Arthritis that affects the bones of the thumb is referred to as thumb arthritis or basal joint arthritis. This generally occurs after 40 years of age and is most often seen in women. The condition wears down the cartilage of the joints of the thumb and causes the bones to rub against each other.
In normal conditions, cartilage is the end of those in the palm. It cushions the bones and allows them to glide smoothly. Thumb arthritis causes the cartilage to deteriorate. As a result, the bones rub against each other, creating friction and more joint damage. It may also cause the development of new bones that produce lumps on the thumb joint. Thumb arthritis is commonly associated with ageing. It can also be caused by an earlier accident or trauma.
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