Dr. Steinmann shares how a woman with thumb arthritis can ease her pain.
As far as oral treatment, we want to be careful about giving narcotic pain medicine, for example. If someone needs that level of pain medicine, and I have some patients that come to me on narcotics, I think that’s a little bit extreme to be taking that strong of a type of medicine.
So if you have been prescribed narcotic pain medicine by your primary care doctor for a thumb arthritis you might want to talk to an orthopedic surgeon who has a little bit more experience in that diagnosis, but primarily we kind of limit things over-the-counter anti-inflammatories and there are many on the market that can help decrease the pain of the thumb.
And then the next step up beyond that being potentially an injection of the thumb itself. A lot of patients come to me with significant arthritis already in place. They have already had an injection. So I don’t inject every patient. It can be a little painful to try to inject the thumb joint in some patients, so I don’t use that on every patient that we see. Some patients you can tell would benefit primarily from an operative treatment.
About Dr. Steinmann, M.D.:
Dr. Scott P. Steinmann, M.D., is on orthopedic surgery at the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center in Minnesota. Dr. Steinmann received his medical training from Cornell University Medical College in New York, completed his residency in orthopedics at New York Orthopedic Hospital and completed a fellowships focusing on the shoulder and hand surgery from Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center and Mayo Graduate School of Medicine respectively.
Visit Dr. Steinmann at Mayo Clinic