Erosive osteoarthritis

Case contributed by Dr Matt Skalski


Hand pain.

Patient Data

Age: 70 years
Gender: Female

Extensive erosive changes and alignment abnormalities are observed along the articular surfaces of the 2nd through 5th PIP and DIP joints bilaterally, as well as at the 1st IP, MCP and carpometacarpal joints bilaterally. These erosive changes assume a gull wing appearance. The alignment abnormalities involving the 1st digits resemble a hitchhiker's thumb. There are no significant erosive changes involving the radiocarpal or intercapral joints, and the 2nd-5th MCP joints are also spared. 

Case Discussion

The findings in this case are classic for erosive osteoarthritis (also referred to as primary osteoarthritis), with a distal distribution of central articular erosions leading to a gull wing appearance, sparing the wrists and MCP's. The patient's age and sex in this case are also characteristic for this condition. 

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