Arthritis of the Thumb
|Normal Base of the thumb joint.
||Arthritic base of the thumb joint.
Arthritis of the thumb, as it joins the wrist, is caused
by changes between the metacarpal bone of the thumb
and the small square wrist bone with which it articulates.
This is a very complicated joint because of the great
mobility of the thumb that we have in our use of the
hand. Arthritis changes often develop in this joint
over the years. It can become disabling because of the
degree of pain that it causes and also the fact that it
severely limits strength in the hand, particularly pinching
or grasping with the thumb. The pain is usually said to be
aching in nature, but sometimes can be sharp and can
even radiate upward into the forearm.
There have been many approaches used in orthopaedic
surgery over the years to try to correct this condition.
One of the new ways to treat this disabling arthritis at
the base of the thumb is the surgical insertion of a small
ceramic ball as a dynamic spacer in the arthritic joint.
This is done by careful surgical preparation of the joint
to accept the ceramic implant. The beauty of the
procedure is that very little bone is removed to prepare
for the insertion of the implant and it preserves the soft
tissue structures around the joint. The results of this
technique have been very promising and it certainly is
important for anyone who has arthritis of the basal joint
of the thumb to know about this procedure.
After the Orthosphere Zirconia Ceramic implant is
inserted, there is a period of splinting for approximately
four weeks. This gives time for the tissues to heal and
for the implant to become stable in the thumb.
Unrestricted activity is usually allowed with the operated
hand in about eight weeks.
We at our office are very enthused about the possibilities
of this implant and feel that it is a valuable addition to
the treatment of arthritis of the thumb.
|Orthosphere implant in place in base joint of thumb.
||Orthosphere Zirconia Ceramic prosthesis.