The biomechanics of osteoarthritis in the hand: Implications and prospects for hand therapy. Journal of hand therapy : official journal of the American Society of Hand Therapists Kerkhof, F., Kenney, D., Ogle, M., Shelby, T., Ladd, A. 2022


The unique anatomy of the human hand makes it possible to carefully manipulate tools, powerfully grasp objects, and even throw items with precision. These apparent contradictory functions of the hand, high mobility for manual dexterity vs high stability during forceful grasping, imply that daily activities impose a high strain on a relatively instable joint. This makes the hand susceptible to joint disorders such as osteoarthritis. Both systemic (eg, genetics, hormones) and mechanical factors (eg, joint loading) are important in the development of osteoarthritis, but the precise pathomechanism remains largely unknown. This paper focuses on the biomechanical factors in the disease process and how hand therapists can use this knowledge to improve treatment and research.Multiple factors are involved in the onset and development of osteoarthritis in the hand. Comprehension of the biomechanics helps clinicians establish best practices for orthotics intervention, exercise, and joint protection programs even in de absence of clear evidence-based guidelines. The effect and reach of hand therapy for OA patients can be expanded substantially when intervention parameters are optimized and barriers to early referrals, access reimbursement, and adherence are addressed. Close and early collaboration between hand therapists and primary care, women's health, rheumatology, and hand surgery providers upon diagnosis, and with hand surgeons pre and postoperatively, combined with advances in the supporting science and strategies to enhance adherence, appear to be a promising way forward.

View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jht.2022.11.007

View details for PubMedID 36509610