The painful inflammation of the thumb joint is known as thumb arthritis. Even though a doctor might first recommend nonsurgical treatment options, if these don’t work, surgery might be required. Although the methods used by each type of surgery to treat thumb arthritis vary, they all entail changing the CMC joint at the base of the thumb. A surgeon will recommend the best kind of surgery based on several variables, including the patient’s age, lifestyle, and degree of joint damage.
An Overview of a Thumb Joint
The carpometacarpal, or CMC, joint is what is referred to as the thumb joint. This joint is located at the base of the thumb, close to the point where the thumb’s fleshy portion and wrist is joined. It is in responsible for allowing the thumb to pinch, rotate, and swivel, which permits people to hold objects in their hands.
Symptoms of Thumb Arthritis
Here are the certain common symptoms that indicate that you might be suffering from thumb arthritis
- Tenderness and swelling at the base of the thumb.
- An ache following extended thumb use.
- Loss of force when using your thumb to pinch or hold something.
- Restricted movement.
Thumb Joint Replacement Surgery Cost in India
Thumb joint replacement surgery cost in India starts from INR 3,75,215 (4500 USD). It can vary based on factors like the choice of implant, hospital facilities, the surgeon’s expertise etc. The price is generally low which is considered to be much lower than other Western countries. The specific requirements of the patient and additional medical requirements can influence the overall cost. India is a desirable destination for medical tourism because it offers the most cutting-edge medical facilities and individualized care at a lower cost than other countries.
Why Do We Perform Thumb Joint Replacement?
The procedure is typically performed due to thumb arthritis. This condition refers to an inflammatory thumb joint that usually arises from the wear and tear of cartilage in the thumb base joint, causing the bones to rub against one another. This disorder, which can harm the thumb joint and cause pain, is also referred to as basal thumb arthritis or thumb basal joint arthritis. A doctor might suggest surgery to fix the joint and ease discomfort if nonsurgical treatment methods don’t work.
Non-Surgical Treatment Options For Thumb Pain
When treating thumb arthritis, medical professionals typically first recommend nonsurgical methods; surgery is typically recommended as a last resort. Common non-surgical approaches are:
- Steroid injections
Types of Thumb Joint Surgery
In certain instances of joint impairment, a physician might advise surgery. Various surgical options are available to help treat thumb arthritis-related joint damage and pain.
- Ligament reconstruction – The goal of this procedure is to stabilize the CMC joint. The damaged ligament in the CMC joint is removed and replaced with a donor wrist tendon
- Ligament reconstruction and tendon interposition (LRTI) – The procedure entails taking out damaged joint surfaces and putting in place a cushion of other tissues to keep the bones apart. It involves the removal of trapezium, the wrist’s smaller bone that joins with the thumb’s metacarpal bone and forms the CMC joint. The trapezium is frequently damaged by arthritis. Usually, the neighboring tendon is removed by the surgeon as placed it between the the bones of the CMC joint to act as padding.
- Total joint replacement – It is also known as thumb arthroplasty. This option is for a damaged thumb joint to be completely replaced. To install metal or pyrocarbon prostheses, surgeons must remove the joint. In addition, they might put artificial cushioning spacers in between the prostheses.
- Hematoma and distraction arthroplasty – The trapezium bone may also need to be removed, but this procedure is different in that the thumb is momentarily immobilized using a wire. Six weeks later, the wire will be removed by surgeons. The body could be able to heal itself if there was no continuous friction in the joint.
- Fusion – This option, also referred to as arthrodesis, entails fusing the bones in a damaged joint. To make the bones fit together, surgeons trim the bones. After that, they place a metal pin inside those bones to hold them in place.
Thumb Joint Replacement Surgery Procedure
The operation is conducted under local or general anesthesia to prevent pain during the procedure, then
- An incision is made on the skin covering the thumb.
- The wrist joint is partially or completely removed. A portion of thumb bone is removed too in some cases
- The join is reconstructed using a cartilage, a tendon harvested from the patients forearm, or using an artificial implant
- The incision is stitched closed
- The area is covered up with a clean bandage.
Risks Associated With Thumb Joint Replacement
Complications are possible with any surgical procedure, thumb joint replacement might also include the following such as:
- Stiffness of the joint
- Loosening of the implants
- Instability of the thumb joint
- Damage to the adjacent structures
- Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
Post-Surgical Care and Recovery
After surgery, your thumb will be immobilized with a splint. Do not remove the splint and cover it properly while taking a shower It is advisable to keep the hand as high as possible during the initial weeks and move your finger as possible. The stitches are usually removed 2 weeks after the surgery. You will receive a thumb cast after that and it will be removed approximately 3 weeks after along with the pin. Once the pin is removed, you will get a custom thumb splint. Hand therapy will be started to help you regain motion. Strengthening usually begins after 2 months of the surgery and complete recovery might occur 3-4 months after the surgery.