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Base of Thumb Arthritis

Base of thumb arthritis is also known as osteoarthritis, but it only affects the bottom of your thumb. If you have the condition, you’ll experience pain which is made worse when you use your thumb, as well as tenderness and stiffness. 

You might struggle to carry out tasks that involve using your thumb, like opening a jar or using a key to unlock a door. In severe cases, there might be a lump at the base of your thumb, or your thumb might hyperextend.

Base of thumb arthritis is sometimes known as ‘wear and tear’ arthritis. That’s why it’s common as you age.

Mr Sarker has a special interest in arthritis at the base of the thumb, and is highly experienced in treating this condition. If you’re experiencing symptoms that might make you suspect you have it, Mr Sarker is a fantastic option for you. 


If you have thumb pain, you can book an initial consultation with Mr Sarker at his clinics in Essex or central London.

During your initial consultation, Mr Sarker will talk to you about your symptoms and move your thumb to see if there are signs of arthritis. He’ll also look for any physical symptoms like swelling or lumps. You will need an X-ray to confirm the diagnosis.


Mr Sarker will always try to treat the condition without surgery, but it might be necessary in some cases. Treatment options include:


Wearing a splint

Mr Sarker may recommend you wear a splint for several weeks to help rest your thumb, decrease pain and keep your thumb in the proper position. He might also give you some gentle exercises to complete to try and slowly increase your range of movement.


Steroid injections

If your thumb doesn’t improve with a splint, Mr Sarker may recommend a steroid injection in your thumb. The injection contains anti-inflammatories to bring down swelling and reduce pain.


Surgery for base of thumb arthritis

Mr Sarker may recommend surgery if other treatments haven’t worked and you’re unable to bend or twist your thumb. Surgery is always a last resort and Mr Sarker will try to ease your symptoms using other methods first. Options include:


  • Osteotomy: A procedure where Mr Sarker will reposition the bones in your joint to repair any damage.

  • Denervation: A procedure that stops you from feeling as much pain in your thumb. This involves Mr Sarker cutting off some of the nerve pathways.

  • Debridement: This procedure is done under keyhole surgery where Mr Sarker can look at the joint with a small camera, remove any inflamed tissue and wash out any debris.

  • Cartiva implants: A modern technique where Mr Sarker will insert an implant into your thumb to act as a cushion for the thumb joint, reducing pain.

  • Joint fusion surgery: A procedure where Mr Sarker will fuse your joints together to strengthen them and reduce pain. Although this will eliminate your pain, it means your thumb won’t have as much flexibility, so it’s usually done as a last resort.

  • Base of thumb replacement: A procedure where Mr Sarker will remove the affected joint in your thumb and replace it with an artificial joint. These can help restore your movement and pinch grip. 

Patient Story

Case History of first Carpometacarpal Joint relacement

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use my private medical insurance?

Yes, Mr Sarker is approved by all major medical insurance providers and these treatments are well recognised. You’ll need to make sure your particular insurer provides you with  authorisation at each stage of your journey.

Can I pay for my own treatment?

Yes, Mr Sarker is happy to see patients on a self-pay basis. If you’re looking for prompt treatment from an expert hand and wrist consultant, you can book an appointment with Mr Sarker by getting in touch directly. You’ll be made aware of all of the prices for anything you need well ahead of having them, so you can make the right decision for you.

How much is a consultation with Mr Sarker?

An initial consultation is £250, and a follow up consultation is £175. The price of any scans, tests or treatments will depend on the hospital you visit, but you’ll be made aware of any costs well in advance of any procedure, so that you can make an informed choice.

Do I need a referral letter to see Mr Sarker?

Mr Sarker is happy to see you without a referral letter, but if you’re using your insurance, you should check with them as they may request that you get one.

Where can I see Mr Sarker privately?

Mr Sarker has clinics in Essex and Central London. You can see them all here.

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