Anti-inflammatories, splining, or even corticosteroid injections simply diminish symptoms but do not provide a long-term solution. They do not alter the often-inevitable course of progressive pain and even deformity.
Osteoarthritis of the thumb, most typically basal joint arthritis, is the second most common location for arthritis in the hand but the most functionally disabling,. The function of thumb opposition and subsequent pinch are crucial for such daily activities as turning a key, opening a jar, or picking a small object off the table. No wonder pain and weakness from the base of the thumb is so functionally disabling!
The initial treatment of symptomatic basal joint arthritis is most often for pain relief.