I have thumb arthritis. Now what?!
Thumb arthritis is one of the most common degenerative processes in the upper extremity. You just found out that the pain you’ve been having is thumb arthritis. So, what do you do about it?
• Assisted devices– under counter jar opener, Penagain, Y-shaped ball pen, EvoPen, pencil grippers or fatter pens/pencils.
• Splinting or braces– Metagrip thumb arthritis splint, custom molded short opponens splint, thumb spica splint for night wear.
• Activity modification– Try to avoid heavy or unnecessary pinching, gripping or squeezing as possible.
• If your primary care allows you to, take oral NSAIDs. There are also topical NSAIDs out there.
• Cortisone injection for when your pain can no longer be controlled with oral medication, splinting, and activity modification.
• Finally, surgery.
“Surgery consists of removing the joint either by removing a bone or connecting the bones together. There are options for moving one of your tendons to secure or cushion the bone, and each hand surgeon has a different opinion on whether this is helpful. After surgery, a splint or cast is worn for several weeks.” (c) 2013 American Society for Surgery of the Hand
Author: Stephanie Jones