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Thumb and hand pain

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The fatty part of the palm on my left hand throbs all the time. I have difficulty grasping objects while extending my thumb. Occasionally I have numbness and tingling in the fingers on my left hand. It is painful to touch the bone, ( I'm assuming it is a bone) that is at the base of my thumb. What is your recommended course of action for me at this point.
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First Helper User Profile sswteacher
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replied June 27th, 2011
Especially eHealthy
sswyatt1,

You could actually have a couple of things going on.

Basal thumb pain is common in females (still don't know why). The CMCJ (carpometacarpal joint), where the base of the metacarpal of the thumb articulates with the trapezium, is very susceptible to degenerative arthritis. It is classed by Eaton into four classes, based on x-ray appearance. Patients usually complain of pain with grasping and when opening the hand to grasp a large object.

It is usually treated initially with antiinflammatory medicine (if the patient can take them) and a hand based opponens splint. The symptoms tend to wax and wane in the beginning of the degeneration. If it progresses, and nonoperative treatment no longer takes care of the pain, then surgery is usually offered. Currently, there are several different procedures available.


Numbness and tingling is indicative of nerve compression. If it is in the fingers on the thumb side (radial), then it is usually the median nerve. This is carpal tunnel syndrome. If it is in the fingers on the small finger side (ulnar), then the ulnar nerve is usually being compressed. This compression can be at the wrist (Guyon's canal) or elbow (cubital tunnel). Sometimes, with carpal tunnel syndrome all the fingers will be involved, which is due to the anatomy of the transverse carpal ligament.


If your symptoms persist or worsen, you should probably see a hand surgeon for an evaluation and x-rays.

Good luck.
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