People who have arthritis in the base of the thumb often find it quite painful and makes it difficult to use the hand properly. Surgery is usually the last treatment for arthritis in the thumb, only done if all other treatments (medications, physiotherapy, and so on) don't help.
Surgery can mean fusing the bones together so they're no longer painful or even replacing the joint.
Marco Rizzo, MD, Steven L. Moran, MD, and Alexander Y. Shin, MD. Long-Term Outcomes of Trapeziometacarpal Arthrodesis in the Management of Trapeziometacarpal Arthritis. In Journal of Hand Surgery. January 2009. Vol. 34A. Pp. 20 to 26.
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