Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hand FAQ

Question:

I had an operation six years ago on my right thumb for painful arthritis with good results. I need the same kind of treatment for my other thumb, too. The hand surgeon wants to do a suspensionplasty instead of a tendon transfer. What's the advantage of this kind of operation over the kind I've already had?

Answer:

Suspensionplasty is a way of changing the pull of the abductor pollicis longus tendon (APL). The APL attaches at the base of the thumb where arthritic changes in the bone start to cause pain and weakness. By removing the bone and redirecting the tendon, pain is relieved without losing function.

The operation is easier to perform with equally good results. The other tendons of the wrist and thumb are undisturbed. Wrist stability is preserved. After surgery, rehab, and recovery you should be able to open jars, turn keys in doors, pinch, and grip without pain.

Osamu Soejima, MD, et al. Suspensionplasty with the Abductor Pollicis Longus Tendon for Osteoarthritis in the Carpometacarpal Joint of the Thumb. In The Journal of Hand Surgery. March 2006. Vol. 31A. No.3. Pp.425-428.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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