Are you having difficulty doing simple tasks due to a burning sensation at the base of your thumb? You may have a condition known as CMC – carpal-metacarpal – arthritis, also called basilar joint arthritis. You need to see the leading hand specialist in Beverly Hills, Dr. Vanessa Gabrovsky Cuéllar. She is an experienced hand and wrist surgeon with specialized training in microsurgery and peripheral nerve surgery. She is dedicated to providing comprehensive and compassionate orthopedic care to all of her patients. In addition, as an integral component to her orthopedic care, Dr. Cuéllar offers integrative holistic medical approaches to promote whole body health and well-being. At our office, your comfort, health, and personal path to wellness are our number one priorities. Essential to these priorities is our mission to educate our patients as to their diagnosis and treatment options. Our patients expect and receive the finest personalized care each and every time they see us.
Basilar joint arthritis of the thumb also known as CMC (Carpal-MetaCarpal) joint arthritis is a condition affecting the joint at the base of the thumb where the metacarpal bone of the thumb and the trapezium bone of the wrist meet. It typically develops as the cartilage on the surfaces of these bones wears away and the joint deteriorates which may lead to symptoms of pain, loss of function, and deformity. Thumb basilar joint arthritis usually occurs after 40 years of age and affects women more than men. The joint at the base of the thumb allows for thumb flexion and extension as well as rotational movement. These movements enable the hand to grip things. When basilar joint arthritis of the thumb develops, these motions are impaired. The hand specialist in Beverly Hills explains that the symptoms of basilar joint arthritis of the thumb may include pain, swelling, bony deformity, and loss of both strength and motion when using the thumbs. Individuals afflicted with this condition often complain of pain with any pinch and grasp activity. Things like opening a jar or turning a doorknob often become increasingly difficult.
To make a diagnosis of basilar joint arthritis of the thumb, Dr. Cuellar, the top hand specialist in Beverly Hills, will take a complete medical and clinical history; perform a physical exam and order imaging tests as needed. The doctor will also check for other conditions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, which are often associated with basilar joint arthritis of the thumb. Basilar joint arthritis of the thumb in its early stages is often treated conservatively. A non-surgical approach may include activity modifications, oral anti-inflammatory medications, hand therapy, and wearing a brace to support the thumb and take some distress off the damaged joint. If symptoms progress a cortisone injection can be given to provide some relief. Surgery may be recommended if these non-invasive treatments are not effective. For appropriate diagnosis and treatment, give us a call today.