There are cartilages in the body’s joints that make the joint steady and allow the bones of the skeleton to slide towards each other. Osteoarthritis means that the cartilage breaks down faster than it builds up. Most people who get osteoarthritis are older than 50 years.
The cause of the disease is usually unknown, but the risk increases after injury. It is unclear if any form of exercise helps or prevents.
If you have osteoarthritis in the joint between the thumb’s middle leg and the wrist bone, it is called thumb base osteoarthritis.
Read more about the skeleton.
Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
Thumb bias can cause trouble when you touch your thumb. Your thumb can become stiff and difficult to move, and you can become swollen across the joint.
Osteoarthritis can cause it to hurt and make it difficult to grip your thumb. The pain can cause you to have a hard time grasping at full force when lifting something heavy.
Read more about joint pain.
When and where should you seek care?
Contact a health center if the problems do not go away.
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Treatment of Osteoarthritis
For example, if you find it difficult to lift heavy things, an occupational therapist or a physical therapist can do an investigation and give you advice on aids that will help with everyday life. You may often need to get a supportive bandage.
Some may need a cortisone syringe to reduce joint discomfort. A cortisone syringe only helps temporarily but can be repeated.
If you have major problems you may need surgery. There are three types of surgery:
- A-frame operation that restricts mobility, but retains the power of the thumb grip and index finger grip.
- Late plastic surgery, where mobility is maintained while the force is slightly reduced.
- An operation where an artificial joint becomes operative.