What Happens if Hand CMC Joint Arthritis is Left Untreated?

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Arthritis, a condition marked by joint inflammation, affects millions worldwide, with the hands being particularly susceptible. Among the hand joints, the carpometacarpal (CMC) joint, situated at the base of the thumb, is especially prone to arthritis. Recognizing the risk factors and consequences of CMC joint arthritis is crucial for effective management and prevention. Here, orthopedic specialist Dr. Christopher Williams of Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta outlines the causes, implications, and treatment options for hand CMC arthritis, as well as what may happen if hand CMC arthritis is left untreated.

What is hand CMC arthritis?

Hand CMC joint arthritis, sometimes known simply as thumb arthritis, is often marked by symptoms like pain, stiffness, limited mobility, and swelling in the thumb joint. Various factors contribute to the development of this condition, including:

  • Age: Individuals over 40 face a higher risk due to natural joint wear and tear, which intensifies with age.
  • Gender: Women, particularly post-menopausal, are more susceptible, possibly due to hormonal changes.
  • Genetics: Family history of arthritis or joint issues can predispose individuals to CMC arthritis.
  • Overuse: Repetitive gripping and pinching motions in certain occupations or activities contribute to joint strain.
  • Injury or trauma: Previous thumb or hand injuries can alter joint structure, increasing vulnerability to arthritis.
  • Lifestyle factors: Maintaining a healthy weight and following an anti-inflammatory diet are essential for joint health.

Will thumb arthritis go away on its own, or do I have to get treatment for CMC joint pain?

Failure to address CMC joint arthritis in Atlanta can lead to worsening symptoms, decreased hand function, and diminished quality of life. Without intervention, patients with CMC joint arthritis may experience chronic pain, reduced range of motion, difficulty performing daily tasks, and potential joint deformities. In severe cases, untreated arthritis can result in irreversible joint damage, necessitating more invasive treatments or surgical intervention.

How can CMC joint arthritis be treated?

Effective management of CMC joint arthritis typically involves a multifaceted approach tailored to individual needs. Treatment options recommended by Dr. Williams may include:

  • Physical therapy: Exercises and techniques to improve joint flexibility, strength, and function.
  • Medication: Pain relievers, anti-inflammatories, or disease-modifying drugs to alleviate symptoms.
  • Lifestyle changes: Weight management and dietary modifications to reduce joint stress and inflammation.
  • Steroid injections: Injections to reduce pain and inflammation in the affected joint.
  • Minimally invasive procedures: Techniques such as arthroscopy to address joint damage or inflammation.
  • Surgery: Surgical intervention, such as joint fusion or joint replacement, in severe cases.

How can I avoid surgery for thumb CMC arthritis?

Orthopedic specialists like Dr. Williams at Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta often prioritize conservative, minimally invasive treatments to alleviate pain and restore function in CMC joint arthritis in the simplest and most effective way possible. Regenerative procedures like Regenexx® therapy offer promising results by stimulating natural healing processes within the joint. Dr. Williams works closely with patients to determine the most suitable treatment plan possible based on their condition, preferences, and goals.

Get back to your favorite activities with hand CMC joint arthritis treatment in Atlanta, GA

Don't let hand CMC joint arthritis dictate your daily life. If you're experiencing symptoms of thumb arthritis, it's essential to seek timely evaluation and treatment from a qualified orthopedic specialist to avoid worsening symptoms and potentially lasting complications. Our experienced team at Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta provides comprehensive arthritis care, offering advanced treatments to relieve pain and improve joint function. Schedule a consultation with Atlanta, GA orthopedic specialist Dr. Christopher Williams today to take the first step toward a virtually pain-free, active lifestyle.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.