Thumb Arthritis

The basal joint of the thumb is a common place to develop symptomatic arthritis, especially in women, although it can occur in men too. Thumb arthritis can cause significant pain with turning doorknobs, pinching or gripping narrow objects, or opening cans. Treatment typically begins with nonoperative pain-relieving measures. However, it may eventually involve surgical excision of the painful joint, followed by reconstruction and resuspension with your own tissue.


How is thumb arthritis performed?

Thumb joint arthritis can occur in any joint of the thumb, but chances are greatest to have it in the base of the thumb, where the finger meets the wrist. This can be incredibly limiting to your activities and hobbies, from affecting your ability to cook for your family or driving them around in the car.

We begin with nonoperative treatment modalities first, including steroid injections and as needed splinting. After that we address the thumb joint with a predictable, reliable procedure. Dr. Tannan performs trapeziectomy with abductor pollicis longus suspensionplasty. We do not place any pins or any hardware in your body for this operation. We protect you with a custom-made splint on your thumb and wrist in the initial postoperative period after thumb arthritis surgery.


What is recovery like after thumb arthritis surgery?

Recovery time is 6 weeks to get back your motion at the thumb joint, and the strengthening process takes 6 – 8 weeks following that with hand therapy.


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