Outcomes of Surgical Management for Thumb Basilar Arthritis in Patients 55 Years of Age and Younger

Peter C. Rhee, Aaron Paul, Brian Carlsen, Alexander Y. Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Trapeziectomy with ligament reconstruction tendon interposition (LRTI) or suspensionplasty is an effective treatment in older patients with end-stage thumb basilar arthritis. However, the survivability of this procedure is unknown in younger patients who may impart more stress on their thumbs. Methods: A retrospective review was performed on all patients who underwent trapeziectomy and LRTI or suspensionplasty at 55 years of age or younger from 1992 to 2008. Objective clinical outcome measures included preoperative to postoperative changes in thumb range of motion, grip and pinch strength, a study-specific thumb function score, and the Buck-Gramcko subjective outcome score. Progressive metacarpal subsidence was evaluated on radiographs. Survivorship free from revision surgery was calculated with a Kaplan-Meier analysis. Results: A total of 57 wrists underwent trapeziectomy and LRTI (n = 18) or suspensionplasty (n = 39). The mean patient age at the time of surgery was 49.6 years (range: 38-55 years). Mean clinical and radiographic follow-up were 10.2 and 6.4 years, respectively. Overall, there were significant improvements in pain and grip strength despite progressive and metacarpal subsidence. Survivorship was 100% and 86% free from revision surgery at 10 and 15 years, respectively (n = 2 failures). Conclusions: Trapeziectomy and LRTI or suspensionplasty in patients less than or equal to 55 years of age can result in considerable improvements in pain and grip strength with a 10-year survivorship free from revision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)641-645
Number of pages5
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019


  • ligament reconstruction tendon interposition
  • suspensionplasty
  • thumb
  • thumb basilar arthritis
  • trapeziometacarpal arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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