Carpometacarpal and Thumb Arthritis

Carpometacarpal (CMC) and thumb osteoarthritis are painful, chronic conditions that can seriously impact everyday life and interfere with the performance of routine tasks. The CMC joint is the joint that connects the wrist to the base of the thumb. Combined with the other thumb joint, the CMC joint plays an important role in nearly every movement of the hand. CMC and thumb arthritis cause pain, swelling, stiffness and tenderness throughout the wrist and hand.

Since arthritis is a chronic condition, treatment focuses on reducing pain and other symptoms to keep the disease from becoming disabling. A combination of methods are typically used to treat arthritis at this site, whether it is the result of osteo or rheumatoid arthritis. These methods may include splints, oral medications, occupational therapy, or injections. For patients whose pain and dysfunction does not respond to conservative treatments, surgery may be required.

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