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Start  >  Select Body Part  >  Thumb  >  Instability - Specifically in the thumb base joint (MCP -I)

Thumb - Base Joint Instability

An unstable thumb is an annoying complaint that affects many people. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to reduce this condition. Read on below:

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What is an unstable thumb?

In the case of an unstable thumb, you feel pain at the base of your thumb, or you have the feeling that it is being dislocated. This is also known as thumb base instability. The weight-bearing capsules and the ligaments of your thumb are too flexible, allowing you to move your thumb in all directions. Your doctor will quickly recognize thumb base instability. You may suffer from slight or severe instability. In the case of minor instability, these symptoms are less severe; in the case of severe instability, they are more severe and your thumb is also much more flexible than normal. The cause is mostly an accident, which happens quickly because your joint capsules are naturally rather weak.

 

What complaints may arise?

With thumb base instability, you can suffer from:

  • Inability to hold things
  • Frequent partial dislocation of the thumb
  • Nagging pain at the base of the thumb
  • Increased symptoms during activities which involve a pinching movement

 

What research is possible?

Thumb base instability can be easily diagnosed by physical examination. When in doubt, additional examination through an X-ray examination and possibly a CT scan can be chosen.

 

What treatments are available for thumb base instability?

 

If your thumb has only been dislocated, hand therapy may be available to alleviate the instability. A brace or splint is used, and you are given exercises to strengthen the muscles. This is only possible in cases of minor instability. In the case of serious thumb instability, surgery will be required. The aim of the surgery is to eliminate the instability and to make the joint stable again. A ligament is made from the tendon in the wrist and attached through a small hole in the first bone. This keeps everything in the right place. After this, you will get a plaster splint for a while and then a removable splint or brace to rehabilitate properly. Even in the case of slight instability, you can choose to have a thumb support fitted to remedy the problem or make it less painful.

 

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