Osteoarthritis in the basal joint of the Thumb

 

Read some quick facts about Osteoarthritis in the basal joint of the thumb and its possible causes, symptoms and treatment.

WHAT IS OSTEOARTHRITIS?

Osteoarthritis is when the cartilage is loosening/degenerating and its quality gets gradually worse and finally it disappears partly or completely. The defective cartilage causes an uneven load that makes the joint unstable. The basal joint of the thumb is particularly exposed to osteoarthritis especially among women over 40.

WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE CAUSES?

  • Heredity
  • Previous injury
  • Long term misaligned loading

SYMPTOMS OF OSTEOARTHRITIS

  • Local pain in and around the joint
  • Pain in loading and motion may increase over the years, intense pain may appear
  • Resting pain
  • The basal joint may be swollen, warm and sore from contact and pressure
  • Decreasing in grip strength

TREATMENT

  • A splint or an elastic thumb brace
  • A night splint to counteract malposition
  • Ergonomic advice
  • Technical devices
  • Physiotherapy with daily training of active range of motion (ROM), strength and coordination
  • Injection of cortisone may sometimes relieve the pain

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