Basal joint arthritis is a degenerative process that takes place at the base of your thumb.
Basal joint arthritis is a degenerative process that takes place at the base of your thumb. It occurs when the cartilage in your thumb joint wears down. Eventually, the base of the first metacarpal bone and the trapezium, a small carpal (wrist) bone beneath the thumb, begin to rub against each other. This is the origin of your pain which may be felt as an aching, stabbing, or intermittent pain. It is usually exacerbated by certain activities such as opening jars, turning car keys, or opening doors. Your thumb may feel weak and have decreased range of motion. This condition usually develops over time, but in some cases it may first be noticed after trauma or injury. It can be diagnosed through careful examination of the hands and thumbs as well as via x-rays which are helpful in obtaining a definitive diagnosis and gives your physician a better idea of how far the arthritis has progressed. Treatment of basal joint arthritis depends on the patient, the severity of symptoms, and the stage of the disease process. Usually, initial treatment is conservative and consists of bracing and cortisone injections. Our office allows us to image your hand through fluoroscopy to ensure that the cortisone is injected into the exact location of your arthritis. If symptoms persist or worsen over time you may be a candidate for surgery. You can read more on surgical intervention by visiting our “Procedures” page and clicking on “Basal Joint Arthroplasty”.
Every patient receives an in-depth consultation to devise a treatment plan that is right for their problem. Our specialists prefer non-operative and non-invasive treatments whenever possible, including physical therapy, medications, and/or injections. When we require surgery, we will then use minimally invasive surgical techniques to fix your problem, whether it is fixing a broken bone or repairing a tendon. Our goal is always to get you back to living your life normally as soon as possible.