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Optimal management of thumb basal joint arthritis: challenges and solutions

Authors Higginbotham C, Boyd A, Busch M, Heaton D, Trumble T

Received 4 April 2017

Accepted for publication 18 July 2017

Published 23 November 2017 Volume 2017:9 Pages 93—99


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Clark Hung

Christopher Higgenbotham,1 Alan Boyd,1 Michelle Busch,1 Dennis Heaton,2 Thomas Trumble1

1Hand Institute, Bellevue Bone and Joint Physicians, Bellevue, School of Medicine, 2Pacific Northwest University, Yakima, WA, USA

Abstract: Up to 15% of the population older than 30 years suffers from symptomatic thumb carpometacarpal (CMC) osteoarthritis (OA), with the incidence increasing to ~33% in postmenopausal women. The thumb CMC joint has been reported as the most painful joint when compared to other hand joints affected by OA. It is therefore no surprise that this is a common chief complaint of patients and has a significant effect on work and life satisfaction. The purpose of this article was to review currently available literature to discuss nonoperative and operative techniques utilized to treat the various stages of thumb CMC arthritis. A variety of nonoperative and operative techniques have been described in the literature, each with its own benefits and pitfalls. This review concludes that while many treatment options exist, there remains no perfect treatment, but the goal of improving quality of life and patient satisfaction remains the same.

Keywords: CMC, arthritis, operative, nonoperative, treatment, review


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