The base of thumb (carpometacarpal; CMC) joint is the most common site of osteoarthritis in the upper extremity.In patients older than age 75 years, thumb CMC osteoarthritis has a radiographic prevalence of 25% in men and 40% in women.
Symptoms of base of thumb arthritis range from occasional aching to severe pain with weakness and disability.
Nonsurgical treatment options include hand therapy, splinting, and injection.
Surgical treatment is tailored to the extent of arthritic involvement and may include ligament reconstruction, metacarpal extension osteotomy, arthroscopic partial trapeziectomy, implant arthroplasty, and trapeziectomy with or without ligament reconstruction and tendon interposition. Trapeziectomy or excision arthroplasty of the base of thumb joint is regarded as the gold standard for surgical treatment of thumb CMC arthritis with good predictable outcomes.