Hands and wrists are the most common location for deformities caused by
rheumatoid arthritis. As joint damage progresses, the joints between the hand
and fingers (metacarpophalangeal joints—MCPs) swell and move upward (dorsal
subluxation). The tendons over the joints slip and cause the fingers to bend
toward the little finger (ulnar drift). In addition, muscles in the hand thin
and weaken, creating valleys between the long tendons.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerNancy Ann Shadick, MD, MPH - Internal Medicine, Rheumatology