Arthritis Conditions Osteoarthritis Dip Arthritis

The distal interphalangeal (DIP) joints are located at the tips of the fingers and play a critical role in enabling fine motor skills and precision pinch. These joints consist of the distal phalanges (bones at the tips of the fingers) and the proximal part of the nail, which collectively allows for bending and straightening movements. DIP arthritis is associated with osteoarthritis and specifically affects these small joints at the tips of the fingers.

DIP joint pain can typically develop as a result of psoriatic arthritis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout and stenosing tenosynovitis, also known as trigger finger.

Arthritis in the distal interphalangeal (DIP) joints is very disabling as this location is the first contact point between the tips of the fingers and the rest of the hand and can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life. Symptoms include painful movement, especially when utilizing a power grip, and when pinching between the thumb and fingers. Over time, DIP arthritis can lead to joint deformities such as the development of small bony osteophytes (nodes) at the back of the finger, which become very painful, as well as developing a skew fingertip. 


We will try to treat this condition conservatively for as long as possible, and with early diagnosis and proper management, individuals can find relief from pain and regain functionality. In severe cases, when conservative measures are ineffective, the surgical option of a joint fusion (making the joint stiff) may be considered. In this surgical procedure, we prepare the joint, remove all the osteophytes and then fuse the middle and distal phalanges together by inserting a compression screw or a wire.

This is a successful procedure, and patients are generally very happy with the outcome. They can use their hands strongly again, and the loss of movement of this DIP joint due to the fusion takes very little function away from the hand.


1How does DIP arthritis occur?
This form of arthritis usually develops due to a family history of arthritis, manual labour, lax joints, obesity and excessive smoking.
2How do you treat DIP joint pain?
Conservative treatments like heat applications, splinting and activity modification can help relieve pain.
3Does it take long for a DIP joint to heal?
Surgery to fuse the tip joint of the finger with a screw or wire usually heal within 6-8 weeks.

Please read the above text for more in-depth information to help answer these questions. It's important to consult with our qualified healthcare professionals to ensure the appropriate diagnosis and treatment plan for your specific situation.

DIP arthritis

DIP arthritis