Thumb carpometacarpal arthroplasty using an absorbable interference screw for flexor carpi radialis ligament reconstruction

Lance M. Brunton, Raymond A. Wittstadt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Few surgical techniques that address advanced thumb carpometacarpal osteoarthrosis specifically allow early mobilization postoperatively. After trapeziectomy, we carry out a ligament reconstruction using an absorbable interference screw to secure a flexor carpi radialis tendon autograft within the first metacarpal base. Theoretically, superior tendon graft fixation strength allows early mobilization within 2 weeks postoperatively. We have retrospectively compared our clinical results using this technique with another group of patients who underwent traditional ligament reconstruction and tendon interposition as described by Burton and Pellegrini. There were no differences in the verbal pain score, satisfaction rating, or DASH scores between groups. There was a statistically significant decrease in trapezial space ratio both at rest and with stress for the experimental group. Although the clinical significance of this finding is largely unknown, it did not correlate with clinical outcome in our patients. Although no conclusions could be drawn regarding early mobilization after thumb carpometacarpal arthroplasty, further studies are planned to investigate this intriguing aspect of postoperative care. In this article, we present the details of the surgical technique and postoperative rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-118
Number of pages4
JournalTechniques in Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2011


  • early mobilization
  • interference screw
  • ligament reconstruction
  • thumb carpometacarpal joint osteoarthrosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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