Arthritis of Thumb
The thumb is an important part of the hand that allows us to grip objects, and perform many daily tasks. The thumb joint suffers from wear and tear over time which may lead to painful degenerative arthritis that requires surgery as it progresses.
The three common types of arthritis are degenerative arthritis, also known as osteoarthritis, which degrades the cartilage and causes the joint to wear out slowly over the years. Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful inflammatory disease that damages the synovial membrane which lines the joint and keeps the cartilage healthy. Post-traumatic arthritis occurs when an injury or fracture damages the cartilage and initiates a process of degeneration and inflammation.
Arthritis in the thumb and hand can affect people of all ages. Osteoarthritis is more common in women and may run in families. Rheumatoid arthritis can start at any age and is usually accompanied by pain in joints throughout the body. Post-traumatic arthritis can occur in anyone after an injury.
All types of arthritis have symptoms of pain, inflammation and stiffness. Other symptoms include difficulty gripping objects and loss of motion in the joint. Osteoarthritis may cause the thumb joint to loosen and bend back too far (hyperextension). Rheumatoid arthritis may cause deformities of the thumb, fingers or wrist.
If you think you are experiencing arthritis pain in your thumb or hands, schedule an appointment with one of the hand subspecialists at Lancaster Orthopedic Group to discuss the best treatments for reducing your pain, restoring function and preventing further damage.
Based on the severity of your symptoms, there are a variety of non-surgical options for treating arthritis of the thumb and hand. If your physician determines that surgery is necessary, the options include joint reconstruction, joint fusion and joint replacement.