THUMB ARTHRITIS TREATMENT IN WEST PALM BEACH
Dr. Steven Rueda is one of the most sought after surgeons for thumb arthritis in West Palm Beach, Wellington and Jupiter. Osteoarthritis, commonly known as arthritis, can occur in any of the joints of the thumb but its most common at the base of the thumb near the wrist. It is one of the most common reasons to the hand specialist. The word “arthritis” means inflammation in the joint. A thumb affected by arthritis can limit the function of the hand severely. The thumb is the most important structure in the hand to enable pinching, turning door knobs, texting, buttoning shirts, opening jars, and writing.
WHAT CAUSES THUMB ARTHRITIS?
The cause of arthritis is poorly understood. It is however more common with age and after trauma. The normal joint anatomy consists of the two ends of a bone covered by a cartilage cap or cartilage surface. The space between the two cartilage surfaces is covered in joint fluid that assist in lubrication. In arthritis, the cartilage in the surface wears out leading the bone to be in contact with bone. This rubbing of bone-on-bone leads to the pain and inflammation seen in arthritis. For thumb base arthritis, the bone-in-bone contact is between the base of the thumb metacarpal and the trapezium in the wrist.
THUMB ARTHRITIS PROCEDURE
There are two main types of thumb arthritis surgery: thumb joint fusion, thumb joint arthroplasty. Dr. Rueda is an expert in all of these procedures, and has presented on the subject in national meetings. Some of the differences across the types of surgery are listed below:
Thumb joint fusion
Fuses or joins the two raw bones that are rubbing together in the joint using wires, plates, or screws. It avoids pain by eliminating movement at site of the joint.
Removes the trapezium bone (trapeziectomy) to avoid the bone-in-bone contact that causes pain.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Patients with classic history, symptoms, and exam who have failed splinting and steroid injections are good candidates for the procedure.
Fortunately the treatments are all excellent at getting rid of the pain. Most patients feel the arthritis pain “gone” after the procedure while they recover from the different “procedure pain”. In all thumb arthritis procedures there is some decrease in the range of motion of the thumb.
Complications in arthritis surgery are specific to every procedure. Dr. Rueda will discuss these with you personally. Fortunately these procedure are safe and enjoy very high success rates with low complication rates. A very unlikely but significant risk is minor residual pain.