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Osteoarthritis: Explained With Pictures

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Updated November 20, 2011

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Three Common Sites of Hand Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis: Explained With Pictures
Photo © A.D.A.M.
Osteoarthritis can affect any joint in the body, including the hand. Osteoarthritis of the hand most commonly develops at three sites on the hand -- at the base of the thumb, at the joint closest to the finger tip, and the middle joint of the finger.

Mechanical wear-and-tear or injury can cause osteoarthritis to develop. When an injury changes the alignment of a joint, it can hasten cartilage damage. The damage is usually visible in hands with enlarged joints and crooked fingers. Bony nodules are common visible characteristics with hand osteoarthritis. Small nodules and swellings that develop near the middle joint of the fingers are referred to as Bouchard's nodes. When the nodules are located at the fingertip, they are referred to as Heberden's nodes.

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