Scientific Article|Articles in Press

Distraction Arthroplasty for Basal Thumb Osteoarthritis: 10-Year Follow-Up


      Trapeziectomy has frequently been used to treat basal thumb osteoarthritis. However, complications, such as shortening of the thumb ray and reduced mobility and strength, can occur. The aim of this study was to present a 10-year follow-up of distraction arthroplasty without trapeziectomy.


      Fifteen patients were followed for a mean of 121 months (range, 121–124 months). Subjective outcomes were evaluated with the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand questionnaire, while the pain intensity was assessed with a Visual Analog Scale both before surgery and at the end of follow-up. Objective outcomes were obtained using the Kapandji score and an assessment of grip and pinch strength. Preoperative and final postoperative x-rays were obtained to evaluate metacarpal subsidence and progression of trapezial-metacarpal joint arthritis.


      The Visual Analog Scale score was reduced from 9.4 ± 0.5 before surgery to 2.5 ± 1 at follow-up. The mean Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand questionnaire score was 75.6 ± 12.6 before surgery and 16.9 ± 4 at 10 years. Hand grip strength of the operated side (26 ± 5.5 kg) achieved 95% of functionality compared to the opposite side, while key pinch strength (6.4 ± 1.6 kg) reached 93%. A Kapandji opposition score of 10 points was found in 12 patients, a score of 9 was found in 1, and a score of 8 was found in 2.


      Distraction arthroplasty of the trapeziometacarpal joint ensures good results in long-term follow-up, when performed in patients with stage I–II basal thumb osteoarthritis.

      Type of study/level of evidence

      Therapeutic IV.

      Key words

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