What is thumb arthritis?

The joint at the base of the thumb is essential for gripping and pinching movements, and when it becomes arthritic, it can cause pain, stiffness, and weakness. Thumb arthritis is more common in women than men and is often associated with aging. Other risk factors for developing thumb arthritis include:

  • A family history of the condition
  • Previous injury to the thumb
  • Frequent use of the thumb

Symptoms of thumb arthritis

Thumb arthritis typically develops gradually and can cause various symptoms, which may include:

  • Pain or tenderness at the base of the thumb, especially during gripping or pinching activities
  • Swelling and stiffness in the thumb joint
  • Weakness in the thumb, leading to difficulty performing simple tasks like opening jars or turning door knobs
  • A sensation of grinding or popping in the thumb joint
  • Decreased range of motion in the thumb
  • Enlargement or a visible bump at the base of the thumb as the joint deteriorates

If you experience any of these symptoms, seeking medical evaluation to determine the underlying cause and initiate appropriate treatment is essential.

Expert treatment for thumb arthritis at HSA

At HSA, our dedicated team is committed to providing expert care for thumb arthritis. Treatment for thumb arthritis may vary based on the severity of the condition and the impact on daily activities. Some common treatment options include:

Non-Surgical Management

In the early stages of thumb arthritis, non-surgical approaches such as rest, splinting, activity modifications, and over-the-counter pain medications may be recommended to alleviate symptoms.

Hand Therapy

Hand therapy can help improve thumb function, reduce pain, and increase thumb strength through exercises and modalities.

Corticosteroid Injections

Corticosteroid injections may be administered to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain in the affected joint.

Joint Protection

Utilizing assistive devices or modifying activities can protect the thumb joint and reduce stress on the affected area.


In cases of advanced thumb arthritis, surgical intervention may be considered when conservative treatments are not sufficient. Various surgical procedures are available to address thumb arthritis, including joint fusion or joint replacement.

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Why choose HSA for thumb arthritis?

Choosing HSA for thumb arthritis ensures you receive expert care and personalized treatment plans tailored to your needs.

Our experienced specialists understand the intricate anatomy of the hand and thumb, enabling us to offer the most effective treatment options for thumb arthritis.

As one of the Midwest’s most prominent single specialty hand groups, our fellowship-trained, board-certified surgeons are at the forefront of orthopedics and microvascular surgery. We take pride in delivering the highest level of specialized care to help you find relief from thumb arthritis and regain thumb function.

If you suspect you have thumb arthritis or are experiencing pain and stiffness, don’t wait to seek medical evaluation. Contact HSA to schedule an appointment with our experienced specialists and receive expert care for your thumb arthritis. Our dedicated team is here to support you on your journey to improved hand and thumb health.

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