Los Angeles Hand Surgeon

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Animal and Human Bites
Arthritis at Base of Thumb
Brachial Plexus Injury
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Congenital Hand Differences
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
De Quervain's Tendonitis
Dupuytren's Disease
Extensor Tendon Injuries
Fireworks Accident
Flexor Tendon Injuries
Ganglion Cysts
Hand Fractures
Hand Infections
Kienböck's Disease
Nail Bed Injuries
Nerve Injuries of the Hand
Osteoarthritis of the Hand
Prosthetics and Amputation
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Scaphoid Fractures
Scaphoid Non-Union
Tendon Transfer Surgery
Tennis Elbow
Thumb Sprains
Trigger Finger
Vascular Disorders
Wrist Arthroscopy
Wrist Fractures
Wrist Sprains

Diagnosis Model
Hand Diagnosis Model


Call our offices at:
(310) 274-3481
(800) 964-0404

Beverly Hills
9301 Wilshire Boulevard
Suite 406A
Beverly Hills, California 90210

We accept most types of insurance providers and specialize in the treatment of workers' compensation injuries to the hand and upper extremity.

Arthritis at the Base of the Thumb

Symptoms of Arthritis
Diagnosis of your Thumb
Non-Surgical & Surgical Treatments

When two bones meet in a joint, their smooth ends are usually covered with cartilage that lets them slide against each other without any pain or difficulty. If the cartilage wears out and the ends of the bones rub together when moved, the resulting condition is called osteoarthritis or degenerative arthritis.

The basal joint, at the base of the thumb, develops osteoarthritis more often than any joint in the hand except the wrist, and is one of the more complex joints in the body. It's made exists between a small bone in the wrist and one in the thumb, and has a special saddle shape that enables the thumb to have a wide range of movement.

Women over forty are most likely to develop arthritis at the base of the thumb. If arthritis shows up in younger individuals, it is often a result of an earlier injury to the joint such as a bad sprain or fracture.
Arthritis at the Base of the Thumb

Symptoms of Arthritis
Those who suffer from arthritis in the thumb's basal joint very often experience deep and aching pain at the base of the thumb. When opening jars, turning door knobs or keys, or doing other things that use pinching actions, the pain worsens. Pinching strength is often reduced as the disease worsens, as is overall grip strength, and the joint may be painful even when not in use.

If the disease grows still worse, the joint further degenerates. The alignment of the two bones worsens and a small bump can show up at the base of the thumb. This repositioning narrows the space between the thumb and the index finger and restricts the thumb's movements, which further weakens and reduces pinching. To make up for this, the next joint up, in the middle of the thumb, may hyper-extend.

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Diagnosis of your Thumb
Your hand surgeon will examine the hand and note how the thumb looks and where there is pain. This helps determine if the joint at the base of the thumb is arthritic. To reproduce the symptoms, the thumb may be moved back-and-forth. X-rays may be taken, however the appearance of the joint does not typically reflect the severity of the pain and related symptoms.

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Non-Surgical & Surgical Treatments
Surgery isn't always used to treat this type of arthritis and usually isn't needed in milder cases or when it is caught early enough. In such instances, treatment in the form of medication, creams and balms, and even a shot or two of cortisone can help with the pain. Splints, used under the care and direction of your hand surgeon, can help support the thumb during activities that are known to be painful.

If the arthritis isn't helped by the aforementioned treatments, or is too far along to be relieved by them, surgery to reconstruct the joint is available. Your hand surgeon can discuss a number of surgeries that can reduce or get rid of the pain and get the thumb back to its original position and uses.

A common surgery involves removing the bad and damaged bone from the site of the arthritis and reconstructing the joint in a procedure called joint arthroplasty. Other common surgeries include bone fusion and, sometimes, arthroscopic procedures. Your hand surgeon will discuss the possibilities with you, along with what should be expected regarding potential benefits and side-effects.

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We serve the following cities within Los Angeles, which are in close proximity to our offices:
Agoura Hills, Brentwood, Canoga Park, Century City, Chatsworth, Culver City, Glendale, Granada Hills, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Marina Del Rey, North Hollywood, Northridge, Rancho Park, Reseda, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Tarzana, Valencia, Van Nuys, West Hills, West Hollywood, West L.A., Winnetka, Woodland Hills