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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 11946
Experience:  U.S. Physician/Surgeon in Neurosurgery
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I have severe thumb pain in my hand. I mentioned this to my

Resolved Question:

I have severe thumb pain in my hand. I mentioned this to my primary care doctor, who dismissed this as arthritis. It may be, but I would like a more definitive answer. What kind of doctor should I go to? An orthopedic doctor or an arthritis doctor? Please tell me where to go for help!
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 8 years ago.
Do you have pain in your index finger as well?

Wrist pain?

Pain if you use your other hand to press on the joint itself?

Pain with movement of the thumb?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I don't have pain in my Index finger or wrist. I do have pain when I press on the joint with the other hand, and I do have pain with movement of the thumb.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 8 years ago.
Besides telling you it was arthritis - did your doctor do anything else to evaluate the pain? Blood work? Imaging?
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 8 years ago.

You seem to be offline so I'll tell you about the common causes of isolated thumb pain.

Osteoarthritis - of the thumb joint (carpometacarpal), can cause pain at the base of the thumb with pain on gripping motions.

Tenosynovitis - irritation of the tendons as they cross over the bone, causing pain with movement of the thumb, like with bending the thumb forward.

Trigger thumb - if your thumb occasionally freezes in position, from a tendon that "catches" the joint.

Xray of the joint can determine if arthritis is a cause, though nearly everyone as they get older will have some degeneration at that specific joint (the thumb joint is the most active joint in the hand). Regardless, you can go to a hand specialist, who is often a plastic surgeon or orthopedic hand surgeon for a detailed examination, though this is usually an issue handled by the primary care doctor.
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