Where is the basal joint of the thumb?

The basal joint is where the metacarpal bone of the thumb meets the trapezium bone in the wrist. This condition can be very disabling because use of the thumb is necessary for nearly every manual, from writing to opening a jar to buttoning a shirt.

What is a basal thumb?

Basal thumb arthritis is a type of osteoarthritis affecting the base of the thumb at the carpometacarpal joint. This joint consists of the articulation of a wrist bone called the trapezium with the first metacarpal bone, which forms the base of the thumb.

How do you treat basal thumb pain?

Non-surgical Options for Thumb Arthritis
For basal joint arthritis, the first line of treatment is generally anti-inflammatory medications and bracing. A brace leaves your wrist free but immobilizes the bottom of your thumb, only allowing the last joint in your thumb to move.

What does basal thumb arthritis feel like?

Swelling, stiffness and tenderness at the base of your thumb. Decreased strength when pinching or grasping objects. Decreased range of motion. Enlarged or bony appearance of the joint at the base of your thumb.

What type of joint is the thumb basal joint?

The thumb basal joint, also known as the carpometacarpal (CMC) joint, is a specialized saddle-shaped joint that is formed by a small wrist bone (trapezium) and the first of the three bones in the thumb (metacarpal).

What causes basal thumb joint pain?

What causes basal joint arthritis? Like all other forms of osteoarthritis, basal thumb arthritis develops when the cartilage between the bones of the joint wears away. In basal joint arthritis, the cartilage degeneration causes the metacarpal bone to slip out of its joint with the wrist.

Is Basal thumb arthritis painful?

Over time, the cartilage at the base of the thumb could break down and become inflamed, starting to show signs of a condition called basal joint arthritis: arthritis of the thumb. The condition is painful and can make everyday activities harder.

How painful is basal joint arthritis?

You’re most likely to feel it at the base of your thumb as you try to grip, pinch, or clasp something between the thumb and index fingers. You might also feel a pain when you try to apply mild force, such as when you twist a key in a lock, turn a door handle, or snap your fingers.

How is basal joint arthritis diagnosed?

Orthopedic surgeons diagnose basal thumb arthritis based on the history and physical examination that includes evaluation of pinch strength between the thumb and index finger. The surgeon also checks to see whether there is arthritis in any of the adjacent joints by X-ray.

How long does it take to recover from basal thumb surgery?

Three to 4 weeks after the procedure, the cast is removed and active range-of-motion therapy begins. Strengthening begins around 6 to 8 weeks after surgery. The majority of patients return to most activities by 3 months after surgery. Full recovery of normal activities may require up to 6 months.

How do you fix basal arthritis?

While there is no cure for basal joint arthritis, there are simple treatments that effectively relieve the symptoms in many individuals. These treatments, including splints, heat and cold, joint protection techniques, and gentle motion, can all be used independently following instruction by a therapist.

Can Basal thumb arthritis cause carpal tunnel?

Other conditions may also be associated with basal thumb arthritis, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, scaphotrapezial arthrosis, trigger digits, MCP hyperextension and tenosynovitis of the wrist.

What can be done for arthritis in the base of the thumb?

In its early stages, arthritis at the base of the thumb will respond to nonsurgical treatment. Ice the joint for 5 to 15 minutes several times a day. Take an anti-inflammatory medication, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, to help reduce inflammation and swelling.

Does thumb arthritis go away?

Outlook. While there is no cure for arthritis in your thumb, there are various simple treatments that can help relieve symptoms for many people. Talk with a doctor or physical therapist about which treatments might work best for you. A CRP test may be used to diagnose inflammatory autoimmune diseases.

What causes thumb arthritis to flare up?

The most common triggers of an OA flare are overdoing an activity or trauma to the joint. Other triggers can include bone spurs, stress, repetitive motions, cold weather, a change in barometric pressure, an infection or weight gain.

Does massage help thumb arthritis?

Studies have shown that having a professional hand massage just once a week, and doing self-massage once a day, may help reduce the pain associated with many conditions, including arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and neuropathy.

Can you rub out arthritis?

Any type of full-body massage therapy that involves moderate pressure, including self-massage, should help relieve arthritis pain and ease tension, she says. Before getting any type of massage, consult your doctor to make sure massage is safe for your arthritis and any other health conditions you may have.

Is heat or ice better for arthritic hands?

For an acute injury, such as a pulled muscle or injured tendon, the usual recommendation is to start by applying ice to reduce inflammation and dull pain. Once inflammation has gone down, heat can be used to ease stiffness. For a chronic pain condition, such as osteoarthritis, heat seems to work best.