1801 Inwood Rd., Dallas, TX 75390-9132 | (214) 645-2571 or (214) 645-2353

Thumb Base Arthritis Surgery

Ligament Reconstruction

Thumb Base Arthritis Surgery

What is Thumb Base Arthritis?

Like arthritis anywhere else in the body, the cartilage surface of the thumb joint can wear off over time. Bone grinds against bone, causing inflammation and pain.  One in four women over the age of 55 experience thumb arthritis.

Diagnosis of Thumb Base Arthritis

Common symptoms of thumb arthritis include disfigurement of the thumb and pain at the base of the thumb, which usually gets worse at the end of the day. The thumb’s appearance can change with the development of bone spurs and stretching of underlying ligaments. A grinding sensation may also be present at the thumb joint. X-rays are not necessary to make the diagnosis, but they can help Dr. Sammer understand the extent of your disease and help him in formulating your individualized treatment plan.

Treatment of Thumb Arthritis

  • Many people live with thumb arthritis without even knowing they have it. Patients who experience bothersome symptoms are usually first treated with splinting, anti-inflammatory medications, and behavior modifications before considering advanced treatments.
  • Steroid injections: A steroid injection is a quick in-office procedure in which an anti-inflammatory steroid, such as cortisone, is injected intp a joint or tendon sheath. Patients will often experience pain relief for 4-6 months, and sometimes longer.
  • Surgery:  If non-invasive methods fail to alleviate the pain, a Ligament Reconstruction and Tendon Interposition, or LRTI, is a common surgery that Dr. Sammer performs for patients experiencing the effects of thumb arthritis. During this procedure, he will detach a nearby tendon at one end and then pass it through a hole he has drilled in the thumb’s metacarpal. Another procedure Dr. Sammer may utilize is to surgically remove the damaged bone spurs and provide a better structure to support the thumb. This provides a new cushion for your thumb to rotate more comfortably. Newer techniques are less invasive than previous surgical options, allowing for an easier recovery and faster return to everyday activities.
Dr. Sammer’s Approach to Thumb Base Arthritis Surgery Dr. Douglas Sammer is board-certified and fellowship-trained, which distinguishes his training and credentials from many other doctors. He has advanced knowledge of hand, finger, wrist, and elbow plastic surgery, and utilizes the most advanced treatment techniques available today. A consultation and physical examination can help point a way to the best approach to dealing with your specific Thumb Base Arthritis surgery.