Arthritis of the carpometacarpal (CMC) joint is one of the most debilitating yet common diseases of the hand. The CMC joint is located at the base of the thumb’s lowermost bone, the first metacarpal, and it is where the thumb meets the trapezium – the adjacent carpal bone in the wrist.
This condition is also called thumb arthritis, and it can cause excruciating pain when doing the simplest tasks that involve grasping and pinching. An effective treatment for an advanced case of thumb arthritis is thumb CMC surgery.
Thumb surgery helps to restore the thumb’s normal range of motion and helps to reduce pain in the thumb and hand. If you are curious about the procedure, find out what to expect from thumb CMC surgery:
What Is Thumb Arthritis?
The joint at the base of the thumb is called the basal joint. Cartilage that covers the ends of the bones that form every joint act as shock absorbers, which permit smooth movement. When cartilage breaks down due to wear and tear in the carpometacarpal joint, it causes thumb arthritis.
The breakdown of cartilage releases substances that cause joint inflammation and pain. A person with osteoarthritis of the thumb experiences debilitating pain and stiffness that is caused by not only cartilage degradation but also overgrowth and thickening of the joint’s bones.
What Happens During Thumb CMC Surgery?
Thumb CMC surgery, or thumb CMC arthroplasty, involves the removal of the diseased cartilage and bone tissues and replacing them with prosthetic materials. The inflamed or thickened ends of the thumb bones are removed and replaced with prosthetics.
The surgeon may also use the patient’s own tissues rather than a prosthesis. The surgeon will likely use the patient’s adjacent tendons to form the new joint.
What Happens After the Surgery?
An important part of hand rehabilitation after thumb CMC surgery is immobilization. The patient’s hand will have a splint, and the thumb will be thoroughly padded. Your surgeon will prescribe pain medication to help with any pain or swelling.
If your hand is uncomfortable while you’re healing from the surgery, you can keep it elevated above your heart level. This will help your blood to flow away from the injury and toward the heart.
Physical therapy with a certified hand therapist will be recommended to help you regain full use of your hand and thumb again. The therapist will show you how to move your thumb and hand to get back your strength and range of motion, so you can grip things again with less pain or no pain.
Thumb CMC Surgery in Bismarck, North Dakota
Our orthopedic surgeons at The Bone & Joint Center are experts at performing thumb CMC surgery for patients with severe thumb arthritis. We understand how debilitating thumb arthritis can be, and we diagnose and treat a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions including hand and wrist pain.
Our skilled and compassionate orthopedic team believes that our patients deserve the best quality of care, which is why we deliver comprehensive orthopedic care that begins before diagnosis and continues after treatment. We are here with you even during rehabilitation. For your convenience, we have many locations across North Dakota.
If you have any questions about thumb CMC surgery or would like to schedule a consultation, please call us today at (800) 424-2663 or request an appointment online now. We are here to help you regain full function of your hand again so you can return to your active lifestyle!