Thumb Joint Osteoarthritis (Metacarpophalangeal Osteoarthritis)

Thumb joint osteoarthritis is a condition where the joint space has become very narrow between the end of the thumb bone and hand bones. Over time, reduction of the joint's cartilage can lead to pain, stiffness, and decreased range of motion in the thumb.

The exact cause of thumb joint osteoarthritis is not always clear, but it is often associated with age-related changes, genetic factors, and repetitive use of the thumb joint. Women are more commonly affected, particularly those over the age of 40.

Symptoms of thumb joint osteoarthritis include pain at the base of the thumb, swelling, and difficulty gripping or pinching objects. As the condition progresses, the joint may develop bony nodules (medically referred to as osteophytes), contributing to further discomfort in different movements.

Management of thumb joint osteoarthritis involves both non-surgical and surgical approaches. Non-surgical treatments may include splinting, medications, and hand exercises to maintain joint flexibility. In cases where conservative measures are insufficient, surgical options such as joint fusion or joint replacement may be considered.

Thumb joint osteoarthritis can significantly impact daily activities, and early diagnosis and appropriate management can help alleviate symptoms and improve overall hand function. Individuals experiencing thumb pain or discomfort should seek physiotherapy attention for a thorough evaluation and personalized treatment plan, where imaging may be appropriate to rule in or rule out other possible reasons for pain in this region (like tendon or ligament issues). Remember, early intervention is key to optimizing outcomes in thumb joint osteoarthritis and thus call us soon on 9431 5955 (or book via our Client Portal on our website) if these symptoms sound like you.