Rhizarthrosis affects the most necessary joint for the human being: the thumb. Without a thumb, we can’t do anything: try to scroll with your mobile or grab a glass of water without a thumb. I will tell you who suffers from rhizarthrosis, why, and current treatments to alleviate it.
Rhizarthrosis. Why is the thumb so important?
The thumb is essential for the opposition mechanism.
The simplest gesture: scrolling with your mobile or grabbing a glass of water is an impossible mission without a thumb due to the opposition mechanism it performs.
Rhizarthrosis, what exactly is it?
Wear the appearance of osteoarthritis of degenerative signs in the trapezio-metacarpal joint. Something inherent to the aging process.
Attention who has suffered a fracture in this joint can also develop thumb osteoarthritis.
Symptoms of thumb osteoarthritis.
Rhizarthrosis of the thumb.
I am disabling pain at the root of the thumb. Difficulty making movements with a said finger. Rigidity. An unmedical trick consists of asking the patient to place her hand outstretched and resting on the table. If contact with the table is lost between the base of the thumb and the bottom of the fifth finger, we can suffer from osteoarthritis of the thumb. In pronounced cases, deformity of said joint. Check out the peculiar shape in the photo of the change of direction of the thumb.
Necessary tests for the diagnosis of osteoarthritis of the thumb.
An x-ray of the hand is enough to make a diagnosis of rhizarthrosis.
Thumb rhizarthrosis. X-ray to verify that the thumb is subluxated.
Who suffers from rhizarthrosis?
Women are the ones who suffer the most from annoying pain when using the thumb. Possibly because women under the effect of hormones are more labile and more elastic, and there are abnormal movements more often than in men.
And that means that men do not suffer from it? I have not said that. If they use their thumb constantly and repetitively, they are also victims of rhizarthrosis.
Manual jobs where there is a large number of patients with thumb osteoarthritis.
A large number of professions with extensive manual use of the hands:
Sewists, hairdressers, dressmakers, butchers, midwives.
What do these professions have in common?
Scissors are the devil of rhizarthrosis...
Scissors: a great culprit in the appearance of thumb rhizarthrosis.
Scissors: the ally of rhizarthrosis.
Observe the abnormal movement the thumb must make to each cut with them.
Reflection: I’m old enough to know we should add female surgeons to that list. I studied Medicine in the Lower Paleolithic from 1992-1998. At that time, the feminization of Medicine was not so evident and even less so in traumatology. On the subject of Traumatology, they told us about midwives as health figures with this type of problem. Today next to the midwives, the surgeons are also included.
Secret: I watch my fellow traumatologists operate, gynecologists, and general surgeons. We all exercise the clamp repeatedly in each surgical act, and that means that all of us, women and men, suffer from this problem.
I watch my fellow nurses and aides open all the sterile envelopes and perform that brutal force with their thumbs hundreds of times a day. We are cannon fodder!
Analgesics on demand. Mild anti-inflammatories sporadically. Local infiltration of anesthetic and cortisone under ultrasound or radiographic control. Here is a post about Infiltrations. Where to infiltrate and for what? Physiotherapy. Paraffin baths. Strengthening exercises for the muscles between the first and second fingers. I show you in this video how to strengthen the first lumbrical to avoid subluxation of the first metacarpal. Soon I will post the link here and on my YouTube channel... Orthosis to "reposition" the thumb joint in a good position. And so, avoid the pain. Metagrip Push. Stick with that name. Occupational therapy.
Metagrip Push. Orthosis for the “repositioning” of the thumb in a good position.
What is occupational therapy? And in rhizarthrosis?
It consists of adapting the usual utensils to the body area that we have annoyed.
Example: a par slicing knife with a design where the thumb does not suffer.
A thicker door handle that avoids extreme gripping or tweezing with rhizarthrosis.
I recommend you go to your trusted orthopedic and ask about all the objects of daily use that can improve your everyday life and avoid pain.
Or, for example, occupational therapy. Tommy Hilfiger has half a dozen children, three of whom have autism, and is very sensitive to this disease, and he has made a line of clothing adapted to particular needs. Tommy Adaptative, avoiding zip and button closures, adds ease when dressing and undressing children with autism.
Surgical treatments. Many techniques: none good or definitive.
We have always been told that when there is more than one surgical option for a diagnosis, there is no good solution for a problem. For example: in the face of appendicitis, surgery should always be performed to remove that piece of inflamed/infected appendix.
Well, it turns out that for rhizarthrosis, there are different surgical techniques that I will name.
Resection or trim part of the trapezium. Resection of the entire trapezium. And reposition part of a tendon in the middle to cushion the area. Fix or arthrodesis the injured area. Thumb prosthesis or arthroplasty of said joint.
Did you know ?
The thumb is the finger most valued also by insurers. In case of amputation, the money received is usually the maximum agreed by the policy, 100% of the amount. Jennifer Lopez secured her butt… many surgeons have our thumbs attached. When a baby is born with some alteration in the thumb, it is imperative that it can be intervened before a year or a year and a half for the correct neurological development. Here, you can read about childhood trigger fingers: Childhood Trigger Finger, No Kidding. And about the same in disease in adults: Trigger finger. Does your finger get caught? In case of amputation or a missing thumb, is there a surgery called "humanization" when it is decided to transplant another finger -usually the big toe- to the hand? Scroll. Slide your thumb across the screen. Also guilty of Carpal Tunnel. Scroll. Slide your thumb across the screen. Also guilty of Carpal Tunnel. Did you know that primates, which use hands and feet with an opponent of the thumb, could suffer from rhizarthrosis in all four limbs? (The luck they have is that dividing repetitive exercises by four decreases the possibility of rhizarthrosis.) If while you were reading this article and scrolling* your thumb hurts... You may have WhatsAppitis. You have read well. I encourage you to read this article for a good cause. Mobile phone injuries. WhatsAppitis?