Enlarged finger joints may be linked to knee diseases

Heberden’s nodes (HNs) are bony enlargements of the finger joints that are readily detectable in a routine physical exam and are considered hallmarks of osteoarthritis.

In a new study, researchers found that the presence of HNs may also indicate structural damage associated with knee osteoarthritis.

In the study of 395 patients with HN and 188 without, there were significant links between the presence of HN and imaging measures of knee osteoarthritis.

The authors noted that additional studies are needed to better understand the mechanisms behind the link between HN and knee osteoarthritis.

They suggest the presence of Heberden’s nodes in a physical examination is associated with a distinct pattern of worsening of osteoarthritis-related structural damage in the knee joint.

These exploratory results have motivated us to initiate more focused investigations to further characterize the nodal osteoarthritis phenotype and tailor specific treatments for patients in future trials.

The leading author is Dr. Arya Haj-Mirzaian of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

The senior author Dr. Shadpour Demehri.

The study is published in Arthritis & Rheumatology.

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Source: Arthritis & Rheumatology.