Is there still a place for arthrodesis in the surgical treatment of basal joint osteoarthritis of the thumb ?

Published online: Dec 27 2010

Luc De Smet, Nathalie Van Meir, Nele Verhoeven, Ilse Degreef

From the University Hospital Pellenberg, Belgium


Despite the obvious success of arthroplasty – trapeziectomy with or without interposition and prosthesis – in the treatment for trapezio-metacarpal osteoarthritis, one may question the value of an arthrodesis in particular situations. In most reportesd series the outcome is reasonably succesful, but when comparing the results of arthrodesis with arthroplasty, there is convincing evidence that the latter gives better outcomes. Considering the overall complication rate, and more specifically the incidence of nonunion after trapeziometacarpal fusion, it can be reasonably concluded that the latter should be reserved for specific indications.