CMC Arthroplasty in Fort Mill, SC
Among the many small bones included within the hand and wrist is the carpometacarpal joint, or CMC joint. The CMC is located at the base of the hand, and is responsible for the thumb’s wide range of motion and functions.
The orthopaedic specialists at SpecOrtho provide testing and treatment for injuries to the CMC Joint. If you are experiencing symptoms of a CMC joint injury, contact SpecOrtho to discuss the benefit of a CMC Arthroplasty and learn more about your candidacy. To schedule your consultation at our orthopaedic clinic in Fort Mill, SC, please call (803) 548-6464 or request an appointment online.
What Are Symptoms of A CMC Joint Disorder?
Like all other joints in the body, the CMC is often subjected to natural wear and tear from daily movements that can result in osteoarthritis. Over time, this degeneration of the CMC can lead to significant symptoms, such as:
- Worsening pain
- Loss of motion or functions of the thumb
- Formation of a visible bump on the hand
How Is A CMC Joint Diagnosed?
The damage inflicted on the CMC joint can be classified into four unique stages:
- Stage I: The joint still appears normal with a bit of narrowing or widening to denote slight displacement. No osteophytes have yet formed, and symptoms are generally minor if at all present.
- Stage II: Small visible changes to the joint now exist as it has begun to narrow. If osteophytes have formed, they will be very small in size.
- Stage III: Significant degeneration of the joint is now evident, and arthritis may also now be affecting nearby areas of the hand and wrist.
- Stage IV: Damage to the CMC joint remains quite similar to what was seen in stage 3, though additional erosion of surrounding joints has continued to worsen.
SpecOrtho can stage a patient’s CMC joint damage using common diagnostic imaging tests such as X-ray, CT, and MRI.
Minimal treatments such as taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatories can help to relieve painful symptoms during early stages of CMC joint degeneration, but eventually, more comprehensive treatment may be required. This can eventually escalate to surgery, though patients can benefit greatly from an arthroscopic method utilized by SpecOrtho to achieve optimal results while also reducing procedural risks and recovery time.
When Should I Schedule A CMC Joint Arthroscopy?
If an individual is experiencing particularly painful symptoms as a result of an advanced case of CMC osteoarthritis, arthroscopic surgery is typically one of the best solutions to consider for treatment.
During the arthroplasty, a small incision is made over the CMC joint. A small bone in the wrist called the trapezium is then removed and replaced with a tendon grafted from the patient’s own forearm. The tendon works to fill the gap left by the trapezium, and to cushion the area from other bones at the base of the thumb. After the incision has been closed, SpecOrtho will immobilize the area using a brace or cast.
A large majority of patients can benefit from this minimally invasive procedure, though each should be made aware of the follow-up care they will need once the surgery is complete, which includes keeping their hand, fingers, and forearm immobilized until cleared by SpecOrtho for added activities. Although the recovery process is not nearly as long compared to traditional surgery of the CMC joint, patients are still expected to comply with all detailed instructions given by their physician.
Schedule a Consultation for the CMC Arthroplasty Procedure in Fort Mill, SC
For additional recommendations regarding CMC arthroplasty, please contact SpecOrtho at (803) 548-6464 to schedule your consultation at our orthopaedic clinic in Fort Mill, SC. You can also submit an appointment request form online.