Therapy of thumb arthrosis
Surgical treatment of thumb saddle joint arthrosis is usually only necessary if severe pain persists for a long period of time at the same time as an impairment of the thumb function and if these do not respond to conservative therapies. In mild cases of osteoarthritis, even a gentle position, possibly with brief immobilization of the thumb, is often sufficient to relieve the pain. In addition, ointments can be applied and so-called rheumatism remedies can be taken for a short time (e.g. Arcoxia®, Voltaren®, Ibuprofen®).
In later stages of the thumb saddle joint arthrosis, especially with load-dependent complaints, a splint (orthosis) can be worn when the joint is loaded in order to relieve the joint. Cortisone injections into the joint can lead to a longer relief of symptoms, but should not be injected too often due to the side effects (e.g. severe inflammation of the joint). Treatment with leeches offers another therapeutic option.
If surgical treatment of arthrosis of the thumb saddle joint is desired, the large polygon bone is usually removed (trapezectomy). The healing process after this operation is relatively lengthy, the thumb can be used normally again at the earliest after about three months. In rare cases, an artificial joint is used, and rehabilitation is much faster with this method (about six weeks). However, in most cases the artificial joint loosens up in the bone over the years, which may make a new operation with removal of the artificial joint replacement and subsequent trapezectomy necessary.