Splinting for the arthritic thumb is an option for both the non-surgical and post-operative patient. Options include fabrication of a custom thermoplastic splint or issuing a prefabricated splint for stabilization of the CMC joint. The splints provide pain relief and the patients are still able to perform most ADL’s and work tasks.
What about physical therapy treatment for early CMC OA?
Patients are instructed in a treatment protocol for managing their thumb arthritis pain and preventing further deformity. This program takes 4-5 visits to implement and ensure that the patients are performing the program correctly and getting relief from their symptoms. The program includes: gentle self joint mobilization, trigger point release of the thumb adductor, and isometric and isokinetic thenar exercises to re-establish muscle stability around the CMCJ.