Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hand FAQ


My mother's thumb has osteoarthritis really bad. It hurts her and she can't do many of the things she enjoys doing. It's likely a long shot, but is there such a thing as a thumb joint replacement?


A thumb joint replacement, a trapeziometacarpal implant arthroplasty is, indeed, possible. It is, however, not a popular surgery because it isn't effective in everyone. Right now, researchers are recommending that the implants be reserved for women who are over 60 years old because in men and younger women, there is a higher rate of the implant loosening or not merging with the bones around it. If you are interested in learning more about this, you should encourage your mother to ask her doctor about it. Soham Gangopadhyay and Tim R.C. Davis. Advances in treatment of basal joint arthritis of the thumb. In Current Orthopaedic Practice. September/October 2008. Vol. 19. No. 5. Pp. 503-508.

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