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Treatment for aching joints

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Basal joint arthritis is a form of arthritis that affects the joint at the base of the thumb.

It is an extremely common condition in women, occurring in 30 to 40 percent of women in the United States at some point in their lifetime.

The most common symptom is pain in the lower part of the thumb that may begin affecting an individual’s ability to do daily tasks, such as unscrewing a lid or turning a door handle or key.

Conservative treatment options, such as splinting, anti-inflammatory medication, heated gloves, paraffin wax, glucosamine-chondroitin supplements and cortisone injections, are always the first line of therapy for basal joint arthritis.

However, if conservative methods become ineffective, surgical treatment may need to be considered and discussed with your doctor. Procedures such as arthroplasty (removal of arthritic bone and joint reconstruction) and fusion surgery (fusing the bones of the joint together) can help the condition.

If you are experiencing pain and loss of function in your thumb and/or hand, it is important to discuss all symptoms with your doctor, as you may benefit from a referral and examination by an orthopedic specialist.

Cone Health Orthopedic Center of Excellence has an exceptional network of highly-trained orthopedic specialists and related healthcare professionals who are dedicated to treating patients with orthopedic injuries and conditions throughout the community.

Spokesperson Background:
Dr. Gary Kuzma is an orthopedic surgeon at Orthopedic & Hand Specialist and a member of the Cone Health Medical Staff.

Dr. Kuzma completed medical school at SUNY Upstate Medical Center, Syracuse, NY, served his internship at Charity Hospital, New Orleans, and his orthopedic residency at SUNY Upstate Medical Center.

His Hand and Microvascular Surgery Fellowships were through Hartford (CT) Hospital and Jewish Hospital, Lexington, KY.