Arthritis Conditions Osteoarthritis Pip Arthritis

PIP arthritis refers to the inflammation and deterioration of the proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joints, which are the middle set of joints in the fingers. When PIP arthritis occurs, the joint cartilage erodes, leading to friction, pain, and limited mobility at that joint.

PIP arthritis falls into the subgroup of more aggressive osteoarthritis, where the distal interphalangeal and the proximal interphalangeal joints are affected. It is more commonly seen in middle-aged females. The PIP joint can also be affected secondary to trauma and fractures that may extend into the joint, damaging the cartilage. These injuries can pose a risk for secondary osteoarthritis when the cartilage eventually wears out.

Patients will initially experience swelling and pain in the joint, which will worsen over time, with the joint becoming stiff and the formation of a secondary nodal or osteophytes, which create a bump at the back of this joint.

Usually, doctors carry out X-rays on the finger to determine the regions most affected by arthritis. A CT scan can also be done to analyse the finger in detail and identify the issue causing pain and immobility. Furthermore, doctors may decide to conduct blood tests to rule out signs of finger inflammation as a result of rheumatoid arthritis.


Depending on the severity of the condition, we will try and treat PIP joint osteoarthritis conservatively for as long as possible, with splinting, anti-inflammatory medication and corticosteroid injections. When activities of daily living are affected, and patients find they are unable to close their hands to make a fist, then surgical intervention is required. The only motion-preserving procedure for this joint is a total joint replacement. In this category, there are two types of prostheses: a silicone prosthesis that is better for patients with rheumatoid arthritis with lower demand on their hands, and a more robust prosthesis, such as a surface replacement prosthesis, that is cemented into the bone.


1How do you surgically treat PIP arthritis?
Joint arthroplasty (replacement) is the favoured surgical approach for PIP arthritis, particularly for affected PIP joints and the index finger.
2What are the common signs of PIP arthritis?
  • Swelling and pain near the joint
  • Difficulty gripping
  • Weakness
3Can you replace the proximal interphalangeal joint?
Yes, the surgeon can replace the affected joint with a synthetic joint.

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.

PIP arthritis

PIP arthritis