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What To Do For Thumb Arthritis

Stage 2 Of Thumb Arthritis

Thumb Arthritis…What to do when facing thumb surgery.

As your arthritis progresses, you may feel pain even when you are doing light activities or simply relaxing. You may also experience pain and tenderness when you touch the area around the joint of your thumb. At this point, you may also notice the base of your thumb sticking out and looking as though it is a little ledge or step. Now if there were any doubt before that you have CMC arthritis, your thumb is definitely telling you otherwise.

How Is Basal Thumb Arthritis Treated

If your doctor diagnoses you with early-stage basal thumb arthritis, he or she may recommend conservative treatment that includes:

  • Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen
  • Splinting, which restricts movement and allows the joint to heal
  • Activity modification, such as avoiding certain repetitive movements or refraining from pinching small objects

If the pain doesnt improve with conservative treatment or worsens over time, your doctor may recommend a steroid injection into the joint. Steroid injections cant be repeated indefinitely, but may provide pain relief for several months. If steroid injections are no longer effective, your doctor may recommend basal thumb surgery.

What You Can Do

  • Write down your symptoms, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason why you scheduled the appointment.
  • Write down your key medical information, including other conditions and any history of injury to the painful joint.
  • Write down key personal information, including any major changes or stressors in your life.
  • Make a list of all your medications, vitamins or supplements.
  • Ask a relative or friend to accompany you, to help you remember what the doctor says.
  • Write down questions to ask your doctor.

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Basal Joint Arthritis Causes And Risk Factors

Wear and tear cause basal joint arthritis, so its most common among adults over the age of 40, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Its a common condition, but certain people are more at risk of developing basal joint arthritis. Jobs and activities that require repetitive hand movement, such as factory work and sewing, wear the thumb cartilage down quicker. Women are more prone to thumb arthritis than men, partially because women historically do more work around the house that requires those small joints, says Folashade Alade, MD, a rheumatologist for Piedmont Physicians Group in Georgia.

Injuries to the area can also make the hand more vulnerable to thumb arthritis later in life. When you have any trauma, it changes the actual architecture of the joint, says Dr. Khattri. Over time, that could contribute to the cartilage wearing down.

How Long Does It Take To Recover From Hand Surgery

What is CMC joint or thumb arthritis?

Recovery time depends on many factors, including the severity of your condition, type of surgery you had, the skill of your surgeon and your compliance with therapy. Most people can return to their activities about three months after joint reconstruction surgery. Your team of caregivers can give you the best estimate of your particular recovery time.

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Arthritis In The Thumb Treatment

Here is a natural Arthritis in the Thumb Treatment that will relieve your thumb arthritis pain, and even reverse your arthritis if your joints have not yet fused:

  • Heal n Soothe Arthritis are systemic enzymes that break up the scar tissue in your joints that make them inflexible. They also repair damaged torn cartilage, bone spurs and remove excess junk coral and carbonate calcium deposits.
  • Pain Relief Cream for Arthritis gives you topical pain relief for the arthritis in the thumb that is hurting you. This is a very good natural pain reliever that works especially well for arthritis joint pain, back pain, neck pain and muscle pain.
  • The Best Joint Supplementis a powerful natural joint rebuilding supplement with hyaluronic acid for enhanced joint flexibility, hydrolyzed collagen peptides and natural anti-inflammatory nutrients like natural white willow bark extract, ionic sea minerals, Vitamin K2, Magnesium, and MSM. It has all the necessary natural nutrients, in the exact amount proven to restore joint mobility and stop joint pain and destruction. It is excellent for joint pain, and tendonitis as well as having a rejuvenating effect on your hair, skin and body tissues. Restores lost joint fluid for proper cushioning and flexibility, advanced joint collagen to resurface worn or damaged cartilage and nutrients to inhibit the COX-2 inflammatory response and give you real pain relief.
  • Arthritis Thumb Brace Ossur Foam Fit Arthritis Thumb Brace Allows pain relief and healing

If I Need Hand Surgery For Arthritis What Are My Options

Ligament reconstruction and tendon interposition is one of the most popular and effective surgical treatments for basal thumb arthritis because it eliminates pain and restores full thumb motion.

During an LRTI procedure, the hand surgeon removes the arthritic joint surfaces and replaces them with a cushion made of a small piece of tendon thats taken from your forearm through a tiny incision. This tendon helps keep the bones in your CMC joint separated so they dont rub together when you move your thumb.

Another treatment method for basal thumb arthritis is a minimally invasive CMC joint replacement, which replaces the damaged CMC joint with an artificial joint made of plastic or metal parts. An LRTI is considered a better solution than a CMC joint replacement because it uses tissue from your own body. Also, metal and plastic parts can wear out or fail, increasing the likelihood for another surgery.

Joint fusion is another treatment option for basal thumb arthritis. Although its effective at treating pain, its performed only in rare circumstances because it completely prevents your joint from moving.

