A survey to determine current practice patterns in the surgical treatment of advanced thumb carpometacarpal osteoarthrosis

Lance M Brunton, E F Shaw Wilgis
Hand: Official Journal of the American Association for Hand Surgery 2010, 5 (4): 415-22

BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to determine current practice patterns and examine the influence of recent evidence in the surgical treatment of advanced thumb carpometacarpal (CMC) osteoarthrosis.

METHODS: A survey was sent to 2,536 American Society for Surgery of the Hand members. Information regarding specialty training, years of experience, annual cases performed, treatment of choice, technique, and postoperative immobilization was collected. Respondents were asked whether their current treatment of choice differs from what they performed 5 years ago and about the importance of ligament reconstruction and "interposition" to thumb CMC arthroplasty success.

RESULTS: One thousand twenty-four respondents completed the survey (40% response rate). Treatment of choice was trapeziectomy with ligament reconstruction and tendon interposition (68%), regardless of specialty training, years of experience, and annual cases performed. Over 70% favored treatment that was not different from what they performed 5 years ago. Less than 3% of respondents perform a trapeziectomy alone; only 14 surgeons have changed to this procedure in the last 5 years. Only 35% of the 822 respondents who perform a ligament reconstruction and 14% of the 764 respondents who perform an interposition believe those techniques are "extremely important" to thumb CMC arthroplasty success.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite recent evidence that suggests neither ligament reconstruction nor tendon interposition confers any additional benefit over trapeziectomy alone, few respondents have converted to the simpler procedure. Either the current evidence is not convincing enough to drastically change practice patterns, or other factors apart from this evidence have a greater influence on surgical decision-making for advanced thumb CMC osteoarthrosis.

ELECTRONIC SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL: The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11552-010-9275-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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