pain, stiffness and swelling in the knuckle joints of the hand.
Non-surgical: Early treatment is non-surgical and designed to help relieve pain and swelling, options include limiting aggravating activities, immobilisation with a splint, anti-inflammatory medications, exercise program or steroid injections into the wrist joint.
Surgical: when non-surgical treatments are no longer effective, surgery is an option. The aim of surgery is to relieve pain and preserve or improve hand function, options include removal of arthritic bones, fusion of joints between the bones or joint replacement.
Recovery depends on the management option taken and may involve a cast or splint and physical therapy to increase strength and movement.