Arthritis of the hand and wrist

Who does this affect?

Like arthritis elsewhere in the body, it is usually seen in middle age and onwards.


This is commonly seen at the base of the thumb, but can be in any of the joints in the hand and wrist. It can be painful and very restricting. It may be due to a previous injury, however, often it is just "wear & tear".


Careful clinical examination and X-ray is necessary.

Non-surgical treatment

Initially, injection and splints are the usual treatments. Hand therapy is also useful to control pain and improve function.

Surgical treatment

Surgery is usually offered if symptoms do not settle following non-surgical intervention. For arthritis at the base of the thumb, Trapeziectomy is very beneficial. This is done under a general anaesthetic as either a day case or overnight stay.

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