What is STT arthritis?
STT arthritis is a form of osteoarthritis that involves three bones in the wrist, the Scaphoid, the Trapezium and the Trapezoid.
What are the symptoms of STT arthritis?
Pain and tenderness in the thumb and wrist. It can feel as though the pain is situated deep inside the pad under the thumb on the palm side of the hand. Pain may increase when gripping or pinching. Other symptoms include joint stiffness and a weakened grip.
The condition is usually diagnosed with a medical examination and an X-ray.
How is STT arthritis treated?
Some people are able to treat STT arthritis at home. They take over the counter painkillers, wear splints and modify their daily activities. They may do this with the support of a Certified Hand Therapist.
Other non-surgical options include a steroid injection into the joint. These can relieve symptoms for a few weeks or months.
Surgery for STT arthritis often involves an STT fusion, where the three bones are fused together. Other surgical options include trapeziectomy, fibrous arthroplasty, excision arthroplasty or prosthetic replacement.
Rehabilitation from surgery can take around 4 - 6 months, although patients may be back to light activities 6 weeks after surgery.
It is important to talk with your doctor, and / or hand surgeon to fully understand which treatment option is right for you.