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What is Thumb Arthritis?
Arthritis is a joint disorder that causes inflammation of one or more joints. Thumb arthritis is common in those who are older. This condition occurs when the worn cartilage separates from the bone that makes up the thumb joint, also called the carpometacarpal joint (CMC).
Under normal circumstances, cartilage protects the ends of the bones and acts as a cushion to reduce friction between bones. When cartilage is damaged due to arthritis in the saddle joint, the bones then rub against each other and cause damage to the joint. This damage can also cause new bone to grow on the side of the pre-existing bone, which will eventually form a lump in the joint of the thumb.
Thumb joint arthritis makes it difficult for sufferers to make simple movements, such as opening a jar or turning a doorknob. This is because the saddle-thumb joint arthritis can cause swelling, pain, and reduced strength and area of movement of the thumb.
Thumb Arthritis Symptoms
Pain in the bottom of the thumb is the first and main symptom of arthritis in the saddle joint of the thumb. This pain occurs especially when the patient holds, grasps, or pinches an object. Apart from pain, sufferers can also feel swelling and stiffness at the base of the thumb. The bone at the base of the thumb can also appear to be enlarged, as the area of movement and the power to move objects is reduced.
There are several risk factors that can increase a person’s chances of developing thumb arthritis, namely: Female gender. Obesity. Age over 40 years. History of joint injuries, such as sprains or bones Genetic health problems, such as abnormalities in joint formation or weak connective tissue in joints. The habit of pressing the thumb joint continuously in their daily activities. Diseases that change the structure and function of cartilage, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Thumb Arthritis Treatments
According Thumb Arthritis Specialist, thumb arthritis treatments include:
Thumb Arthritis Medications
Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs can be taken to reduce pain and in more severe cases the doctor may give you a corticosteroid injection to relieve the swelling.
Thumb Arthritis Splint
The thumb arthritis splint plays a role in limiting the movement of the wrist and thumb, as well as supporting the joints, with the aim of reducing pain, resting the joints, and helping to return the joints to their proper position.
Thumb Arthritis Cold and warm compress
Cold and warm compress Giving a cold compress alternated with a warm compress for 10-15 minutes can help reduce swelling and pain. This cold compress can be applied several times a day.
Thumb Arthritis Injection
If pain relievers and a splint aren’t effective, your doctor might recommend injecting a long-acting corticosteroid into your thumb joint. Corticosteroid injections can offer temporary pain relief and reduce inflammation.
Thumb Arthritis Surgery
Thumb Arthritis Surgery include joint replacement (arthroplasty), joint fusion (arthrodesis), repositioning of the bones that support the joints (osteotomy), and removal of the bones in the saddle joint of the thumb (trapeziectomy). The splint or cast should be worn postoperatively for at least six weeks to aid in the healing process. In addition, physiotherapy is also necessary to restore the strength and movement of the hands to normal.