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Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

Treating Basal Joint ArthritisArtritis de la articulaci³n basal: Tratamiento

Treating Basal Joint Arthritis

Your treatment will depend on how severe the pain is and how worn the joint is.

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Nonsurgical Treatment

If arthritis is diagnosed early, it often responds to treatment without surgery. Your doctor may put a splint on your thumb for 3-6 weeks. This limits movement and helps reduce the inflammation. You may also be given oral anti-inflammatory medication, such as aspirin. If your symptoms don't improve, your doctor may give you injections of an anti-inflammatory, such as cortisone.

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The diseased joint is removed and replaced with a tendon graft taken from your wrist or arm. You'll have less pain and be able to use your thumb again.

Surgical Treatment

If nonsurgical treatment doesn't relieve the pain and stiffness, or if arthritis has destroyed the joint, your doctor may recommend surgery. The diseased joint is removed. Then the joint is rebuilt, usually with a piece of tendon (graft) taken from your arm or wrist. Your arm, or sometimes your entire body, is anesthetized so you don't feel anything during surgery. You can probably go home the day of surgery.

Your Recovery

First your hand will be wrapped in a dressing. Then you'll have a cast or a splint on your thumb for 3-6 weeks. This keeps the thumb stable while it heals. Once you can move your thumb, your doctor will give you exercises, or refer you to a physical therapist, to help strengthen the muscles and make the joint more flexible. Regaining use of your thumb will take time.

Date Last Reviewed: 2004-08-02T00:00:00-06:00

Date Last Modified: 2004-05-03T00:00:00-06:00

Experience optimal physical therapy techniques and compassionate patient care at Benton Franklin Orthopedic Associates and Benton Franklin Physical Therapy. Call us today at 509.586.2828 to schedule an appointment or use our online Request an Appointment form.

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