Basal thumb arthritis is a condition in which arthritis causes stiffness , inflammation and pain at the joint at the base of the thumb (the basilar joint/carpometacarpal joint -CMC joint).  This joint allows the thumb to move and to pinch with the fingers.

Arthritis in the basal joint causes symptoms that may include: thumb pain, pain in the lower thumb and hand, pain with forceful gripping/pinching, joint swelling and joint stiffness.

Treatment options for basal joint arthritis range from conservative splinting, activity modification and anti-inflammatory medication to steroid  injection and surgery.

Dr. DeHaan offers an additional treatment option for certain patients with early stage basal joint arthritis called a tenotomy procedure of the wrist.

Dr. DeHaan performs a tenotomy procedure of the wrist for certain patients with basal thumb arthritis.  This minimally invasive procedure serves to relieve tension to the affected basal thumb joint by releasing specific insertions of the abductor pollicis longus tendon at the basal joint.  Candidates for this surgery typically include patients with symptomatic early stage basal joint arthritis. The procedure can be performed under local anesthesia in an outpatient surgical center setting.  Patients are allowed full use of the thumb immediately following the tenotomy procedure.  Patients return to the office for suture removal approximately one week following their procedure and typically do not require further follow up appointments.

In a recent clinical study that evaluated outcomes of the tenotomy procedure for relief of thumb pain, Dr DeHaan and his team found that the majority of tenotomy patients studied reported improved function and strength post operatively.

If you suffer from thumb arthritis or experience thumb pain, visit Dr. DeHaan at the OAM hand and upper extremity center.  He will discuss your diagnosis and treatment options to determine the best course of management for your condition to restore function of your hand and thumb.