Category : Thumb

Hand Surgery Joint Replacement Thumb

Is Thumb Joint Replacement Surgery Right for You?

from U.S. News & World Report

IT’S LONG BEEN SAID that in addition to a large brain, another critical characteristic that separates us from most other animals is our opposable thumbs. The thumb joint has a wide range of motion that makes pinching and grasping motions possible, and most other animals, save for fellow primates, lack this ability. Thumb joints have been credited with enabling us to make a variety of technologic advancements, but over the course of a life, they sustain a lot of wear and tear. “Dexterity comes at a price,” the Arthritis Foundation reports. That price is “an increased risk of osteoarthritis in the first carpometacarpal joint, where the thumb meets the trapezium bone in the wrist.”

Osteoarthritis is a disease of aging, and it’s very common. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting more than 30 million adults in America. OA features inflammation of the joint that can impact its mobility and function.

Read the full article.

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Bones Brachydactyly Type D Thumb

What Are Toe Thumbs—And Are They Normal?

from Women’s Health Magazine

Yes, you can get dragged on the internet for pretty much anything these days. Take Megan Fox, for example, who, just a few years ago, was the victim of online trolls because of—get this—her thumbs.

Turns out, Megan’s thumbs are, well, kind of shaped like toes—toe thumbs, if you will. She even opened up about said toe thumbs on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno back in 2012, saying “they’re weird and they’re really fat.” So there you have it…toe thumbs.

So toe thumbs actually have a medical name: brachydactyly type D, according to Alejandro Badia, M.D., a board-certified hand and upper extremity orthopedic surgeon with Florida-based Badia Hand to Shoulder Center.

Basically, toe thumbs occur when the last bone on the thumb—or the distal phalanx—is congenitally shortened, says Badia. “This means you are simply born with a short thumb at the tip which does imply there will be a cosmetic issue with the nail plate, of course,” he says, adding that brachydactlyly simply means “short digit,” leading most surgeons to call it “stub thumb.”

Read the full story.

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Boutonnière Deformity Finger Joints Thumb

What is a Boutonnière Deformity?

Boutonnière deformity is when the finger or thumb is bent down at the middle joint and bent backwards at the end joint (see photo above). This deformity can happen for a couple of different reasons, including:

  1. A cut tendon on the back of the finger or thumb
  2. Tearing or weakening of the tendon from a disease such as rheumatoid arthritis

These two reasons are what can cause the middle joint to bend down. The backwards bending of the end joint is caused after the middle joint bends because there is more pull on the end joint of the finger.

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Arthritis Hand Thumb Thumb Arthritis

Losing Your Grip? How to Treat Your Thumb Arthritis

from the Cleveland Clinic

Imagine how frustrating it would be to try to open a jar or button a shirt without your thumb. This feeling is all too common for those with one of the most common types of hand osteoarthritis.

Hand osteoarthritis is second in prevalence only to knee arthritis in the United States. Osteoarthritis in the thumb joint nearest the palm — the carpometacarpal (CMC) or basal joint — is the type that most commonly causes patients to seek the care of a hand or orthopaedic surgeon. The CMC joint, which is between the thumb metacarpal and a small bone called the trapezium, allows the swiveling, pivoting and pinching needed to grip things in your hand.

Patients older than age 40 are at risk for thumb arthritis, with women affected five to 10 times more frequently than men, says orthopaedic surgeon David Shapiro, MD.

“While men and women can get basal joint arthritis, women seem to have more joint laxity, which leads to malalignment of the joint, cartilage wear, arthritis and pain, “ Dr. Shapiro says.

Read the full blog post.

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Ligament Thumb Thumb Sprain

5 Signs of a Thumb Sprain

A thumb sprain is an injury to a ligament, which is a soft tissue that connects bones to each other at joints, as opposed to a thumb fracture (break) which is an injury to the bone. Many times, thumb sprains will result from sports injuries or falls. For example, skiing results in many thumb injuries, as does basketball. Or, you may fall and try to catch yourself, bending your thumb in an awkward position.

Here are 5 signs that you have sprained your thumb:

  1. Swelling
  2. Bruising
  3. Pain
  4. Weakness
  5. Trouble performing daily activities such as writing or holding a glass
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Hand Ski and Snowboard Injury Thumb

Random Fact: Skiing Injuries

Did you know? Looping your hands through the straps of a ski pole increases your risk of hurting your thumb if you fall. Upper extremity injuries are some of the most common skiing injuries. Learn more about how to ski safely at www.HandCare.org.

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Arthritis Hand Hand Therapy Thumb Thumb Arthritis

Ask a Therapist: Thumb Arthritis

Certified Hand Therapist Michelle McMurray, MOT, OTR/L, CHT discusses thumb arthritis, also known as basal joint arthritis.


Basal joint arthritis, or thumb arthritis, is the most common site of arthritis in the hand.  This may also be referred to as the CMC (carpometacarpal) joint.  Pain typically occurs at the base of the thumb where the hand meets the wrist.  People typically report pain and weakness with grasping or pinching activities. Most people do not realize how important this particular joint is to the function of the hand until it hurts.  The amount of force transmitted through the CMC joint holding a 1-pound object at the tip is amplified to over 13 pounds at the CMC joint.  Basic activities of daily living can require between 6 and 8 pounds of pinch at the tip of the thumb, which would be amplified more than 10 times that at the base of the thumb!  Over time, this can cause break-down of the joint with loss of cartilage (the smooth part of the joint) and inflammation.  This is sometimes a painful process.

When this occurs in the body, what options do we have to feel better?  Most people do not choose surgery as their first option, and it is often not recommended as the first option.  Initial options may include injections, splinting, medications and/or rest.  Additionally, there are modifications that can be made to our daily activities which may also help to decrease the pain.

Here are a few examples of some easy and inexpensive ways to protect your hands to decrease the stress and inflammation at your thumb:

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Finger Hand Thumb Trigger Finger

Video: Symptoms and Treatment for Trigger Finger

Trigger Finger is a common but debilitating condition of the hand. Its formal name is stenosing tenosynovitis and is sometimes called “trigger thumb.” Many times, the finger will lock up. Other symptoms include:

  • Pain at the base of the thumb or finger
  • Sensitivity to pressure
  • Lumps
  • Popping
  • Limited finger movement

Trigger Finger can interfere with daily activities such as cooking, playing music, typing, etc. Surgery can be an option for treating this condition, but night splints, medication, or steroid injections can also be possibilities. Watch our 5-minute video above for more information about trigger finger. You can also visit our trigger finger page.

Treatment for a hand condition varies depending on your situation. Find a hand surgeon near you to determine your best course of action.

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