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Hi I have base thumb arthritis and I am not sure do I have to do surgery or not?

By Anonymous May 29, 2012 - 1:32pm
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Hello Anonymous,

Thumb arthritis, which is also referred to as basal joint arthritis, occurs when the joint at your wrist and the base of your thumb, known as the carpometacarpal joint, develops osteoarthritis.

the focus of treatment is to reduce pain, maintain or improve joint movement and minimize disability.

In the early stages, self-care measures are recommended. These include range-of motion exercises. The application of a heating pad or using ice packs or alternating applications of heat and cold are recommendations to relieve swelling, pain and to soothe joints.

The use of a splint can support your joint and limit the movement of your thumb and wrist. It decreases pain, encourages proper positioning and rests the joint.

Acetaminophen, nonsteriodal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs can relieve the joint pain when taken on a regular basis.

When the above measures are not effective, a physician may recommend the injection of a long-acting corticosteroid into the basal joint. These injections are only a temporary solution. Thumb arthritis is a progressive and degenerative disease.

If you do not respond self-care treatments, exercise or medication or if your ability to use your thumb is significantly compromised, your physician may recommend a surgical procedure called arthroscopy.

Based on what is discovered during arthroscopy, your history, physical exam and imaging studies, there are four surgical treatment options.

These are joint fusion or arthrodesis, osteotomy, trapeziectomy or joint replacement or arthroplasty.

Your treatment options are dependent upon the severity of your condition. Discuss all treatment options with your physician and find which is best for you.

Wishing you good health,

May 29, 2012 - 4:28pm
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