JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Current trends in nonoperative and operative treatment of trapeziometacarpal osteoarthritis: a survey of US hand surgeons.

PURPOSE: Multiple procedures have been described for trapeziometacarpal (TM) osteoarthritis with varying levels of evidence support. The purpose of this study was to evaluate current trends in the treatment of TM arthritis by surveying active members of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand.

METHODS: We sent an online questionnaire to the e-mail addresses of 2,326 active members of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, consisting of 5 treatment and 2 demographic questions. Surgeons were contacted twice by e-mail and provided with a link to a de-identified online survey. We performed statistical analysis of correlations between demographics and treatment preferences using chi-square testing.

RESULTS: We received responses from 1,156 out of 2,326 hand surgeons, a response rate of 50%. The vast majority of surgeons use corticosteroid injections for TM arthritis, and 719 out of 1,156 perform trapeziectomy with ligament reconstruction and tendon interposition (LRTI) for common Eaton stage III arthritis. For scaphotrapeziotrapezoid (STT) arthritis, approximately half of respondents also perform trapeziectomy/LRTI, followed by STT fusion. For a younger woman with minimal radiographic change and pain, 535 out of 1,142 surgeon respondents would advocate continued conservative treatment, whereas the remainder chose Eaton ligament reconstruction, arthroscopy, and metacarpal osteotomy.

CONCLUSIONS: This survey study presents the current opinions of a group of hand surgeons who responded to an online questionnaire regarding treatment of TM arthritis. The results show that trapeziectomy/LRTI is the treatment of choice by most respondents. The use of trapeziectomy/LRTI in the treatment of STT arthritis has not been studied in depth, but this procedure was chosen by half the respondents. The process of choosing treatment strategies is a question for future study.

TYPE OF STUDY/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Prognostic IV.

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