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Thumb Arthritis

What is Thumb Arthritis?

Arthritis is a condition where the smooth cartilage lining of the two bone ends that make a joint becomes worn and damaged. The two bones no longer glide smoothly over each other and instead, when they rub together it can cause pain. Over time bone spurs can form around the joint as part of the arthritis process. These spurs can physically prevent the joint from moving a normal amount. The joint pain and the bone spurs together can result in the affected joint losing most—if not all—of its normal movement.

Symptoms of Thumb Arthritis

Thumb Arthritis usually affects the joints at the base of the thumb. It is very common to have some element of arthritis in this region, but not every person with thumb arthritis will have symptoms. People with symptomatic thumb arthritis can feel pain in the base of the palm, near the outside of the wrist. They can have particular difficulty opening jars and turning door handles because of pain. In severe cases, the joint at the base of the thumb becomes fixed, making it difficult to move the thumb away from the index finger. This can lead to an overload of the joints nearby as they overstretch to compensate. 

Treatment for Thumb Arthritis

Thumb arthritis can be managed very effectively with splints and injections. However, patients that still have significant symptoms despite these treatments may benefit from thumb arthritis surgery