Arthritis Hand Photo Gallery

Photos Reveal Joint Damage and Deformities

1
48 year old female with rheumatoid arthritis (right hand).

rheumatoid arthritis hands
Hands damaged by rheumatoid arthritis Angie H. - 48 year old female - hands - rheumatoid arthritis for 23 years.

Certain types of arthritis can lead to joint deformity. Hand deformity is among the primary characteristics associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Check out the photos of hand arthritis submitted by our readers. You can see evidence of nodules, swelling, ulnar drift, contracture, and other problems.

Photo: 48 year old female with rheumatoid arthritis for 23 years (right hand). Person had carpal tunnel release, tendon transfer twice, and synovectomy of wrist.

2
48 year old female with rheumatoid arthritis (left hand)

rheumatoid arthritis hands
Joint damage from rheumatoid arthritis Angie H. - 48 year old female - hands - rheumatoid arthritis for 23 years.

Photo: 48 year old female with rheumatoid arthritis for 23 years (left hand). Person had carpal tunnel release surgery.

3
59 year old male with osteoarthritis

osteoarthritis hands
Joint damage from osteoarthritis Dennis - 59 year old male - hands - osteoarthritis for 35 years.

Photo: Osteoarthritis of the hands. Person had no hand surgery.

4
18 year old female with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis

juvenile rheumatoid arthritis hands
Hands with joint swelling and damage from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis Nicole - 18 year old female - juvenile rheumatoid arthritis for 16 years.

Photo: Person had juvenile rheumatoid arthritis since the age of 2 years old. Photo taken when 18 years old. Had no hand surgery.

5
60 year old male with rheumatoid arthritis

rheumatoid arthritis hands
Hands with joint damage from rheumatoid arthritis Andre - 60 year old male - rheumatoid arthritis.

Photo: Shows joint damage from rheumatoid arthritis. Person had hand surgery.

6
35 year old female with rheumatoid arthritis (left hand)

rheumatoid arthritis
Hands with joint swelling and damage from rheumatoid arthritis Alison O - 35 year old female - rheumatoid arthritis for 10 months.

Photo: Shows swelling and early damage from rheumatoid arthritis. Person has had no hand surgery.

7
35 year old female with rheumatoid arthritis (right hand)

rheumatoid arthritis
Hand with joint swelling and damage from rheumatoid arthritis Alison O - 35 year old female - rheumatoid arthritis for 10 months.

Photo: Shows swelling and early joint damage from rheumatoid arthritis. Person has had no hand surgery.

8
47 year old female with rheumatoid arthritis (left hand)

rheumatoid arthritis
Hands with joints damaged by rheumatoid arthritis Maggie F. - 47 year old female - rheumatoid arthritis for 15 years (left hand).

Photo: Shows joint damage and contractures caused by rheumatoid arthritis. The person has had no hand surgery.

9
55 year old female with rheumatoid arthritis (left hand)

rheumatoid arthritis hands
Hand deformity from rheumatoid arthritis Marian - 55 year old female - rheumatoid arthritis for 28 years (left hand).

Photo: Shows hand deformity and contractures caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Person has had no hand surgery.

10
55 year old female with rheumatoid arthritis (left hand)

rheumatoid arthritis hands
Hands with joints damaged by rheumatoid arthritis Marian - 55 year old female - rheumatoid arthritis for 28 years (left hand).

Photo: Shows hand deformity and contractures caused by rheumatoid arthritis. The person has had no hand surgery.

11
22 year old female with rheumatoid arthritis (both hands)

rheumatoid arthritis hands
Hands with joints damaged by rheumatoid arthritis Julia V. - 22 year old female - rheumatoid arthritis for 6 years (both hands).

Photo: Shows joint deformity of the hands caused by rheumatoid arthritis. The person has not had hand surgery.

12
22 year old female with rheumatoid arthritis (both hands)

rheumatoid arthritis hands
Hands with joints damaged by rheumatoid arthritis Julia V. - 22 year old female - rheumatoid arthritis for 6 years (both hands).

Photo: Depicts hand deformity caused by rheumatoid arthritis. The person has had no hand surgery.

13
22 year old female with rheumatoid arthritis (right hand)

rheumatoid arthritis hands
Hand with joint deformity caused by rheumatoid arthritis Julia V. - 22 year old female - rheumatoid arthritis for 6 years (right hand).

Photo: Shows hand deformity caused by rheumatoid arthritis. The person has not had hand surgery.

14
50 year old female with rheumatoid arthritis

rheumatoid arthritis hands
Hands with joints damaged by rheumatoid arthritis Carol - 50 year old female - rheumatoid arthritis for 31 years.

Photo: Shows contractures caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Three hand surgeons declined performing hand surgery because person had no pain and has good grip strength and hand function.

15
44 year old male with rheumatoid arthritis

rheumatoid arthritis
Hands with joints damaged by rheumatoid arthritis Rick E. - 44 year old male - rheumatoid arthritis for 17 years.

The small peripheral joints of the hands and wrists become involved with rheumatoid arthritis, leading to contractures and deformities.

Photo: This person has rheumatoid arthritis and had surgery—a wrist synovectomy and tendon transfers involving both hands.

16
62 year old female with rheumatoid arthritis

rheumatoid arthritis
Hands with joints damaged by rheumatoid arthritis Angela - 62 year old female - rheumatoid arthritis for over 25 years.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory type of arthritis. The small joints of the hands are commonly affected. Joint damage and deformity can result from cartilage loss and bone erosion.

Photo: This person has rheumatoid arthritis and did not have hand surgery.

