Treatment Available for Basilar Joint Arthritis Patients in the Reno, NV, Area
Basilar joint arthritis (commonly referred to as “thumb arthritis”) can make it difficult for you to perform routine activities that involve pinching or gripping objects, such as opening a jar or turning a doorknob. The experts at Tahoe Fracture & Orthopedic Medical Clinic’s Reno, Nevada, office have extensive experience treating this condition and can help you find relief.
Your basal joint (or thumb carpometacarpal joint) is located at the base of your thumb, and allows your thumb to extend, flex, and rotate. Basilar joint arthritis occurs when the cartilage in this area wears away, causing your bones to rub against each other when you move your thumb. This condition often results in the following symptoms:
- Appearance of bump near wrist
- Improper alignment
- Limited range of motion
- Difficulty pinching/gripping
- Crackling noise
The pain associated with this condition may be particularly pronounced when you pinch your thumb and index finger together, or when you try to grasp something using your thumb.
The experts at Tahoe Fracture & Orthopedic Medical Clinic’s Reno, NV, office generally recommend that patients attempt to treat their symptoms using conservative methods before turning to surgery. This may include pain medication, corticosteroid injections, heat/cold therapy, range of motion exercises, and splinting. Avoiding any movements that trigger pain, such as pinching, clenching, or twisting, may also be advised.
If you’re unable to find relief from basilar joint arthritis through non-surgical treatment, there are various surgical procedures that might help alleviate your symptoms. One of the common options is a total joint reconstruction, where the surgeon removes the trapezium (“teacup”) bone from the base of your thumb, connects the base of your thumb to your index finger (generally using a tendon graft), and cushions the space left behind by the trapezium bone (also generally using a tendon graft). In some cases, the surgeon may need to temporarily insert a steel pin to hold your bones in place.
If you’ve been experiencing any of the above symptoms, please contact Tahoe Fracture & Orthopedic Medical Clinic’s Reno, NV, office to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists. We can perform a variety of diagnostic tests for basilar joint arthritis, then help you determine the best course of treatment for your symptoms.