The forceps handle is the thumb saddle joint. Babies can only grab at the beginning of life, but the tweezer grip stops at the sixth to ninth month of life. The thumb saddle joint makes the connection between the thumb and the metacarpal bone and the large polygon leg is involved. Thus, thumb and the other fingers can face each other and together allow very fine gripping.

What is the tweezer handle?

The tweezer handle removes the gripping reflex, babies can then grab smaller items. Picture shows tweezer handle in an ergotherapy session.

The tweezer handle replaces the gripping reflex, the baby can now grasp smaller objects. It no longer engages with the entire palm, but is able to exercise the forceps handle. Now no more dust is ignored and maybe the toddler can already hold the baby spoon. The child will quickly perfect the tweezer handle and reach for anything nearby. It will even drop certain items extra, then pick them up again. But that is quite normal, it helps in the development of Greif-Motorik.

The gripping reflex should be completely gone by the ninth month of life. With the tweezer handle, the baby is cleverer, it will not be long before it can eat alone. The tweezer grip is important for the development of a child, because it can move and use the hand properly.

Function & Task

The thumb joint is held in place with multiple ligaments and two muscles are available for each rotational movement. The muscles of the hand are supplied by the ulnar nerve and the median nerve.

For all gripping actions, the thumb saddle joint is responsible, it is also heavily used in the tweezer handle. Especially postmenopausal women have to reckon with changes in this joint, mostly arthrosis, which is called rhizarthrosis in this area. It is the thumb saddle joint is not a ball joint, but a typical saddle joint. As a result, the bending and stretching of the hand is only possible, the spreading and angling optimized and ultimately made all grasping movements possible.

Compared to the finger joints, the thumb saddle joint is quite elastic, but it is held by ligaments and is very stable. Thus, a safe movement in all directions is possible. The thumb can therefore perform fine motor movements, including the tweezer handle, but he can also grab tight.

The thumb saddle joint is responsible for many movements, it can perform fine motor movements, but develop a lot of power for gripping movements. The opposition of the thumb has a special burden. The thumb has two planes of rotation, so he is able to do the tweezer grip.

By the way, each of the remaining four fingers can make a "tweezers". The tip of the thumb is placed on the finger end of any finger. The fingers of the same hand are pressed together more or less strongly. The tweezer handle can therefore be exercised very sensitively and carefully, but he can also grab vigorously.

Diseases & complaints

In almost all movements, the thumb saddle joint is heavily stressed. Especially with the tweezer handle with the ring finger and the little finger. Here, the articular surfaces are shifted against each other and exposed to much smaller surfaces the stresses. Thus, the [[articular cartilage] prematurely worn, which in turn leads to osteoarthritis. These manifest in movement pains, which are later recorded during periods of rest.

Often, extensions of the bones form, which can already be felt from the outside and are easily recognized as deformation. There is a special X-ray procedure that makes the bony changes visible.

Anyone who works extremely hard on a smartphone with a thumb is particularly at risk. Writing many SMS or playing a lot can cause pain in the thumb. The phenomenon is already common in adolescents, as the load on the thumb is very high and it is unusually stressed. The thumb is then also referred to as an SMS thumb and the overuse manifests itself in a tendonitis or bursitis.

In the so-called Finkelstein test, you can even feel the tendon, which then makes a crunching noise. Here, the thumb is closed in the fist and bent jerkily in the direction of the little finger. The symptoms are very painful and if the thumb is not treated, this disease can become chronic very quickly. The treatment can take a month or more. In very bad cases, a small surgery may be necessary, which is performed on an outpatient basis. A small incision in the connective tissue or in the bursa may bring relief. After the procedure, the thumb can be moved again immediately.

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