Basal joint arthritis, or arthritis of the thumb, is a condition that can cause pain and discomfort and impede the overall function of your hand. The basal joint, also known as the carpometacarpal joint, connects the thumb to the base of the hand and allows people to grip and pick up objects. Because it is such a unique and heavily-used joint, it is subject to gradual wear and tear, which can cause pain and weaken the grip.

Basal joint arthritis is a degenerative condition; the cartilage that separates the bones of the joint gradually wears away and causes the bones to rub against each other. In order to stop and possibly even reverse the damage to the joint, it’s important to seek treatment from an expert as early as possible.

Why Is Surgery a Good Option?

Before you start looking for a basal joint arthritis surgeon in NJ, you should make sure that surgery is the right choice for you. It is important to discuss the details of your condition with your doctor before making the decision. Nonetheless, surgery is the preferred treatment in most cases, as non-surgical intervention typically resolves symptoms only temporarily.

Basal joint surgery is a safe, outpatient procedure that is performed with local anesthesia. Talk with your doctor and prospective surgeons to find out more about the procedure and what postoperative expectations you should set.

How to Find the Best Surgeon

If you have determined that basal joint arthritis surgery is the right way forward for you, the next step is to choose a surgeon. Finding a basal joint arthritis surgeon in NJ may seem like a daunting task, but there are several resources that can help make it easier for you.

Physician Referrals

First, physician referrals are usually a reliable way to find a basal joint arthritis surgeon in NJ. The physician who diagnosed your condition should be able to suggest at least one surgeon for you to consider, as physicians generally have experience working with surgeons and can make informed recommendations.

Family & Friend Recommendations

Your family and friends are another good source of information. Ask around to find out if anyone you know has experience with basal joint arthritis surgery or any other type of hand surgery. You may find a friend or relative who can point out a good surgeon for you.

Online Searches

One final way to find a basal joint arthritis surgeon in NJ is through online searches and reviews. There is a wealth of information available on the internet about basal joint arthritis surgeons that you can use as a guide for your decision. However, it’s best to use online searches and reviews as a supplement to physician referrals and recommendations from family and friends, not as a primary resource.

The Qualifications of a Successful Surgeon

It’s helpful to know not only where to find a good basal joint arthritis surgeon in NJ, but also what qualifications to seek. There are certain characteristics your surgeon should have that can make a huge difference in your surgical outcome.

Experience

One of the most important qualifications to seek in a surgeon is experience. A surgeon that has performed basal joint arthritis surgery dozens or hundreds of times is more likely to perform it successfully. An experienced surgeon will be able to answer your questions about the treatment and will be able to thoroughly address your concerns.

Specialization

Another important quality for any basal joint arthritis surgeon is specialization. The hand is an intricate and sensitive part of the body, so it should be treated by someone who has been extensively trained to treat it. Feel free to ask prospective basal joint arthritis surgeons in NJ about the extent to which they are specialized in hand surgery.

Discretion

A third and final criterion you should have in mind as you search for a basal joint arthritis surgeon in NJ is discretion. Your surgeon should only operate when necessary and when they are certain that surgery will bring about a positive result. The surgeon should be open and straightforward with you about what is and isn’t possible. This will help you make the right decision and have appropriate expectations.

The best way to determine if a prospective basal joint arthritis surgeon in NJ has these qualifications is to schedule consultations. Talk with prospective surgeons and don’t be afraid to ask them as many questions as possible.

Time to Find a Surgeon

Finding the right basal joint arthritis surgeon in NJ can feel like a complicated process, but it doesn’t have to be. By understanding the qualities of a successful surgeon and consulting trusted sources, you can simplify the decision and choose with confidence.

 

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About Dr. Yueh

Dr. Janet H. Yueh specializes in hand surgery including Trigger Finger, Basal Joint Arthritis, Carpal Tunnel and Tendonitis. Dr. Yueh did her undergraduate work at Harvard University in Cambridge where she graduated magna cum laude. She continued her education at Harvard Medical School where she earned her M.D.