Trapeziectomy for trapeziometacarpal joint osteoarthritis: is ligament reconstruction and temporary stabilisation of the pseudarthrosis with a Kirschner wire important?

T R C Davis, A Pace
Journal of Hand Surgery, European Volume 2009, 34 (3): 312-21
This randomised prospective study compared two operations for trapeziometacarpal joint osteoarthritis: trapeziectomy with Flexor carpi radialis ligament reconstruction, tendon interposition and Kirschner wire insertion followed by splintage for 6 weeks (T+LRTI) and excision of the trapezium with no Kirschner wire and immobilisation of the thumb in a soft bandage for only 3 weeks (T). Sixty-seven thumbs with trapeziectomy (T) and 61 with trapeziectomy and ligament reconstruction and tendon interposition (T+LRTI) were assessed preoperatively and at 3-months and 1-year after surgery. Forty-seven percent and 73% of patients reported no pain or only aching after use at 3-months and 1-year respectively and the DASH and Patient Evaluation Measure (PEM) outcome scores reduced postoperatively indicating improved function. However the pain, DASH and PEM scores, and also key and tip thumb pinch and all the other clinical outcome measures, did not differ significantly between the two groups at either 3-months or 1-year after surgery.

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