Small joint arthrosis

Small joints of the foot, hand, elbow, ankle

Arthrosis is a pathology characterized by destruction of the cartilage of the joint, accompanied by pain and dysfunction of the musculoskeletal system and affecting the quality of human life.
The prevalence of osteoarthritis of various joints is increasing every year affecting millions of people worldwide. 3
Arthrosis of the joints of the hand, foot, elbow and ankle can have the following manifestations.


Arthrosis of the joints of the hand.

– Osteoarthritis of the hand most often affects the distal interphalangeal (DIP) joints, but also typically involves the proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joints and the joints at the base of the thumb. the lesion is bilateral, accompanied by aching pain in the joints.

– Heberden nodules, wich represent palpable osteophytes in the DIP joints, are more characteristic in women than men. The fingers are deformed and take the shape of a spindle.

– Inflammatory changes are typically absent, less pronounced, or go unnoticed.

– Arthrosis is also aggravated due to overload, intensive work with the fingers. At the same time, there are complaints of throbbing pains, bubbles appear in the nodules, which themselves can open 2


Osteoarthritis of the wrist, while not as common as OA in weight-bearing joints, nevertheless, it is not un commonly encountered by orthopedic surgeons in day-to-day practice.

OA of the wrist results in both sever pain and restriction of movement.

 Arthrosis of Foot and ankle

The foot and ankle joints where it’s most common are:

The three joints involving your heel bone, your inner mid-foot bone, and your outer mid-foot bone

The joint of your big toe and foot bone, The joint where your ankle and shinbone meet


Pain when you move it

Trouble moving, walking, or putting weight on it

Joint stiffness, warmth, or swelling

Arthrosis of the joints of the big toe.
Often occurs with flat feet, there is a tendency to deform the foot, the female gender is prone to pathology.


  • the cartilage tissue of the joint is thinned and damaged
  • cartilage functions are impaired: depreciation, protection, support
  • inflammation and swelling occur in the joint capsule, its volume increases
  • cartilage nutrition is reduced, its destruction is underway
  • the joint cavity is mechanically injured by fragments of cartilage, which causes it to jam
  • production decreases and synovial fluid composition changes
  • the structure and function of the adjacent bone is disturbed


  • Pain of a mechanical type. They occur during exercise, are accompanied by a crunch, intensify in the evening, subside at night (often characteristic of pathology of the joints of the hand and foot)
  • Starting pains – at the beginning of the movement of the arm or leg.
  • Blockade pain. The joint is kind of “jammed”, this is due to the ingress of a fragment of cartilage on the surface of the joint. Everything passes after movement and thereby removing a fragment of cartilage.
  • Pain at rest, at night. Associated with stagnation of venous blood in the spongy substance of the bone. Fade in the morning after the appearance of activity.
  • Constant pain indicates the presence of synovitis. Accompanied by swelling, redness of the skin, restriction of movement.
  • Pain when changing weather.


  • for arthrosis of small joints, the cause may be inactivity;
  • injuries, professional, sports, domestic loads – the most characteristic of the ankle and elbow 2
  • hereditary predisposition;
  • excessive joint mobility;
  • connective tissue weakness;
  • infections
  • metabolic disorders;
  • endocrine system dysfunctions – can affect the development, for example, arthrosis of the joints of the fingers in women with menopause
  • mineral deficiency;
  • elderly age.


Timely access to a doctor contributes to the early start of therapy.
Joint pharmacies have a wide selection of different products. Chondroprotectors are a mandatory inclusion in the treatment regimen for osteoarthritis at any stage of the disease.
These are medications aimed at treating joints that help:

  • positively affect the main pathological link: improve the exchange and nutrition of articular cartilage
  • reduce pain
  • slow down the further development of the disease, the destruction of cartilage and indirectly all joint structures
  • restore activity and prevent disability

Chondroprotectors are well tolerated and recommended by international and Russian associations

  • associations[ American College of Rheumatology (ACR)/Arthritis Foundation (AF) 2020.
  • European Anti-Rheumatic League (EULAR).
  • International Society for the Study of Osteoarthritis (OARSI).
  • Association of Russian Rheumatologists (ARR).

Currently, various forms of release are used among medicines. Joint creams or joint ointments are widely represented in pharmacies. Capsules and tablets for joints can also be used by patients as directed by a doctor. Of course, those forms are very convenient.
Injections remain the most effective dosage formThe advantage of intramuscular administration of chondroprotectors (MUCOSAT) is their rapid absorption into the blood with accumulation in the synovial fluid of the joint after 15 minutes, and in the cartilage tissue after 48 hours  .
injections increase the ability of chondroitine sulphate to be absorbed (increase the availability of the active substance  in the bloodstream) which can lead to a faster and more effective result.
However, only a doctor can choose the right treatment!

Joint treatment with medication is not the whole package of measures. Significant is the elimination of risk factors – limiting the load, sparing exercises. In the presence of a hereditary predisposition, it is reasonable to observe a doctor with possible preventive measures.


  1. Okorokov A.N. Diagnosis of diseases of internal organs: T. 2. Diagnosis of rheumatic and systemic diseases of connective tissue. Diagnosis of endocrine diseases: – M .: Honey20. lit., 2008 .– 576 p.: ill.
  2. Electronic
  3. Folomeeva O.M., Galushko E.A., Erdes Sh.F. The prevalence of rheumatic diseases in adult populations of Russia and the USA. Scientific practitioner rheumatol 2008; 4: 4-9
  4. Electronic