Hand-Procedures-Banner.jpg

BASAL THUMB ARTHRITIS

Arthritis of the basal joint of the thumb is common in women and rather less common in men

BASAL THUMB ARTHRITIS

The universal joint at the base of the thumb, between the metacarpal and trapezium bones, often becomes arthritic as people get older. It is osteoarthritis, which is loss of the smooth cartilage surface covering the ends of the bones in the joints. The cartilage becomes thin and rough, and the bone ends can rub together. Osteoarthritis can develop at any age, but usually appears after the age of 45. It may run in families, and it sometimes follows a fracture involving the joint many years before. 

Arthritis of the basal joint of the thumb is common in women and rather less common in men. X-rays show it is present in about 25% of women over the age of 55, but many people with arthritis of this joint have no significant pain.

Symptoms & Causes

Symptoms

  • Pain at the base of the thumb, aggravated by thumb use.
  • Tenderness if you press on the base of the thumb.
  • Difficulty with tasks such as opening jars, turning a key in the lock etc.
  • Stiffness of the thumb and some loss of ability to open the thumb away from the hand.
  • In advanced cases, there is a bump at the base of the thumb and the middle thumb joint may hyperextend, giving a zigzag appearance.

Causes

Arthritis is a common condition that causes pain and inflammation in a joint.

In the UK, around 10 million people have arthritis. It affects people of all ages, including children.

Treatment

Treatment

The options for treatment include: 

  • Avoiding activities that cause pain, if possible.
  • Analgesic and/or anti-inflammatory medication. A pharmacist or your family doctor can advise. 
  • Using a splint to support the thumb and wrist. Rigid splints (metal or plastic) are effective but make thumb use difficult. A flexible neoprene rubber support is more practicable.
  • Steroid injection improves pain in many cases, though the effect may wear off over time. The risks of injection are small, but it very occasionally causes some thinning or colour change in the skin at the site of injection. Improvement may occur within a few days of injection, but often takes several weeks to be effective. The injection can be repeated if needed.
  • Surgery is a last resort, as the symptoms often stabilise over the long term and can be controlled by the non-surgical treatments above. There are various operations that can be performed to treat this condition. These are listed in the next section:
Surgical Options

Surgical Options

  • Osteotomy, which means cutting and realigning the metacarpal bone next to the arthritic joint.
  • Removal of the trapezium which is removal of the bone at the bottom of the thumb, which forms one surface of the arthritic joint, sometimes combined with reconstruction of the ligaments.
  • Fusion of the joint, so that it no longer moves. . 
  • Joint replacement, as in a hip replacement. 
  • Denervation, which means cutting small nerve branches that transmit pain from the arthritic joint. 
  • Removal of the trapezium is the most commonly performed operation. 
Consultations & Clinic Info

Consultations, Clinics, Directions and Accommodation

Live outside Hull & East Yorkshire? Here's some useful information if you need to travel and stay over as part of your Basal thumb arthritis surgery procedure.

Mr Riaz's patient support team will arrange with you which of the three main (Hull, Grimsby & Doncaster) clinics your consultation and cosmetic surgery procedure will take place. We have detailed below useful information for each of the locations, which will assist you during your cosmetic surgery journey.

Mr Riaz's Patient Support team can be contacted during office hours on 01482 841228 & 01482 841229.


Spire Hospital

Lowfield Road
Anlaby
Hull & East Riding
HU10 7AZ
01482 841228

Useful Info
About Spire Hospital
Traveling directions by Car or Train
Local Accommodation

St Hugh's Hospital

St Hugh's Hospital
Peaks Lane
Grimsby
DN32 9RP
01472 898725

Useful Info
About St Hugh's Hospital
Traveling directions by Car or Train
Local Accommodation

Park Hill Hospital

Thorne Road
Doncaster
South Yorkshire
DN2 5TH
01302 553355

Useful Info
About Park Hill Hospital
Traveling directions by Car or Train
Local Accommodation

 

Related Hand Procedures

carpal tunnel syndrome (cts)

Carpal tunnel syndrome (cts) is a common condition that causes a tingling sensation, numbness, and sometimes pain in the hand and fingers.

cubital tunnel syndrome

Cubital tunnel syndrome is compression or irritation of the ulnar nerve in a tunnel on the inside of the elbow (where your 'funny bone' is).

dupuytren's disease

Dupuytren’s disease (also referred to as dupuytren's contracture) is a common condition that usually arises in middle age or later and is more common in men than women.

ganglion cysts

Ganglion (mucous) cysts are the commonest type of swelling in the hand and wrist.

trigger finger / thumb

Trigger finger is a painful condition in which a finger or thumb clicks or locks as it is bent towards the palm.


Quick Links