Treatments & Conditions | Hand Microsurgery in Erie, PA

Basal Joint Arthritis

Arthritis causes cartilage to wear away and often affects the basal joint which is at the base of the thumb. When arthritis occurs in the basal joint, it slowly damages the joint. Basal joint arthritis is most common in women older than 40, but anyone can get it. Basal joint arthritis is often caused by wear and tear in the joint due to aging. It also might be more likely to occur if you have broken or injured your thumb previously. Repeatedly gripping, twisting, or turning objects with the thumb and fingers may make the condition worse. A few common symptoms of basal joint arthritis include:

  • Pain in the lower part of the thumb
  • Dropping of objects
  • Pain from weather changes
  • Joint swelling
  • Stiff or deformed thumb

Basal joint arthritis can often be diagnosed by examining how the thumb looks and moves. X-rays may be ordered to see how much of the joint is damaged. Based on the results, the physicians of Hand, Microsurgery and Reconstructive Orthopaedics can then work with you to plan the treatment that best fits your needs.

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