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Osteoarthritis of the thumb - Symptoms, diagnosis, treatments

"Osteoarthritis is characterized by the wear and tear of cartilage, followed by its disappearance. It is associated with the formation of osteophytes, small beaks of bone that limit joint mobility and cause pain," explains orthopedic surgeon Dr. Marc Elkaïm. While the cartilage is affected first, osteoarthritis then affects the bone and synovial membrane. It is a very common pathology, affecting over 65% of people over 65 in France. Osteoarthritis can affect all joints, but most often the large weight-bearing joints such as the hip and knee. But other locations are also possible.

What is osteoarthritis of the thumb?

"In manual workers who put a lot of strain on their upper limbs, Osteoarthritis can also occur in the shoulder and wrist, and even in the fingers", explains the specialist. The thumb, more specifically the trapeziometacarpal joint, can be affected. This is known as rhizarthrosis. Rhizarthrosis is much more common in women over 50, not least because of the hormonal impact. In most cases, both hands are affected, but osteoarthritis can start in just one hand. As with osteoarthritis of the ankle, a history of trauma may be one of the causes of osteoarthritis of the thumb.


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