Basal Joint arthritis is a condition that affects the base of the thumb where it connects to the wrist. This common condition can be very painful and inconvenient as it limits the use of the thumb.  The thumb is a very important part of the hand, and most of the things we do on a day to day basis involve heavy use of the hands and thumb, including: gripping, pinching and holding. Basal Joint arthritis can make it difficult to do simple things such as grip a mug and enjoy a cup of coffee, or something as simple as turning a small key and unlocking a car or house door.

What Causes Basal Arthritis?

Arthritis of the thumb is one of the most common forms of osteoarthritis affecting the hand. The arthritis is generally caused by wear and tear and happens when the cartilage in the thumb joint deteriorates. Basal joint arthritis can also occur as the result of a trauma to the thumb joint, like a fall on the hands or a direct blow to the base of the thumb.

Common Symptoms

The common symptoms of basal joint arthritis include swelling, stiffness and decreased strength when gripping or holding objects with the affecting hand. Pain in the thumb area is, of course, the most common symptom, and sometimes the base of your thumb may appear to be out-of-joint or swollen.

Treatments for Basal Joint Arthritis

The treatment options for basal joint arthritis are very similar to other types of arthritis. Your physician may recommend something as simple as rest and anti-inflammatory medication, to a more aggressive treatment like a basal joint surgery, where the affected joint is removed from the hand. Your physician’s recommendations will largely depend on your specific circumstance, the amount of pain you are suffering from, and the type of treatment you have already attempted.

Contact and IBJI and Hand Specialist

If you have been suffering from basal joint arthritis like symptoms, make an appointment to see one of our hand specialists at the Illinois Bone and Joint Institute. Basal Joint Arthritis can make your life very inconvenient and make simple things difficult, but it doesn’t have to, with proper care and treatment, you can reduce pain and maintain the functionality of your hand.