Basal thumb arthritis is a type of osteoarthritis affecting the base of the thumb at the carpometacarpal joint. This joint consists of the articulation of a wrist bone called the trapezium with the first metacarpal bone, which forms the base of the thumb. The carpometacarpal joint is extremely mobile allowing the pivoting and swiveling motions of the thumb so essential for manipulation of the hand. This oft-used joint can become unstable and wear out over time.
Basal Joint Arthritis: How Therapy Can Help Thumb Pain
Losing Your Grip? How to Treat Your Thumb Arthritis – Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic
During a physical exam, your doctor will ask about your symptoms and look for noticeable swelling or lumps on your joints. Your doctor might hold your joint while moving your thumb, with pressure, against your wrist bone. If this movement produces a grinding sound, or causes pain or a gritty feeling, the cartilage has likely worn down, and the bones are rubbing against each other. In the early stages of thumb arthritis, treatment usually involves a combination of non-surgical therapies. If your thumb arthritis is severe, surgery might be necessary. A splint can support your joint and limit the movement of your thumb and wrist.
5 Main Causes You Must Know About Thumb Joint Pain
Thumb arthritis occurs when the cartilage in the carpometacarpal CMC joint wears away. Thumb arthritis is common with aging and occurs when cartilage wears away from the ends of the bones that form the joint at the base of your thumb — also known as the carpometacarpal CMC joint. Thumb arthritis can cause severe pain, swelling, and decreased strength and range of motion, making it difficult to do simple tasks, such as turning doorknobs and opening jars. Treatment generally involves a combination of medication and splints.
Arthritis at the base of the thumb is one of the most common locations and can be very disabling. Because the strength and motion of the thumb is required for nearly every activity - whether writing, opening a jar, or buttoning a shirt - pain from this condition may impede the most basic everyday tasks. Like other forms of osteoarthritis , basal thumb arthritis develops when cartilage on the surfaces of the bones that meet at the joint wears away and the metacarpal bone begins to slip out of the joint.