Author(s): Van Heest AE, Kallemeier Patricia
The thumb carpometacarpal (CMC) joint is the most common site of surgical reconstruction for osteoarthritis in the upper extremity. In patients older than age 75 years, thumb CMC osteoarthritis has a radiographic prevalence of 25% in men and 40% in women. The thumb CMC joint obtains its stability primarily through ligamentous support. A diagnosis of thumb CMC arthritis is based on symptoms of localized pain, tenderness and instability on physical examination, and radiographic evaluation. A reproducible radiographic classification for disease severity is based on the fourstage system described by Eaton. Nonsurgical treatment options include hand therapy, splinting, and injection. Surgical treatment is tailored to the extent of arthritic involvement and may include ligament reconstruction, metacarpal extension osteotomy, arthroscopic partial trapeziectomy, implant arthroplasty, and trapeziectomy with or without ligament reconstruction and tendon interposition.