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Base of Thumb Pain

Do you have pain at the base of your thumb?

Pain at the base of your thumb is the first and most common symptom of thumb arthritis. In the normal joints of your body, cartilage covers the end of the bones serving as a shock absorber to allow smooth, pain-free movement. In osteoarthritis (OA) or “degenerative arthritis,” that cartilage layer wears out. This results in direct contact between bones, producing pain and deformity. One of the most common joints to develop OA in the hand is the base of the thumb.

If you are experiencing this type of arthritis, the pain at the base of the thumb can intensify by activities that require pinching, such as opening jars, turning door knobs or keys, and writing. Depending on the severity, pain can also appear at rest or at night.

In more severe cases, a bump may develop at the base of your thumb as the metacarpal moves out of the saddle joint. The shift in the joint can cause limited motion and weakness, making pinching difficult. The joint above may compensate by loosening, causing it to bend further back. This is known as hyperextension.


In the early stages of thumb arthritis, treatment usually involves a combination of non-surgical therapies. If your thumb arthritis is severe, surgery might be necessary. Dr. Sagini is a specialist in conditions of the hand, such as arthritis of the thumb.

To learn more about this condition, CLICK HERE or call (239) 337-2003 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Sagini.


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