Ask Trevor CHT: swollen PIP joints and osteophytes


Maria asks: 

"A few years ago, I started getting severe pain and swelling in my PIP joints and now some of the other joints in my hand from osteoarthritis (OA). 

I had a hand ultrasound which showed osteophytes on my fingers - is there any treatment for this other than creams? "

Certified Hand Therapist Trevor says:

"As you are forming osteophytes in all your PIPs due to osteoarthritis I would stick with heat (unless cold feels good) compression and maybe look into silver ring type splints to provide mechanical stability to the joints.

Osteophytes are bony spurs that form along joint margins. They grow slowly over time. Symptoms of ostephytes include joint pain, pain, or stiffness when you bend the joint and weakness or numbness.


They are most commonly caused by OA but anything that damages joint cartilage might result in the formation of bone spurs (although it might be argued that this process would then be classified as osteoarthritis)."