Arthritis Solutions

Arthritis is common in patients over 40 years but can affect clients of all ages. It can be caused by normal wear-and-tear of the joints as the body matures but may also be due to injury, trauma, fractures, and joint dislocation. We provide state-of-the-art solutions to help restore functionality and peace of mind.

Why Choose The LaVie Institute?

At The LaVie Institute, each of our board-certified hand surgeons provides extensive expertise and a breadth of knowledge due to elite Fellowship training in advanced, cutting-edge techniques.

We have high-volume experience with additional acumen in microsurgery and work closely with certified hand therapists to maximize outcomes. In order to reduce recovery times, we offer minimal access treatments and specialize in wide awake hand surgery to enhance results and obviate the need for general anesthesia. Complementary treatments include PRP and steroid injections, fat grafting, and laser therapy.

After visiting our practice, patients enjoy restored confidence and a rapid return to normal activity. Restoring patient function and seeing the joy clients experience in returning to their beloved activities without pain is what drives us each and every day.

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Your Detailed Consultation

After correctly diagnosing the problem, we will outline potential treatment options that are specific to both the patient and the diagnosis. These will both surgical and non-surgical options. In addition, we discuss the anticipated outcomes and recovery timeline for each procedure. 

All of our treatments are up-to-date and state-of-the-art, providing patients with best-in-class solutions to restore quality of life.  We are trusted advisors that practice active listening in order to determine the best possible treatment algorithm for each individual patient. 

How is Arthritis Diagnosed?

Diagnosis can be achieved through examination of the thumb and digits or by using X-rays, which can detect any bone spurs or calcium deposits. 

What Are the Symptoms of Arthritis in the Hands?

  • Dull or burning pain after increased use of the hands
  • Stiffness or swelling in the joints
  • Pain that wakes you up at night
  • Inhibited range of movement
  • Red and tender tissue surrounding the joints
  • Grinding or clicking when bending the fingers  
  • Unable to fully open or close the fingers
  • Small nodules in the middle or top joints of the fingers
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Conditions and Treatments

Treatment for Thumb Base Pain

The carpometacarpal joint is located where the thumb’s metacarpal bone is attached to the wrist’s trapezium bone. Due to its unique shape, this joint affords the thumb its wide range of motion across multiple vectors. Arthritis may alter the joint’s shape, weakening its ligament support and resulting in bone spur formation. Treatment may include splinting, medications, steroid injections, and activity modification on the conservative side, and surgery in more severe cases. One type of surgery to correct this issue is called CMC arthroplasty. It is performed to relieve discomfort in the thumb and wrist and restore a full range of motion.

Mini TightRope Technique

The Mini TightRope technique can help stabilize the thumb metacarpal after trapezial resection or removal, mitigating discomfort and loss of movement for those suffering from CMC arthritis. This approach maintains the proper relationship between the thumb and the index metacarpals while permitting scar tissue formation in the trapezial area. The device was engineered by physicians at Stanford University Medical Center. It involves a specialized wire to support the thumb, reduce pain, and enhance mobility. No implant is needed due to the wire’s flexibility and versatility. Recovery time is minimal, with most patients requiring a splint for around 7-10 days.

Wrist Arthritis

Wrist arthroscopy to mitigate the symptoms of wrist arthritis can be performed under local anesthesia with sedation. Two small incisions are created (called “portals”) on the back of the wrist through which the arthroscope and other specialized instruments are inserted. An arthroscopy is a slender tubular camera with its own light source to enhance precision. It sends images to a monitor, allowing the surgeon to perform complex repairs. After your wrist arthritis treatment in Denver, patients are fitted with a dressing and a splint.

Small Joint Arthritis

Arthritis can arise in the knuckles (metacarpophalangeal joints) that may require joint replacement. It can also affect the second finger joint (proximal interphalangeal joint), causing stiffness and limitation of movement. Treatment may involve an implant, fusion, or joint replacement. Joint fusion is typically chosen for treating arthritis in the top finger joint (distal interphalangeal joint). Wherever the problem originates from, our team can create a personalized treatment plan to relieve discomfort and restore quality of life.

Denervation for Chronic Pain

Denervation is an innovative solution for dealing with chronic pain that may arise in the wrists and hands. It was first documented in the 1950’s and has since evolved to become a staple treatment modality. The procedure is based on the concept that the nerves deliver pain signals to the brain. If this transmission is not completed, the body will not experience discomfort. By removing certain nerves, patients can enjoy enhanced peace of mind and comfort. Rest assured, normal sensation is preserved, as only the nerves associated with the pain transmission process are affected by the procedure.

Joint Replacement

For those suffering from the pain of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, joint replacement offers a viable and effective solution. Healthy joints contain articular cartilage cushions to lubricate movement as well as synovial fluid. When these components are depleted, patients may experience discomfort, swelling, stiffness, and tenderness. Joint replacement can reduce pain, restore range of motion, better align the bones, and enhance hand function. This procedure is just like a hip or knee replacement but on a much smaller scale. The replacements are made from silicone, ceramics, or metal.


Recovery times will vary depending on the nature of the treatment undergone. Most clients undergoing surgery are seen at 1-2 weeks post-op for evaluation by their surgeon and their certified hand therapist. Additional appointments are scheduled at 4 weeks, 2 months, and as needed after that. Patients can expect to restrict their activities for around 3 months in order to heal optimally.

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