Basal Joint Arthritis

The basal joint is formed by the first of the three thumb bones and one of the wrist bones. Arthritis is a disease that slowly destroys the joint by causing inflammation and stiffness to the joints. Arthritis destroys the cartilage covering the ends of the bones, that acts like a cushion and allows the bones to move smoothly. The bones then rub against each other causing the joint to become inflamed. Common symptoms include pain, swelling, stiffness or deformity of the thumb. Pain in the lower part of the thumb is most common and can be increased by changes in the weather. Pain may also be experienced when lifting an object, turning a door handle or unscrewing a jar lid. Dropping things is also a sign of basal joint arthritis. Wear and tear on the joint causes basal joint arthritis to occur. A fracture or injury to the thumb increases your chance of basal joint arthritis occurring at a younger age.

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