Arthritis, an inflammatory condition of joints and the soft tissue that surrounds them, occurs commonly in the hand and wrist. Its hallmarks are pain and loss of function. Arthritis in the basilar joint of the thumb is more common in women than in men and usually starts after age 40. In this condition, the cartilage covering the ends of the bones wears away causing bones to rub against each other. Previous injury may increase the probability of developing arthritis in this area. Symptoms usually appear in activities that involve twisting objects with the thumb and forefinger such as opening doors or jars and turning keys. This type of arthritis may also be affected by changes in weather and humidity. Strength in the joint decreases, and swelling occurs as movement becomes more limited. Pressure applied to the joint may be painful. When basilar joint arthritis is discovered early, response to non-surgical intervention is usually positive. Medication, placement of a splint and limiting movement of the joint may bring great improvement. Cases of greater severity may require surgery. A qualified surgeon can determine diagnosis and proper treatment on an individual basis.

Contact us for a brochure on Arthritis of the Base of the Thumb. The surgeons and staff at The Face & Body Center are available to discuss any questions you may have by calling 866-939-4999 or 939-9999 in the Jackson Metro Area.