Thumb Joint Arthritis

The trapezium is one of your wrist bones that lie at the base of your thumb. Arthritis in this joint is common. It is a progressive condition and can lead to pain, stiffness and deformity of your thumb.

Arthritis is a condition that can be better in summer, and worsen in winter. Simple painkillers and avoidance of triggering activities should help initially.You may be also treated with splints and activity modification but may need injections or surgery if this does not improve.


Splints can be fashioned from either soft neoprene or hard thermoplastic and worn at certain times of the day or night.

Hand therapy

A qualified hand therapist can advise on joint protection, activity modification and energy conservation.

Steroid injection

Steroid with local anaesthetic is injected into the joint. You will then be reviewed in a few weeks to assess the response to treatment. The steroid injection can certainly help with the pain of thumb based arthritis.

Trapeziectomy surgery

Where the arthritic trapezium bone is removed and a small sponge space filler is put in its place.

Thumb joint replacement

If none of the above has helped and symptoms persist, thumb joint replacement can be considered.

The video below discusses frequently asked questions on thumb joint arthritis.

Private thumb arthritis treatment with Midland Hand Clinic