Spondylitis, also known as spondyloarthritis, primarily affects the spine, causing inflammation and pain in the joints and surrounding tissues. However, spondylitis can also affect other joints, including the elbow, wrist, and hand. When these joints are involved, the condition is often referred to as peripheral spondylitis. Peripheral spondylitis can manifest in various ways in the elbow, wrist, and hand, and the specific symptoms may vary among individuals. Some common manifestations include:
- Enthesitis - Inflammation at the sites where tendons and ligaments attach to bones. This can lead to pain, swelling, and tenderness around the elbow, wrist, or hand joints.
- Synovitis - Inflammation of the synovium, which is the lining of the joints. Synovitis can cause joint pain, stiffness, and swelling in the affected areas.
- Tenosynovitis - Inflammation of the tendon sheaths, which are protective coverings around tendons. Tenosynovitis commonly affects the wrist and hand, causing pain, swelling, and difficulty with movement.
- Dactylitis - This is a characteristic feature of spondylitis and involves inflammation of an entire finger or toe. It can cause sausage-like swelling of the digits, affecting both the hand and the wrist.
- Bursitis - Inflammation of the bursae, which are small fluid-filled sacs that cushion the joints. Bursitis can occur around the elbow, wrist, or hand, resulting in pain, tenderness, and swelling.
- Arthritis - In some cases, spondylitis can cause arthritis in the peripheral joints, including the elbow, wrist, and hand. Arthritis may lead to joint pain, stiffness, reduced range of motion, and joint deformities over time.
It is important to note that spondylitis is a chronic condition, and its treatment primarily focuses on managing symptoms, reducing inflammation, and preventing further joint damage. Treatment options may include medications, physical therapy, exercise, lifestyle modifications, and in severe cases, surgery. Dr. Rajesh Malhotra gives the right and effective advice to patients having spondylitis in their elbow, wrist, or hand.