17
52 year old female with rheumatoid arthritis (left hand)

rheumatoid arthritis hands
Hands with joints damaged by rheumatoid arthritis Nicki - 52 year old female - rheumatoid arthritis for 17 years.

Photo: Person with rheumatoid arthritis had surgery on left hand twice for trigger finger release of ring finger and had a tenodesis of the left middle finger. Also, had nodules removed from both the right and left thumb and had bilateral carpal tunnel surgery.

18
52 year old female with rheumatoid arthritis (right hand)

rheumatoid arthritis hands
Hands with joints damaged by rheumatoid arthritis Nicki - 52 year old female - rheumatoid arthritis for 17 years.

Photo: Person with rheumatoid arthritis had surgery on left hand twice for trigger finger release of ring finger and had a tenodesis of the left middle finger. Also, had nodules removed from both the right and left thumb and had bilateral carpal tunnel surgery.

19
38 year old female with rheumatoid arthritis (right hand)

rheumatoid arthritis hands
Hands with joints damaged by rheumatoid arthritis TTM - 38 year old female from Japan - rheumatoid arthritis for 17 years (right hand).

Arthritis myths and misconceptions are common in Japan, too. Many people believe it is a disease that affects old people only. There are more than 700,000 rheumatoid arthritis patients in Japan.

Photo: This person with rheumatoid arthritis, from Japan, has had no hand or wrist surgery on the right hand.

20
38 year old female with rheumatoid arthritis (left hand)

rheumatoid arthritis hands
Hands with joints damaged by rheumatoid arthritis TTM - 38 year old female - rheumatoid arthritis for 17 years (left hand).

Arthritis myths are common in Japan, too. Many people believe it is a disease for old people. There are more than 700,000 rheumatoid arthritis patients in Japan.

Photo: This person with rheumatoid arthritis, from Japan, has had surgery on the left wrist.

21
50 year old female with rheumatoid arthritis

rheumatoid arthritis hands
Hands with joints damaged by rheumatoid arthritis Lily - 50 year old female - rheumatoid arthritis for 5 1/2 years.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory type of arthritis. It is not uncommon for the small joints to be affected.

Photo: This person with rheumatoid arthritis was diagnosed 5 1/2 years ago and has had no hand or wrist surgery.

22
44 year old male with rheumatoid arthritis (right hand)

rheumatoid arthritis hand
Hands and joints damaged by rheumatoid arthritis Rick E - 44 year old male - rheumatoid arthritis for 17 years (right hand).

Photo: Thumb and finger joints show damage from rheumatoid arthritis.

23
44 year old male with rheumatoid arthritis (left hand)

rheumatoid arthritis hands
Hands with joints damaged by rheumatoid arthritis Rick E - 44 year old male - rheumatoid arthritis for 17 years.

Photo: Hand shows ulnar drift, a common joint deformity associated with rheumatoid arthritis. According to Wheeless Textbook of Orthopaedics, the 4th and 5th metacarpals are especially at risk for ulnar drift because of their increased mobility.

24
7 year old girl with polyarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis

polyarticular JRA hands
Hands with joints damaged by juvenile arthritis Abigail M. - 7 year old girl - polyarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis for 6 1/2 years.

Photo: Child had biopsy at 10 months old. Bone actually is larger than the rest of her finger bones. Also, had two separate surgeries to release scar tissue causing contracture from the biopsy.

25
7 year old girl with polyarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis

polyarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis finger nodule
Finger nodule from juvenile arthritis Abigail M. - 7 year old girl - polyarticular juvenile arthritis for 6 1/2 years.

Photo: Child had biopsy at 10 months old. Also, had two separate surgeries to release scar tissue causing contracture from the biopsy. Photo of finger nodule.

26
61 year old female with rheumatoid arthritis

rheumatoid arthritis hands
Hands with damage from rheumatoid arthritis 61 year old female - rheumatoid arthritis for over 30 years - carpal tunnel (left hand).

Photo: Swelling is a common symptom of rheumatoid arthritis. This person has had carpal tunnel surgery on the left hand.

27
61 year old female with rheumatoid arthritis

rheumatoid arthritis hands
Hands with damage from rheumatoid arthritis 61 year old female - rheumatoid arthritis for over 30 years (right hand).

Photo: This female with rheumatoid arthritis has problems with swelling in her hands.

28
27 year old female with rheumatoid arthritis (right hand)

rheumatoid arthritis
Hands with joint swelling and damage from rheumatoid arthritis Jeanette - 27 year old female - rheumatoid arthritis for one year (right hand).

Photo: Shows joint swelling and damage from rheumatoid arthritis. This person has had no hand surgery.

29
49 year old female with rheumatoid arthritis

rheumatoid arthritis
Hands with joints damaged by rheumatoid arthritis Deb M - 49 year old female - rheumatoid arthritis for 6 years.

Photo: Early treatment of rheumatoid arthritis is the best way to control the disease and prevent deformity. Pain and stiffness are also associated with rheumatoid arthritis of the hands and must be managed.

A Word From Verywell

Visible evidence of arthritis may be among our least favorite things. We use our hands for so many things that we do. I could safely say we use our hands for nearly everything we do. Think about it. We use our hands to hold things, grab things, touch things. We use our hands to cook, clean, groom ourselves, play with our children, write, create—the list is limitless. So, we must all protect our hands, even more so if you have arthritis. You must manage your arthritis, with the guidance of your rheumatologist. You must also use joint protection techniques. The goal of early arthritis treatment is to slow progression of the disease which should, in turn, lessen the risk of joint deformity.  

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