Try performing even the simplest of tasks without using your thumbs, and you’ll develop an all-new appreciation for how important they really are. Thumb arthritis can hinder Bellevue residents’ ability to utilize these marvelous tools of the hand without experiencing significant limitations and discomfort. The experts at Bellevue Bone and Joint Physicians (BBJP) have highly trained doctors that specialize in diagnosing and treating various bone and joint conditions, including thumb arthritis. What should you know about this common condition?
In the human body, the ends of bones are covered with smooth cartilage, allowing the bones to glide smoothly within the joint. If the cartilage begins to wear away, bones begin to rub against each other, causing friction and discomfort. Damage will also develop on the affected bones and joints. The most common form of joint destruction affecting the base of the thumb is referred to as osteoarthritis, or wear-and-tear arthritis. Symptoms usually include pain, swelling, and even a visible bump at the base of the thumb. Limited motion, along with loss of strength when pinching or gripping are also commonly experienced.
Arthritis is a degenerative condition that can progressively worsen over time. With a thorough examination, including X-rays, the physicians at BBJP can properly determine the severity of the condition, and then suggest appropriate treatment options. These may include non-surgical treatments such as icing the joint several times a day. Oral medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), splinting, and steroid injections can also provide months or years worth of relief from symptoms. Unfortunately though, these options don’t have the ability to cure or reverse the arthritis itself.
If non-operative treatments don’t provide necessary pain relief, surgical options to replace the joint and stabilize the ligaments can be extremely beneficial. If you’re suffering from the symptoms of thumb arthritis, contact Bellevue Bone and Joint Physicians. They’ll provide the professional diagnosis and treatment required to help your thumbs get a good grip on resolving arthritis pain.