Wrist & Hand / Basal Thumb Arthritis
Thumb Base Arthritis
What is thumb arthritis?
The universal joint at the base of the thumb, between the metacarpal and trapezium bones, often becomes arthritic as people get older. The cartilage becomes thin and rough, and the bone ends can rub together. Osteoarthritis can develop at any age, but usually appears after the age of 45. It may run in families, and it sometimes follows a fracture involving the joint many years before.
Arthritis of the basal joint of the thumb is common in women and rather less common in men. X-rays show it is present in about 25% of women over the age of 55, but many people with arthritis of this joint have no significant pain.