Basilar thumb arthritis, sometimes referred to as thumb arthritis, is a common form of arthritis that affects the carpal-metacarpal joint of the thumb. Treatment is nonoperative or operative depending on the severity of symptoms and Eaton and Littler stage of disease. The most mobile joint of the thumb is the one at its base (the thumb CMC joint). Because this joint is so mobile and well used, it is very prone to wear and tear (osteoarthritis). This will cause ongoing pain at the base of the thumb, particularly when gripping or squeezing. What can be done to treat the arthritis at the base of the thumb? First, this is a common condition and should be generally considered a normal part of the aging process. In addition, there are no cures for this this type of arthritis (osteoarthritis) so treatments are generally aimed at symptom relief and functional recovery. Arthritis is a term often used to mean any disorder that affects joints. Symptoms generally include joint pain and stiffness. Other symptoms may include redness, warmth, swelling, and decreased range of motion of the affected joints.