The study hypothesizes that there exist effective non-operative and operative treatments for certain patient populations with basal joint arthritis of the thumb. There also exists a functionally superior, cost effective, and low risk non-operative or minimally invasive operative treatment regime to alleviate pain and slow the progression of disease in those with less advanced disease. Likewise, there is significant functional, health utility, and economic advantage to surgically treating advanced basal joint arthritis with one of the popularized procedures currently in practice.
Arthritis at the base of the thumb is a common condition associated with considerable patient discomfort. Many non-operative and operative treatments have been described, but few prospective studies involving multiple centers comparing these treatments have been done. By following patients from the start of their arthritis treatment and assessing their progress at certain time points using questionnaires and radiographs the investigators believe patient outcomes and satisfaction can improve. This study will include patients who are treated non-operatively and operatively and will not change patients' standard of care. By establishing standardized outcome measures and collecting data prospectively from the time of initial presentation through all treatment interventions it will be possible to directly compare treatments during the conservative and operative care of basal joint arthritis of the thumb. This multi-center study will identify those specific procedures or conservative treatments that have the greatest potential to be studied in subsequent focused and well-designed randomized control trials.