Basilar thumb arthritis or arthritis at the base of the thumb can be a painful condition. It is more common in women and people who have laxity in their ligaments or are “double-jointed”.
The 1st CMC joint or basilar thumb joint is considered the most important joint in the hand because it is needed for so many functions in the hand.
Arthritis in the base of the thumb means that the cartilage in the joint is worn down or damaged and bone spurs can grow. This can be very painful and limit your ability to open jars, grip, or shake hands.
Basilar thumb arthritis is diagnosed with X-ray and physical examination where the joint is manually stressed to see how it responds.
Conservative treatment may include a splint, anti-inflammatory medications, or an injection of steroids.
If that does not help, surgery may be needed. If addressed early, arthroscopy may be used to clean out debris and bone spurs. If the arthritis is advanced, a Basilar Thumb Arthroplasty or CMC arthroplasty may be needed.
Dr. Garry Kitay of the Jacksonville Orthopaedic Insititute explains how arthroplasty allows him to remove the damaged joint surfaces and use a tendon as a cushion in the joint.
Recovery after CMC or Basilar Thumb arthroplasty takes about 12 weeks.
If you have pain at the base of the thumb, Dr. Kitay and the team at JOI can help. Dr. Garry Kitay is a board-certified Orthopedic Surgeon, specializing in the hand, wrist, elbow, and shoulder. He is also the official orthopedic hand surgical consultant for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Garry Kitay, call 904-JOI-2000 or go to JOIONLINE.NET.