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Arthritis and Rheumatism

Weak thumbs joints

07/31/2007

Question:

Hi, I have a problem for 8 months now in my both hands thumbs. The joints seems so weak and they failed to have this angle when carrying stuff or trying to open bottles or cans. It started last year when i was carrying heavy bags while travelling (Please note that I am a 36 years old female with 152 cm tall only but I don`t suffer from any other disease). At the begining there was a pain when carrying the lightest things then in a few months time the pain dissapeared (it keeps coming back sometimes but not like before). It seems that my right thumb is stronger now than the left one. I am helping myself a bit by avoiding carrying heavy stuff, cold water and using scissors and elastic when trying to make any activity with my hands when opening envelops or bottles..etc. Kindly note that for years I am doing well with taking supplements (Calcium...and others). Please advise what the problem is and will it be recovering one day as it seems endless? Many thanks for your help.

Answer:

Based on your description it sounds like you may be suffering from deQuervain's tenosynovitis which is inflammation of the tendons that allow us to lift our thumbs. This is treatable with corticosteroid injection and physical therapy.

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Response by:

Johnny  Su, MD Johnny Su, MD
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University