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Nonsurgical Thumb Arthritis Treatments

The treatments for thumb arthritis include:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications: A simple anti-inflammatory medication is often a good first step in the treatment process. You should talk to your healthcare provider to discuss the safety of these medications, and the appropriate dose. Often, these medications can relieve symptoms of thumb arthritis.
  • Thumb abduction splints:A splint can rest the arthritic joint and relieve the inflammation associated with thumb arthritis. The splint should be worn during activities that aggravate your symptoms. The thumb abduction splint is the simplest brace to use for this purpose, but in patients with more severe symptoms, a more significant brace, like a thumb spica brace, is appropriate. The thumb spica brace is more supportive of the thumb but more awkward to use in your daily activities.
  • Cortisone injections: A cortisone injection places a powerful anti-inflammatory medication directly at the site of arthritis. This injection usually provides quick relief of symptoms, but the symptoms may return over time.

Losing Your Grip From Arthritis

What To Do For Thumb Arthritis and Wrist Pain

While your gender may predispose you to hand osteoarthritis, and in particular thumb arthritis, fractures or other injuries to the joint also may increase the likelihood of developing this condition. When osteoarthritis causes the cartilage to wear away, the shock and impact absorbing function of the cartilage is lost and the bones can rub against each other, causing stiffness and pain.

Symptoms that signal thumb arthritis include pain with activities that involve gripping or pinching, swelling and tenderness at the base of the thumb, and an aching discomfort after prolonged use. The joint also may appear enlarged or develop a bony prominence or bump over the joint, with limited motion.

An X-ray may show the severity of the osteoarthritis, but the x-ray findings do not necessarily correlate to the severity of symptoms, Dr. Shapiro says.

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What Can I Expect When Recovering From Hand Surgery

From surgery to complete recovery, surgical treatment for basal thumb arthritis takes about three months. After surgery, you will have to wear a thumb splint for 4-8 weeks, depending on what surgical procedure is used. Once youre done with the splint, a progressive physical therapy program helps you regain mobility and strength in your hand.

Call 1-888-847=8823 to schedule a consultation with a Virtua hand surgeon.

Treatments For Thumb Arthritistuesday 1 August 2017

Arthritis in the thumb is the most common form of arthritis that affects your hands. It normally occurs in the joint at the base of your thumb, where the thumb meets the trapezium bone in your wrist, known as the basal joint.

There are several types of arthritis and osteoarthritis, also known as wear and tear arthritis, that can affect your basal joint. This joint is used extensively in many tasks every day to allow you to pinch, pivot, and swivel your thumb. The pain caused by arthritis in the thumb can make simple tasks like opening a jar very difficult.

The prevalence of thumb arthritis increases with age and is greatest in postmenopausal women.

Symptoms of thumb arthritis

Common symptoms include:

Pain and loss of strength with gripping and pinching activities. Swollen, stiff and tender at the base of your thumb. An aching discomfort after using your thumb extensively. Development of a bump or bony prominence over the basal joint. Limited movement.

What causes thumb arthritis to happen?

The cartilage that covers the ends of your first metacarpal thumb bone and trapezium bone may deteriorate due to wear and tear causing their smooth surfaces to roughen. The bones then rub against each other and result in joint damage and sometimes the growth of new bone along the sides of these bones, known as bone spurs, which can produce bumps on your thumb joint.

How is thumb arthritis diagnosed?

Treatment options for thumb arthritis

– Non-surgical treatments

– Surgical treatments

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Tips On What To Look For In A Thumb Arthritis Brace

While it really does depend on which part of your thumb is affected and the severity of your arthritis- in general you should look for a brace that supports or immobilizes the thumb joint that hurt.

Looking for information on which thumb brace is right for you?

You may also consider having two braces available. One for daytime use and one for nighttime use. For daytime use, a brace that supports and protects your hand and thumb is recommended and for nighttime use consider a brace that provides rest to calm your symptoms.

Here are few tips on what to look for in a thumb arthritis brace based on which thumb joints hurt:

Basal Joint Arthritis Symptoms

swollen right thumb joints

Pain at the thumb is often the first basal joint arthritis symptom. The pain can occur in different forms. For some people, it will be a dull, constant ache in others it might be a sharp pain that only hits when you use the thumb, says Saakshi Khattri, MD, assistant professor of rheumatology and dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine in New York City. The pain is most likely to hit when you pinch or strain the basal joint, like when zipping a jacket or opening a jar, she says.

There could be swelling at the base of the thumb too, and people with basal joint arthritis might also notice their thumb loses mobility and gets weaker the longer theyve been dealing with the pain. People try to avoid doing certain motions that stress that joint, says Dr. Khattri. With time, what you see is wasting of the muscle at the base of the thumb.

Arthritis of the thumb can feel similar to other hand conditions. Doctors will need to rule out carpal tunnel syndrome and de Quervains tenosynovitis before settling on basal joint arthritis.

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What Causes Thumb Arthritis

The specific joints of the thumb include the carpal-metacarpal joint at the base of the thumb near the wrist, the metacarpal-phalangeal joint where the thumb leaves the hand, and the interphalangeal joint near the tip of the thumb. Any of these joints can be affected by a number of different forms of arthritis, each with different causes. Specific causes of thumb arthritis include:

How To Test For Thumb Arthritis

A simple way you can test for thumb arthritis at home is to touch the tip of your thumb to the tip of your index finger. When you complete this test you should see the shape of an O. If the shape looks more like a D that is an indication of thumb arthritis.

