You might be referred to a doctor who specializes in disorders of the joints (rheumatologist).
What you can do
- Write down your symptoms, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason why you scheduled the appointment.
- Write down your key medical information, including other conditions and any history of injury to the painful joint.
- Write down key personal information, including any major changes or stressors in your life.
- Make a list of all your medications, vitamins or supplements.
- Ask a relative or friend to accompany you, to help you remember what the doctor says.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Questions to ask your doctor
- What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
- What kinds of tests do I need?
- Is my condition likely temporary or chronic?
- What treatments are available?
- Are there any restrictions I should follow?
- I have other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask other questions.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may leave time to go over points you want to discuss in depth. You might be asked:
May 14, 2015
- When did your pain begin?
- How severe are your symptoms? Are they continuous or occasional?
- What, if anything, seems to improve or worsen your symptoms?
- Have you ever injured that hand?
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- Li YK, et al. Five things to know about … carpometacarpal osteoarthritis of the thumb. Canadian Medical Association Journal. 2013;185:149.
- Arthritis of the thumb. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00210. Accessed March 25, 2015.
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- AskMayoExpert. What are the presenting symptoms of thumb arthritis? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.
- Bray J, et al. Evaluation of the patient with thumb pain. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 25, 2015.
- Hochberg MC. The wrist and hand. In: Rheumatology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2015. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 25, 2015.
- Ladd AL, et al. The 2014 ABJS Nicolas Andry award: The puzzle of the thumb: Mobility, stability, and demands in opposition. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. 2014;472:3605.
- Arthritis: Base of the thumb. American Society for Surgery of the Hand. http://www.assh.org/PUBLIC/HANDCONDITIONS/Pages/ArthritisBaseofthe.aspx. Accessed March 25, 2015.
- Berger AJ, et al. Management of osteoarthritis of the thumb joints. Journal of Hand Surgery (American Volume). 2015;40:843.
- Chang-Miller A (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, Ariz. April 9, 2015.
- Kloppenburg M. Hand osteoarthritis — nonpharmacological and pharmacological treatments. Nature Reviews Rheumatology.2014;10:242.
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