Do you have a deep aching pain at the base of your thumbs? Does the pain worsen with activities such as opening jars, turning door knobs or keys? These are all symptoms of carpometacarpal (CMC) joint or basal joint arthritis. Most patients simply complain of pain in the thumbs which limits their ability to perform simple everyday tasks and come to us asking for relief.
This type of arthritis is most common in women and usually begins after age 40. The cause is unknown but past injuries such as fractures or sprains may increase the chances of developing basal joint arthritis at a younger age.
The location of the pain and the appearance of the thumb are both good indicators when we evaluate a patient for arthritis. We also use X-ray to help confirm the diagnosis.
What you really want to know is; what are my treatment options? What can be done to stop or reduce the pain? Less severe arthritis will often respond to non-surgical care. Anti-inflammatory medications, some types of splinting and corticosteroid injections are frequently used to help alleviate the pain. However, patients with more advanced arthritis or those who do not respond to the non-surgical treatments may be candidates for surgical treatment.
Dr. Rothenberg is now evaluating an advanced surgical technique called CMC Arthroplasty with Replacement Cartilage. In more simple terms, this technique replaces the worn out cartilage at the base of the thumb with new cartilage. This technique has been very successful in alleviating the pain in a number of patients.
If you are experiencing pain in your thumbs or hands call us today 281-998-9000.