Thumb arthritis or basal joint arthritis is caused by a combination of many factors such as age, weight and previous injuries. One of the major causes of thumb arthritis is repetitive use of the carpometacarpal joint between the thumb and the wrist. Over time this use causes wear and tear of cartilage that the body cannot repair quickly enough. The degeneration of cartilage causes bones to rub against each other which in turn causes joint damage and pain.
Some of the common symptoms of thumb or basal joint arthritis include:
- Thumb pain
- Loss of strength in pain & thumb
- Swelling of thumb
- Grinding of thumb
Since the carpometacarpal joint controls grasping, weakness of the hands and inability to grasp objects is a common symptom of thumb arthritis.
Thumb or basal joint arthritis is usually treated by anti-inflammatory medications, splinting and/or resting the hand. If that does not alleviate the symptoms of thumb arthritis, then cortisone injections or minimally invasive surgery may be other treatment options.