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Rhizarthrosis/Osteoarthritis of the TMC - Definition


Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease of the joints that can affect the fingers, with the form that specifically affects the base of the thumb called rhizarthrosis, or more commonly osteoarthritis of the TMC. This form particularly attacks the joint between the bone at the base of the thumb, called the first metacarpal, and the trapezium, the bone located under the thumb in the palm. It manifests as a swelling in the affected area and pain when moving the thumb. This type of osteoarthritis can be severely debilitating for many movements and gestures used on a daily basis. Treatment is based on anti-inflammatory drugs and using a brace to relieve the pain. In cases of osteoarthritis affecting the fingers, corticosteroid injections should be used sparingly, and surgery is a possible solution. It is worth noting that osteoarthritis of the fingers also manifests as pain, but often includes the appearance of small bone outgrowths on the phalangeal joints.