Nonsurgical treatment for basal joint arthritis, also known as thumb arthritis, may include wearing a splint to limit thumb movement until the joint heals, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Surgical treatment options include joint fusion, joint replacement, osteotomy or trapeziectomy, reports Mayo Clinic.
In addition to wearing a splint, other nonsurgical options to treat basal joint arthritis include over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, or prescription medications, such as meloxicam or tramadol, states Mayo Clinic. Applying ice to the joint is often helpful, reports the AAOS.
Basal joint arthritis is a degenerative condition that usually worsens over time. Steroid injections may provide temporary comfort to patients when other nonsurgical treatments lose their effectiveness, according to the AAOS. For patients with severe, ongoing joint pain, surgical options may provide long-term comfort and pain relief.
Joint fusion, a surgical procedure that fuses bones to joints, provides additional stability to the joint and reduces pain, according to Mayo Clinic. Joint replacement replaces damaged parts of the thumb joint with pieces of the patient's tendon. Osteotomy involves repositioning bones to reduce pressure on the joint. Trapeziectomy involves the removal of the trapezium, a bone located in the thumb joint, to reduce pressure.