Thumb Osteoarthritis Characteristics
If you did not know by now,osteoarthritis can affect your thumb as well. It is a painful andlong lasting condition, with possibilities of getting gradually worseunless you seek medical assistance. The pain is usually mild at thevery beginning of the development of thumb osteoarthritis.Nevertheless, once it gets worse, the pain will become more prominentand will bother you significantly during everyday activitiesinvolving your thumb or even your hand.
Pain Is the Main Sign
As mentioned above, you will probablyignore your aching thumb, since, initially, the pain will come andgo, while not being that significant. However, later, when it becomesmore prominent and starts interfering with your life, you should payyour doctor a visit. He or she will probably ask you to clench a fistwith your painful hand, holding your thumb inside the fist. Then, thedoctor may apply pressure onto the hand, causing pain in the thumbarea. After this and some other tests and a diagnosis of thiscondition, you are likely to be given an injection of cortisone inthe troubled area and come back for a check after a specific amountof time.
If the pain remains persistent duringthis “recovery” period, you should not wait, but, rather, seekmedical attention again. Then, the doctor will perform an X-ray scanof your thumb and, if osteoarthritis signs are found, he or she islikely to suggest you a surgery. This surgery involves removing thehurt thumb joint and replacing it with a part of the tendon takenfrom your hand. Alternatively, you might opt for wearing braces onyour hand for the rest of your life. However, once this is taken intoconsideration, surgery presents a valuable choice.
Alternatively, before the actualsurgery, you might try the some heat therapies, massages and differentapproaches of this type. However, if these too fail and your pain andlack of mobility continue to bother you, you will need to undergo thesurgery.
During the surgery, the doctors, oncethey open your thumb area of the hand, may have better insight andtherefore change the type of approach they want to use, choosing thebest type of surgery for your problem. However, since this procedurehas a lot to do with nerves, there might be a chance of nerve damageas a side-effect. Your doctor should tell you about all the possibledangers connected to your surgery, as well as benefits gained fromit. Additionally, you are not allowed to eat, drink or smoke for 12hours before surgery.
Once it is done, your recovery periodwill last for up to 10 weeks, with regular checkups with your doctor.