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Osteoarthritis Of
The Thumb

Thumb osteoarthritis, or basal joint arthritis, is a degenerative joint disease. It attacks the kinetic systems of the trapeziometacarpal or TM joint. The disease attacks bone, and cartilage and in its later stages creates subchondral cysts and osteophytes. Typically, palpation directly over the TM Joint will be painful. One in four women suffers from it. The prevalence among men is only one in twelve. It typically strikes men and women in their 50s and 60s.

Thumb osteoarthritis is serious because we only have two thumbs. And they certainly come in handy for holding just about everything that is essential for life from phones to keys to the all-important remote control. For a quick test, try opening a shirt button without a thumb. If you are experiencing two or three of the symptoms below, you need to set up an appointment with Dr. Greenberg.

  • Pain while opening jars or buttoning shirt
  • Tenderness at the base of the thumb
  • Swelling
  • Enlarged or bony appearance of joint at the base of the thumb
  • Stiffness
  • Difficulty pinching or grasping objects
  • Decrease in range of motion
The long term success of Dr. Greenberg’s patients is attributed to a specialized approach to the examination process. Deemed “The Greenberg Method,” this diagnostic approach not only looks into the area of damage and pain, but also evaluates the mechanics and structure of the bone and joints related to the area of the pain. For instance, we not only examine the thumb joint, but also the capsule that supports the thumb joint and the ligaments and tendons that control the thumb. Abnormal scapula position can also change the way the arm moves which can create early wear and tear. In executing The Greenberg Method, Dr. Greenberg often discovers that conditions experienced in one area of the body are often rooted in a different area that hasn’t been treated before. While an isolated joint treatment ignores physiology and the evaluation of movement, The Greenberg Method’s full-body examination produces a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan. In return, the patient experiences a greater reduction in pain and improvement in function, which helps them get back on their feet to resume their daily routines, pain free.

When in doubt, you always want to choose regeneration. Fusing and surgically altering the thumb is invasive surgery and is always the last option for very good reasons such as muscle pain, long recovery times and potential risks of infections. Dr. Greenberg has helped many patients with thumb osteoarthritis recover thumb functionality without surgery.

The path to a more functional thumb starts with Dr. Greenberg’s The Greenberg Method. Based on a thorough examination and review of all pertinent film and studies, Dr. Greenberg will determine if you are a candidate for The Greenberg Method (TGM).

In the past, he has had success using TGM Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections every three weeks for several months. PRP treatments have helped promote his patients’ own healing factors and cells. Many saw improvements in their joint function so that they could grasp and hold objects again.

For severely damaged thumbs, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and stem cell treatments may be used synergistically. Dr. Greenberg will discuss the objectives of each treatment and explain the therapeutic option that is most appropriate for your case.

The Greenberg Method is a good choice for people who are looking for a non-invasive alternative to thumb fusions or osteotomy. TGM treatments have lower infection risks than surgeries, shorter recovery times and are opioid-free. Dr. Greenberg is a holistically-centered physician who not only treats the structural issues of osteoarthritis, but he also addresses you. We work on your immune system through proper nutrition, supplements, innovative therapies, and intravenous treatment to nurture a sense of wellness for your body and mind.

If you or a loved one is looking for a new strategy to treat chronic aches and pains, fill out the form on this page to schedule an appointment or call Dr. Greenberg’s office today at 833-440-4325.