Did you know you can have a Thumb Replacement Surgery?

Many of you have heard of hip and knee replacements, or even have had one of those surgeries, but did you know you can also have a Thumb Replacement?

Just as we can get Osteoarthritis(or OA) in our large joints, we can develop OA in our smaller joints as well. The CDC reports that OA is the most common form of arthritis and it is now affecting more than 30 million adults across America. While our thumbs are one of our most complex joints, this complexity and dexterity do come at a price. That price is an increased risk of developing OA. 

What are some of the signs of OA in the thumb joint?

A few of the common signs of osteoarthritis in the thumb joint are pain at the thumb joint with tenderness and instability; and weakness with pinching and gripping, such as while holding a cup, buttoning buttons or using zippers.

What are the treatment options for Osteoarthritis in the Thumb Joint?

Most cases of osteoarthritis involving any joint can be well managed with conservative therapies, such as starting with Physical Therapy FIRST. By starting first with Physical Therapy, you can avoid high surgery costs, cut down on prescriptions, as well as reduce pain, and improve both dexterity and range of motion of the Thumb.  

Conservative therapies do not always work for some. In those severe cases, a surgical intervention might be necessary.  There are many surgical options available and your surgeon can help you select the one that would best fit you. Some of these options may include a Joint Fusion, however, significant mobility loss will be present. Other options include a Ligament Reconstruction when the cartilage damage is not significant. But for some patients, the best option is to simply replace the whole joint with a prosthetic, or a Thumb Replacement, as would be done for the more commonly known hip or knee replacement procedures. 

We often take our hands for granted, don’t forget how important they are! We use them as our primary tools for exploring the world; an injury can permanently impact our home and work life.

Whatever treatment plan you choose to follow, choosing Physical Therapy First before surgical intervention and immediately after will improve your outcomes.

Follow the hashtag #choosePTfirst for more ways Physical Therapy can improve your overall quality of life.