Effect of splint on pain, function and quality of life in trapeziometacarpal osteoarthritis patients?


TM osteoarthritis; CMC splint; VAS; QuickDASH; SF-12

Published online: May 03 2022


C. Gabriel, O. Barbier, M. David, J. Manon, C. Detrembleur, X. Libouton

From the Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc, Service d’orthopédie et de traumatologie de l’appareil locomoteur, Brussels, Belgium


Trapeziometacarpal (TM) Osteoarthritis is one of the most common osteoarthritis. It causes pain, loss of mobility and strength and affected function in daily life. Splint is one of the conservative treatments proposed to patients.

The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of this conservative treatment on pain, function and quality of life at long-term.

We sent 193 questionnaires to patients who received a CMC splint for their TM osteoarthritis. The CMC splint immobilizes only the TM joint and leaves free the interphalangeal joint of the thumb and the wrist. First, we comptuted how many patients had finally undergone surgical treatment. On the non-operated patients, we analyzed the pain (VAS), the function (QuickDASH score) and the quality of life (SF-12). We compared the results to literature and norms.

Finally, 186 people could be included in the study ,115 we answered and 28 were operated on (24%). After 4 years (3.8±1.7 yrs) of conservative treatment, The VAS and QuickDASH scores were significantly worse comparatively to a cohort of healthy patients, trapezectomy and arthrodesis patients. The SF-12 scores were reduced from 20% comparative to norms. In conclusion, few patients had surgery after splinting as a conservative treatment. However, these non- operated patients do not provide good results.