Cartilage is the firm, rubbery tissue that cushions your bones at the joints. It allows bones to glide over one another. Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage to break down and wear away, making the bones rub together, often causing pain, swelling, and stiffness. In the hand, the base of the thumb is one of the most common joints to develop osteoarthritis. It is commonly seen in women over the age of 40. While the cause is unknown, genetics and previous injuries may predispose you to arthritis of the thumb.
In less severe cases, conservative methods such as splinting, cortisone injections and arthritis medication may help relieve pain. Patients with severe arthritis that does not respond to treatment may be candidates for surgery. A consultation with your hand surgeon can help decide the best option for you.
If you have experienced an elbow, wrist or hand injury or are experiencing joint or nerve pain, call 1-855-NH-SPORT to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic sports medicine hand specialists to discuss how we can help you improve your quality of life or enhance your athletic performance.