What is Erosive Osteoarthritis

Erosive Osteoarthritis

is considered as subtype of osteoarthritis whose symptoms are prominent in hands. In this disease, the joint closest to the the fingertips of the hand is involved.

This condition is commonly seen in the women in peri or post menopausal stage. The cause of the disease is not known yet but hormonal imbalance, autoimmunity and metabolic disorders are suspected as the causes.This article gives vital information on the disease.

Symptoms of Erosive Osteoarthritis:

Initial symptoms of erosive osteoarthritis are sometimes confused with psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. As the name suggests erosions are the main symptoms of the disease. As this symptom is seen in other diseases as well but the severe aggressive type of the hand erosion defines this type of osteoarthritis. Frist carpometacarpal (trapeziometacarpal) joint is involved in this disease.

  • It begins with the pain, tenderness and swelling of hands.
  • Erosions of the cartilage of the hands can be clearly seen.
  • Mostly distal and proximal interphalangeal joints are involved.
  • Knuckles and larger joints are also involved in rare cases.
  • Deformities like buttonhole deformity and swan neck deformity is clearly seen in the fingertips.
  • There is marked decrease in the function of the hand.


Erosive osteoarthritis is diagnosed by blood test including erythrocyte sedimentation rate


and the number of white blood cells. These tests usually show normal regardless of severity of the disease. The extent of deformity is seen by


Treatment of Erosive Osteoarthritis:

  • First aid treatment for the disease aims at keeping the joint as flexible as possible. This is done by keeping the joint in warm water and moving in range of motion exercise. This relieves pain and makes the joints flexible.
  • Analgesics or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are given under the supervision of health practitioners to relieve pain and swelling.
  • In severely affected joints a corticosteroid suspension is injected to increase the range of motion.
  • In very rare cases when the treatments are not effective the joint may need to be reconstructed surgically.

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