Scenario: Betty is experiencing pain at the base of her thumb. She is having difficulty holding onto a plate, pulling up her pants and writing.
Osteoarthritis is common at the carpometacarpal (CMC) joint of the thumb (base of thumb). Osteoarthritis is wear and tear degeneration of the joint.
Pain can be constant or activity specific. In this case, Betty would be fabricated a short opponens splint to immobilize the CMC joint to allow for rest, and pain/inflammation reduction.
This would be worn initially full time until pain settled. Other methods such as using anti-inflammatory cream, massage and nerve glides can help to settle the pain quicker.
The splint would be weaned to aggravating activities and night. Specific strengthening and proprioception exercises for the first dorsal interosseous muscle would be provided to increase strength, promote proper alignment and stability of the CMC joint.