Thumb Fusion Surgery Performed in Freehold and Monroe Township, NJ
A thumb fusion is a surgical procedure that may be considered to address very severe osteoarthritis in the carpometacarpal (CMC) joint. The CMC joint, which is located at the point where the metacarpal bone of the thumb attaches to the trapezium bone of the wrist, facilitates a motion called opposition, in which the thumb moves into the palm.
How Does Osteoarthritis Develop in the CMC Joint?
Like most other joints throughout the body, the surfaces of the CMC joint are lined with articular cartilage, a slick, spongy coating that allows the bones to glide smoothly against each other during movement. Over time, articular cartilage may break down due to ongoing wear and tear. Damaged cartilage can allow painful bone-on-bone contact, a degenerative joint condition known as osteoarthritis.
As the articular cartilage in the CMC joint wears out, thumb movements such as pinching and gripping may become painful. If the pain is debilitating, a thumb fusion may be suggested.
What Is the Goal of Thumb Fusion Surgery?
When performing a thumb fusion, a surgeon joins the surfaces of the metacarpal bone and the trapezium bone in order to minimize painful movement. After the CMC joint is fused, the range of motion will be reduced, but the ability to grip and pinch will remain. This procedure may be appropriate for an individual who requires thumb strength to perform his or her job duties, such as a carpenter who uses a hammer on a daily basis.
In general, a thumb fusion is regarded as a last resort treatment and considered only after all other potential treatment options, including a joint replacement, have been exhausted.
At Advanced Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Institute, our board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons offer the latest treatment options for osteoarthritis. Contact us to require an appointment with a specialist at our office in Freehold and Monroe Township, New Jersey.