Arthritis of the Thumb   1 comment

It was five to six years ago that the joint in my right thumb — the one at the base of the thumb at the wrist — began to hurt all the time.  I didn’t know why at the time.  I just knew that anything that put stress on that joint caused a sharp pain.  I finally went to my primary care doctor, who referred me to physical therapy.  The physical therapist was the one who suggested I see a hand specialist.  I did and was told that I had no cartilage left at the carpal-metacarpal joint.  The bone surfaces were rubbing together, causing pain and inflammation.  He gave me a shot of cortisone into the joint at that initial visit which completely alleviated the pain for four or five months, but it returned and the doctor wouldn’t repeat that procedure.  He said he couldn’t keep doing that.

My job, requiring a lot of repetitive hand and wrist motions, causes a lot of stress on that joint.  My favorite hobby of beading has further stressed that joint.  I now try to manage the discomfort by limiting the activities I do that aggravate it, splinting it at night, and taking analgesics. 

I had a bad flare-up of the pain about a week ago.  All I did was make a beaded necklace and two pairs of earrings as a birthday gift for a friend.  I really must be right at the edge most of the time of what activities I can endure and anything beyond that puts me into a flare-up of joint pain.

Five years ago, the hand specialist said that I wasn’t bad enough yet to consider surgery.  I wonder when I will be bad enough.  Will it be when nothing controls the pain, when I have no mobility left in my thumb?  I sometimes wish that that point of being “bad enough” would happen soon so that something definitive could be done to control the pain and give me some reasonable function in that joint.  It’s too bad I have to get much worse before I can get better!

Feeling a bit discouraged today.  I’m tired of hurting.


Posted June 10, 2009 by StPaulieGrrl in health

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One response to “Arthritis of the Thumb

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  1. Hey Bonnie, I’m sorry I missed this post. I haven’t been checking blogs lately, as you know. I’m sorry for the pain you were having. I hope that thing you got in the mail helps some. Please know that I’m here to help with anything I possibly can. Don’t ever hesitate to ask.

    I love you! ((hugs))

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