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Primates, including human beings, are separated from the rest of the animal kingdom by one important digit - the first digit, the thumb. Imagine trying to hold onto a needle, a pen, or a hammer without a thumb; nearly impossible. That is why when the thumb becomes painful and useless a person can lose a job, lose a hobby, and lose the ability to live independently. Three common conditions affect the thumb: arthritis , de Quervain's Tendonitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome . Unfortunately, these three conditions usually go hand-in-hand and attack the same thumb.
In order to understand the thumb, one must know about the most important joint which is at the base of the thumb and called the carpometacarpal joint (CMC joint). The first CMC joint is the only CMC joint that has full range of motion: abduction, adduction, flexion, extension, and rotation. This motion is what gives the thumb full function for grasping, holding, pinching, and squeezing. And out of all the motions of the thum...
My name is Cathee and I am currently 35 yrs old. I was diagnosed
with Rheumatoid Arthritis when I was 27. My introduction to RA was
rather quick. In fact, I had actually never heard of RA when I went
to see my doctor about a swollen knuckle. My finger had been
swollen for about 2 months and as I was reading through a magazine
I found an article about lyme disease. Since I spent a lot of time
hiking in the woods with my dog, I began to think I might have
contracted lyme disease from a tick. I went to my family physician
and luckily she had an instinct about what was going on with me and
sent me to see a Rheumatologist. The Rheumatologist immediately
ordered blood work and I was officially diagnosed with RA in March
of 1997. I didnt have any other symptoms at the time except
for the one swollen joint until August 1997. Literally overnight, I
became almost bed ridden. It was if I went to sleep as one person
and woke up another.
Since that fateful night, I have battled this crippli...
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