What is thumb base arthritis?
Like arthritis anywhere else in the body, the cartilage surface of the thumb joint wears off over time. Bone grinds against bone causing inflammation and pain. 1 in 4 women over the age of 55 has thumb arthritis. (See thumb base arthritis X-ray)
- Pain at the base of the thumb, worse at the end of the day
- See your Hand Surgeon
- Many people live with thumb arthritis without even knowing they have it. Patients who are symptomatic are usually treated with splinting, anti-inflamatory medication, and behavior modification first.
- Steroid injections can be used to treat the symptoms of arthritis but it’s usually not a long-term solution.
- Involves removing the arthritic bone (ie the trapezium). The procedure can be done through the open approach or through a scope. (See trapeziectomy photo)
- After removing the bone, there are many techniques to keep the space open. Dr. Zhang uses one of the latest techniques called suture suspension arthroplasty. (See suture button suspension arthroplasty photo)
- After surgery, the patients experience minimum down time, with removing splinting and begin therapy after only two weeks. (See 6 month result after suture button suspension arthroplasty)