To Suspend or Not to Suspend: A Randomized Single Blind Trial of Simple Trapeziectomy Versus Trapeziectomy and Flexor Carpi Radialis Suspension

Author(s): Field J, Buchanan D

Source: J Hand Surg 32E:3:In Press.


The authors compared simple trapeziectomy (32 cases) with trapeziectomy and flexor carpi radialis suspension (33 cases) for the treatment of advanced basal joint arthritis in a prospective, randomized study.  Twelve months after surgery, patient satisfaction, grip strength, and pinch strength were similar between groups.  In the simple trapeziectomy cases, the measured scaphometacarpal distance was less but active thumb radial abduction was significantly greater.

Simple trapeziectomy for treatment of thumb basal joint arthritis was popularized more than 4 decades ago (JBJS Br 1960) with a resurgence of interest in this limited technique over the past 10 years.  The results of this study and others (JHS Br 1997, JHS Am 2001) suggest that there is no appreciable clinical benefit to the addition of a flexor carpi radialis tendon transfer.

Thumb, Arthritis, Suspension, Trapeziectomy, Flexor Carpi Radialis

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J Hand Surgery