Base of the Thumb pain – Arthritis

Joint Care Clinics offers diagnostic scan to identify the joint/tendon for pain, advice the best possible option pain relief treatment option. These includes cortisone injection / Steroid injection / corticosteroid injection /PRP injection or Hyaluronic Acid injection.

Common Cause of thumb pain : CMC joint &/or STT joint

Arthritis to the base of the thumb is common with ageing as a result of wear and tear to the joint cartilage between the bones of the base of your thumb. This is also known as the carpometacarpal (CMC) joint &/or Scaphoid-trapezium -Trapezoid (STT) joint. Wear and tear process is more common in professionals involving repetitive hand usage, Ex: Carpenters, builders, dog groomers, electricians, carers, drivers, electricians,  etc.  Trauma/ injury can also trigger the degenerative process.

Thumb arthritis can cause swelling, severe pain and reduced range of movement lead to difficult to carry out the simple tasks such as holding a small weight with hand,  opening jars, and any other activities involving the thumb.


  • Pain: The usual symptom is the pain at the base of the thumb, especially when pinching, or gripping an object.
  • Stiffness / reduced range of movement, swelling at the base of the thumb.
  • Poor grip strength when pinching or grasping objects.
  • In some cases a bony lump or enlargement of the joint at the base of your thumb is visible. The bony lump is due to the overgrown new bone in the process of repairing the wear and tear of the joint.

When do you need help?

You require health care professionals help if the pain, swelling or stiffness is persistent at the base of your thumb for diagnosis and treatment.

Who are at risk of developing the base of the thumb Pain?

  • Trauma to the thumb/wrist. Ex: Fractures, sprain.
  • Age; above 40 years.
  • Female is more prone than male sex.
  • Joint ligament laxity and malformed joints.
  • . Job-related (occupational) stress on the thumb joint.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis can also cause damage to the cartilage and affects CMC joint,.

What can we offer?

Joint Carer Clinics offers one-stop service.

  • Assessment to identify the reason for pain.
  • A diagnostic Ultrasound scan to confirm the reason.
  • An appropriate treatment recommendation.

Ex:  Rest, thumb splint, Corticosteroid injection, also known as steroid injection or cortisone injection.  In some cases, surgery may be necessary.

  • All our joint and soft tissue pain injections are ultrasound-guided injections for accuracy and effectiveness.

Corticosteroid injection offers almost an immediate pain relief to the thumb joint.  Post injection care is
discussed after the injection.

Other than Corticosteroid injections, we also offer non-steroidal injections such as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections and Viscosupplementation injection also known as gel injection or joint lubricant injection.

Please contact us for a diagnosis of pain and treatment options.