Mean 5-Year Follow-up for Suture Button Suspensionplasty in the Treatment of Thumb Carpometacarpal Joint Osteoarthritis

J Hand Surg Am. 2017 Jul;42(7):569.e1-569.e11. doi: 10.1016/j.jhsa.2017.03.011. Epub 2017 Apr 12.


Purpose: Suture button suspensionplasty (SBS) has been used to treat thumb carpometacarpal joint osteoarthritis (CMC joint OA). Although promising short-term outcomes have been reported, no outcomes beyond 4 years have been published. The aim of this article is to report intermediate outcomes of SBS.

Methods: We reviewed the charts of 14 patients who underwent 16 SBS procedures for symptomatic thumb CMC joint OA. We recorded demographic data, preoperative Eaton stage, length of follow-up, Quick-Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand questionnaire scores, as well as pinch strength, grip strength, range of motion, and metacarpal subsidence. Operative time and postoperative complications were documented.

Results: Average age was 64 years. There were 12 women and 2 men. Preoperative Eaton stages were III and IV in 8 thumbs each. Mean operative time was 93 minutes. Mean follow-up was 64 months with mean Quick-Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand score improvement of 58.2. Mean palmar and radial abduction were 105% and 97%, respectively, of the nonsurgical thumb. Kapandji scores for all operated thumbs were either 9 or 10. Pinch and grip strength were 107% and 102%, respectively, of the nonsurgical side. Mean trapezial space height was 71%. One patient underwent removal of a symptomatic implant and 2 patients had transient neuropraxia of the dorsal radial sensory nerve.

Conclusions: Favorable outcomes (improvement in range of motion and pain relief) of SBS remain durable over time. Our results show that improvement in strength may also be expected over time when using SBS after trapeziectomy for the treatment of thumb CMC joint OA.

Type of study/level of evidence: Therapeutic IV.

Keywords: Thumb; carpometacarpal joint; osteoarthritis; suture button suspensionplasty.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carpometacarpal Joints*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis / surgery*
  • Pinch Strength
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Suture Techniques*
  • Sutures*
  • Thumb*
  • Treatment Outcome