Basilar Joint Arthritis

Surgery removes the arthritic wrist bone and the thumb is stabilized with a tendon. Surgery is an outpatient procedure and performed with general anesthetic, and takes 60-90 minutes.

Risk of Surgery

  • Delayed incision with sutures
  • Stiffness or weakness of grip
  • Numbness or sensitivity of the scar
  • Infection or excessive bleeding
  • Sensory nerve injury

What to Expect After Surgery

  • Incision with sutures
  • A splint will be applied at surgery to immobilize the thumb
  • Tenderness is common after surgery
  • Move all the fingers not in the splint
  • Swelling/bruising of the hand & forearm in common

First Post-Operative Office Check

  • 10-14 days after surgery
  • All dressings and sutures removed
  • Thumb splint or cast immobilization for 4-6 weeks (this immobilization period is the most critical aspect of the surgical treatment)
  • A rehabilitation program after immobilization period, often involving a occupational therapist, help you regain movement and strength

Recovery time for normal activity varies but usually 3-5 months