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Basal Joint Thumb Arthritis

The basal joint is the joint which allows you to move your thumb into all kinds of positions so that you can pick things up, button clothing, open lids and do many such activities. When this joint at the base of your thumb develops arthritis, causing severe pain and hindering

functionality it is known as Basal Joint Arthritis (disease which attacks or destroys a joint). In terms of Head, Shoulder and Hand Division, MAX Saket & Gurgaon, former Dr Gupta, Director ‘The Hand & Upper Extremity Surgery’ at The Medanta Institute of Bone & Joint Disease, Gurgaon, “Basal joint arthritis is a degenerative disease that wears down the cartilage (protective covering that surrounds the ends of the bones and allows them to glide and move smoothly) surrounding the joint. Without the cartilage, the bone ends rub against each other causing damage to both bones and the joint.

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Arthritis at the base of the thumb is one of the most common locations and thus can be very disabling and pain from this condition may impede the most basic everyday tasks. Thus it needs to be treated diligently and efficiently.

Dr Gupta with an experience of 20 years and over 18000 successful surgeries to his credit coherently emphasizes that women should be extremely careful regarding this arthritis. He stresses that though the cause of this form of arthritis is unknown in most cases but usually some past injury, fracture or severe sprain or joint laxity increases the chance of developing this form of arthritis. Though it can affect any age and gender, women above 40 are usually the targets of this disease.

The most common symptom of thumb basal joint arthritis is a deep, aching pain at the base of the thumb. It often worsens with activities that involve pinch, including opening jars, turning door knobs or keys and writing. As the disease progresses, patients experience pain at rest and at night and often start to lose their pinch and strength in their grip, stresses Dr Vikas, an eminent surgeon who has been the first to bring many international techniques of treating complex hand and upper extremity problems in India.

The patient should immediately consult our medical team >> click here for appointment

For relief, your surgeon initially may suggest anti-inflammatory medications, ice, heat, cortisone injections, thumb exercises, nutritional supplements and even splints to support thumb during activities.

But if you do not respond to non-surgical treatment then your advanced arthritis will have to be treated by surgical techniques which might include removal of arthritic bone and joint reconstruction, bone fusion or realignment techniques.

Surgeons adopt the mode of treatment that is best applicable to the patient after complete appraisal and as regards surgery, Dr. Gupta says, “A variety of surgical techniques are available that can successfully reduce or eliminate pain and improve thumb position and

function but the degree of function and strength that is restored varies.”

FAQ – Basal Thumb Arthriti

What is Basal Thumb Arthritis?

The thumb easily moves in all directions with the help of basal joint which lies at the base of the thumb. When the basal joint of the thumb is marred by Arthritis it is known as Basal Thumb Arthritis.

What is Arthritis?
What factors cause Basal Thumb Arthritis?
What are its symptoms?
Which factors increase the risk of thumb Arthritis?
Which tests are conducted to diagnosis it?
How is it treated?

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