This O shape is indicative of no arthritis.

This D shape is indicative of thumb arthritis.

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What Is Basal Thumb Arthritis And What Causes It

Basal thumb arthritis is a condition that causes pain in the carpometacarpal joint located at the fleshy part of your thumb near your wrist. To explain, the ends of the bones in all your joints are covered with smooth cartilage. This cartilage allows bones to move easily and freely. When bones lose their cartilage cushioning, they begin to rub against each other. This causes friction that leads to joint damage.

Arthritis at the base of the thumb often is attributed to osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint condition that causes the cartilage within your CMC joint to wear away with everyday use. However, basal thumb arthritis also is caused by rheumatoid arthritis, a condition that causes joint swelling, or post-traumatic arthritis, a condition that sometimes follows a joint injury.

Basal thumb arthritis is common in women age 40 and older, but men also are affected. Prior injuries to the CMC joint or performing repetitive activities using your thumb also puts you at higher risk for basal thumb arthritis.

What Are The Symptoms Of Thumb Cmc Arthritis

Test for signs of thumb arthritis

The most common symptoms of thumb CMC arthritis are swelling, stiffness and pain. These symptoms can be aggravated by activities that require pinching and may eventually worsen to the point of causing pain even when at rest. In severe cases, the destruction of the joint leads to malalignment, and a prominence develops at the base of the thumb as the thumb joint moves out of position. Malalignment can also lead to limited motion and weakness.

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Other Possible Causes Of Hand Pain

Hand pain is also a sign of Dupuytrens contracture, a condition in which the tissue of the palm and fingers becomes thickened and tight, causing the fingers to curl inward. Its not clear why Dupuytrens contracture develops, though those who smoke, drink a lot of alcohol, and have seizures or diabetes are more vulnerable to developing it.

Your doctor will also consider whether your hand pain could be due to carpal tunnel syndrome, says Dr. Byram. RA can be a cause of carpal tunnel syndrome, so if we see someone who has carpal tunnel, well want to make sure they dont have RA. Carpal tunnel is a condition that occurs when one of the major nerves to the hand the median nerve is squeezed or compressed as it travels through the wrist, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Stage 3 Of Thumb Arthritis

In later stages, your thumb may look crooked. When the middle knuckle of your thumb is bent, and the end joint is hyperextended, it could be what is called a Boutonniere Deformity.

Another crooked position is called a Swan Neck deformity. Your middle knuckle is hyperextended and it may be difficult to move your thumb sideways. With time, the skin in the web of your hand can shrink, making it impossible to open your thumb away from your palm.

In late stages of thumb arthritis, your may actually feel less pain, but the strange position of your thumb makes it harder to use it and you may lose strength.

Is there anything I can do so I dont end up with Stage 2 or Stage 3 arthritis?

It would be really nice to be able to say if you take this pill, wear this brace, or do this exercise, your arthritis will not progress or it may even go away. Unfortunately for those with a family history of arthritis or those who just did not win the toss of the coin for long lived, healthy bones- the disease may progress despite the best care.

What you can do however, is learn to use your hands so they are less stressed, use tools/gadgets that help you with your daily activities and wear splints or braces that support your thumb joints.

Even at the very early stages of CMC arthritis, wearing a brace that applies light compression and support, can really help relieve pain and allow for better movement.

I cant wear a hard thumb brace and still do my work. Are there other options?

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What Outcome Can I Expect If I Have Arthritis In My Hands

There is no cure for arthritis. However, you can usually manage mild to moderate symptoms with a combination of medication and non-medication approaches. Surgery may be an option if other treatments fail or the arthritis in your hands is severe. Your healthcare provider will explain what outcome you can expect for your type and severity of arthritis, your age, other existing medical conditions and other factors.

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Hand and Wrist Arthritis

Over 1/3rd of women have arthritis of the thumb after menopause? Arthritis in the thumb is the second most common spot for arthritis Arthritis is one of the leading causes of pain and disability in Canada and THE leading cause of disability in women. So much of the research has been done on knee arthritis that there is surprisingly less about what to do about the thumb

We use our hands for so many things we do everyday from taking care of ourselves, driving a car, to showing emotion when we are telling a really great story . When we are struck by arthritis in one of the most commonly used joints in our body, it sucks! Arthritis in the hand, especially the thumb, can prevent us from doing a lot of our day to day activities and we rely on our hands a lot! Over 25% of all of our activities use our thumbs and our thumb is necessary for 40% of the things we do with our hands.

Pain in the bottom portion of the thumb that comes on gradually and gets worse over time are the hallmark signs of arthritis. Other causes of thumb pain can be rheumatoid arthritis , gout or infections. In general, these other sources of thumb pain tend to come on more suddenly. An X-ray can be ordered by your doctor to see if arthritis is the culprit for your thumb pain and a rehab professional or doctor should be consulted before making a diagnosis.

Passive range of motion under axial load is a sensitive way to test for thumb OA. Finkelsteins will also commonly be positive

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