Most activities that involve grasping or pinching are possible because of the thumb's remarkable range of motion. But dexterity comes at a price — an increased risk of osteoarthritis in the first carpometacarpal CMC joint, where the thumb meets the trapezium bone in the wrist. Sometimes the joint becomes so damaged that surgery is necessary.
The hand and wrist have multiple small joints that work together to produce motion, including the fine motion needed to thread a needle or tie a shoelace. When the joints are affected by arthritis, activities of daily living can be difficult. Arthritis can occur in many areas of the hand and wrist and can have more than one cause.
Arthritis involves inflammation of one or more of your joints. Pain and stiffness are common symptoms of arthritis, and when these occur in your wrist, simple daily activities can become more difficult. There are many types of arthritis, and most of these can affect the wrist.
During a physical exam, your doctor will ask about your symptoms and look for noticeable swelling or lumps on your joints. Your doctor might hold your joint while moving your thumb, with pressure, against your wrist bone. If this movement produces a grinding sound, or causes pain or a gritty feeling, the cartilage has likely worn down, and the bones are rubbing against each other.
Thumb arthritis is common with aging and occurs when cartilage wears away from the ends of the bones that form the joint at the base of your thumb — also known as the carpometacarpal CMC joint. Thumb arthritis can cause severe pain, swelling, and decreased strength and range of motion, making it difficult to do simple tasks, such as turning doorknobs and opening jars. Treatment generally involves a combination of medication and splints.
Osteoarthritis in the thumb is the most common form of arthritis that affects the hands. Osteoarthritis results from the breakdown of joint cartilage and the underlying bone. It can affect the basal joint, which is the joint near the wrist and the fleshy part of the thumb.
PURPOSE: A study was designed to ascertain the long-term effectiveness of using autologous full-thickness ear cartilage to resurface the arthritic face of the trapezium, leaving the body of the trapezium intact. The value of injection of the involved carpometacarpal CMC joint with local anesthetic in predicting improvement from the surgery was also studied. The articular surface of the trapezium was resected and resurfaced with full-thickness ear cartilage from the patient's ear.