Artificial Joint Replacement of the Thumb Somerville MA

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Brian J Awbrey MD
(617) 726-3808
151 Merrimac St
Boston, MA
Specialties
Orthopedics

Data Provided By:
Byron V Hartunian, MD
(617) 864-5700
777 Concord Ave Ste 103
Cambridge, MA
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Tufts Univ Sch Of Med, Boston Ma 02111
Graduation Year: 1975

Data Provided By:
James Edward Phillips
(617) 491-6766
300 Mount Auburn St
Cambridge, MA
Specialty
Orthopedic Surgery

Data Provided By:
Joseph E Noonan Jr, MD
(425) 883-5151
1493 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: St Louis Univ Sch Of Med, St Louis Mo 63104
Graduation Year: 1984

Data Provided By:
William Lipman
(617) 591-4600
1493 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA
Specialty
Orthopedic Surgery

Data Provided By:
Lawrence Ira Karlin, MD
(617) 355-6021
300 Longwood Ave
Boston, MA
Business
Children's Hospital Boston Orthopaedic Surger
Specialties
Orthopedics

Data Provided By:
Leo Joseph Troy Jr, MD
(617) 491-6766
300 Mount Auburn St Ste 505
Cambridge, MA
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Harvard Med Sch, Boston Ma 02115
Graduation Year: 1979

Data Provided By:
Gerald Steinberg
(617) 665-1566
1493 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA
Specialty
Orthopedic Surgery

Data Provided By:
James G Manson, MD
(617) 491-4122
Cambridge, MA
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Graduation Year: 2007

Data Provided By:
Robert Ernst Miegel, MD
(617) 491-6766
300 Mount Auburn St Ste 505
Cambridge, MA
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Suny At Buffalo Sch Of Med & Biomedical Sci, Buffalo Ny 14214
Graduation Year: 1977

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Artificial Joint Replacement of the Thumb

A Patient's Guide to Artificial Joint Replacement of the Thumb

Introduction

If nonsurgical treatments are not successful in easing problems of thumb arthritis, your doctor may recommend replacing the surfaces of the joint. Joint replacement surgery is called arthroplasty.

This guide will help you understand

  • which parts of the thumb are involved
  • how surgeons perform this surgery
  • what to expect before and after surgery

Anatomy

Which parts of the thumb are involved?

The CMC joint (an abbreviation for carpometacarpal joint) of the thumb is where the metacarpal bone of the thumb attaches to the trapezium bone of the wrist. This joint is sometimes referred to as the basal joint of the thumb. The CMC is the joint that allows you to move your thumb into your palm, a motion called opposition.

Several ligaments (bands of strong tissue) hold the joint together. These ligaments join to form the joint capsule of the CMC joint. The joint capsule is a watertight sac around the joint.

The joint surfaces are covered with a material called articular cartilage. This material is the slick, spongy covering that allows one side of a joint to slide against the other joint surface easily. When this material wears out, the joint develops a type of arthritis called osteoarthritis and becomes painful.

Related Document: A Patient's Guide to Hand Anatomy

Rationale

What does the surgeon hope to achieve?

Arthritic joint surfaces can be a source of stiffness, pain, and swelling. The artificial joint is used to replace the damaged joint surfaces so patients can do their activities with less pain. Unlike a fusion surgery that simply binds the joint together, arthroplasty can help take away pain while allowing the thumb joint to retain movement.

Related Document: A Patient's Guide to Arthritis of the Thumb

Preparation

How should I prepare for surgery?

The decision to proceed with surgery must be made jointly by you and your surgeon. You need to understand as much about the procedure as possible. If you have concerns or questions, you should talk to your surgeon.

Once you decide on surgery, you need to take several steps. Your surgeon may suggest a complete physical examination by your regular doctor. This exam helps ensure that you are in the best possible condition to undergo the operation.

A second purpose of the preoperative visit is to prepare you for your surgery. You'll begin learning some of the exercises you'll use during your recovery. And your therapist can help you anticipate any special needs or problems you might have at home, once you are released from the hospital.

On the day of your surgery, you will probably be admitted to the hospital early in the morning. You shouldn't eat or drink anything after midnight the night before.

Surgical Procedure

What happens during surgery?

Before we describe the procedure, let's look first at the artificial thumb joint itse...

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