Thumb arthritis is the most common form of osteoarthritis affecting the hand. Also called basal joint arthritis, thumb arthritis occurs when the cushioning cartilage wears away from the adjoining ends of the bones that form your thumb joint (carpometacarpal joint).
Thumb arthritis can cause severe hand pain, swelling, and decreased strength and range of motion, making it difficult to do simple household tasks, such as turning doorknobs and opening jars.
Treatment for thumb arthritis may include self-care measures, splints, medication or corticosteroid injections. If you have severe thumb arthritis, you may need surgery.
Jun. 19, 2012
- Arthritis of the thumb. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00210. Accessed March 27, 2012.
- Anakwe RE, et al. Osteoarthritis at the base of the thumb. British Medical Journal. 2011;343:1.
- Hochberg MC, et al. American College of Rheumatology 2012 recommendations for the use of nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic therapies in osteoarthritis of the hand, hip and knee. Arthritis Care & Research. 2012;64:465.
- Arthritis: Base of the thumb. American Society for Surgery of the Hand. http://www.assh.org/PUBLIC/HANDCONDITIONS/Pages/ArthritisBaseofthe.aspx. Accessed March 27, 2012.
- Osteoarthritis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Osteoarthritis/default.asp. Accessed March 29, 2012.
- Crop JA, et al. Doctor, my thumb hurts. The Journal of Family Practice. 2011;60:329.
- Imbodin JB, et al. Current Rheumatology Diagnosis & Treatment. 2nd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2007. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aid=2729561. Accessed March 29, 2012.
- Self-help arthritis devices. Arthritis Foundation. http://www.arthritistoday.org/treatments/self-treatments/arthritis-devices-print.php. Accessed March 29, 2012.