Patient Stories

Handled With Care: Non-Surgical Treatment for Thumb Arthritis

Mary Ann Oklesson’s osteoarthritis started in her hips, then moved to her hands, with the greatest pain in her basal thumb joint. “I’ve always exercised and have always been in good health,” explains Ms. Oklesson, “so this really did curtail a lot of activities for me.”

More than 10 years ago, Ms. Oklesson, had two hip replacements performed by Joseph Lane, MD, director of the Metabolic Bone Disease Service and director of the Osteoporosis Prevention Center at Hospital for Special Surgery. With surgical success, she recently sought care for hand pain and agreed to participate in a study of a non-surgical intervention. “My hand would hurt so badly, my thumb particularly, when I would press down,” recalls Ms. Oklesson. 
 
Ms. Oklesson received injections of a hyaluronan substance in the joint, which provided complete relief.  Now carrying home her groceries or working out at the gym is no longer a problem. “I have the strength back,” says Ms. Oklesson. “I couldn’t do push-ups at all—now I can do several reps.”

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