Carpometacarpal joint arthritis is formed between the base of the first metacarpal and the trapezium - one of the wrist bones.
Basic joint arthritis causes unbearable pain, swelling and decrease in movement and strength. It even prevents the execution of some basic daily actions, like opening a jar or turning a door handle.


  • pain in the base of the thumb
  • swelling, inflexibility and sensibility in the base of the thumb
  • reduced grasping ability
  • reduced range of thumb movements

Although multiple pathological problems can cause arthritis, the three most common categories related to the basic thumb joint are:

  • osteoarthritis  
  • rheumatoid arthritis 
  • post traumatic arthritis (usually occurs after suffering a fracture to the related joint)

Aims to:
- reduce the pain
- maintain or improve in the joint mobility
- minimize the disability

In cases of arthritis with mild symptoms the treatment is usually conservative and involves inflammatory medicine, immobilization with specific orthopaedic braces and training of the patient in ways to reduce the symptoms and protect the joint.

Operative treatment is addressed to more severe cases and comprises

  • removal of the trapezium (the damaged wrist bone)
  • removal of trapezium with arthroplasty of the joint
  • osteotomy of the metacarpal or
  • arthrodesis of the basal joint (fusion)