Long-term outcomes after pollicization: a mean 11-year follow-up study

J Hand Surg Eur Vol. 2020 Feb;45(2):173-180. doi: 10.1177/1753193419876475. Epub 2019 Sep 23.


This study evaluates the long-term results of pollicization for a congenitally absent or severely hypoplastic thumb. Twenty-nine patients with 34 pollicizations were divided to two groups: those with simple thumb hypoplasia (22 pollicizations) and those with radial longitudinal dysplasia (12 pollicizations). The patients were followed from 1.3 to 32 years, with a mean follow-up time of 11 years. The patients were examined clinically and radiologically, and they completed a questionnaire concerning satisfaction with appearance, function, and social interaction. The Percival score was also calculated. In both groups, grip and pinch strengths of the operated hands were inferior to the normative age-related values. Radiologically, flattening of the original metacarpal head was found in 20 out of the 34 operated hands. We found better patient satisfaction in the simple hypoplasia group than in the radial longitudinal dysplasia group. The functional outcomes and patients' satisfaction did not correlate with the age of patients at operation. Level of evidence: IV.

Keywords: Upper limb malformation; anomaly; pollicization; thumb.

MeSH terms

  • Fingers*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hand Deformities* / diagnostic imaging
  • Hand Deformities* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Pinch Strength
  • Thumb / diagnostic imaging
  • Thumb / surgery