Liparthroplasty for Thumb Carpometacarpal Joint Osteoarthritis: A Case Series with Median 5 Years of Follow-Up

J Clin Med. 2022 Oct 29;11(21):6411. doi: 10.3390/jcm11216411.


Liparthroplasty has recently been discussed as a promising bridging therapy after failed conservative treatment options to postpone arthroplasty surgery of the thumb carpometacarpal joint as long as possible. The current study investigates the sustainability of this method in seven stage II and twenty-four stage III osteoarthritis patients (twenty-seven female and four male cases). Data were evaluated preinterventionally, six months postinterventionally, and two years postinterventionally, as well as a final follow-up assessment after median 5.1 years. We found a significant reduction of all postinterventional disabilities of the arm, shoulder, and hand (dash) scores and pain levels compared to the ones prior to liparthroplasty. Moreover, we even detected a reduction in both parameters within the postinterventional course, so that the DASH scores of our final investigation were significantly lower than the values after six months. Furthermore, 12 of our 31 cases demanded a surgical conversion due to recurrence of symptoms. A binary regression analysis found smokers to have 11 times higher odds for therapy failure, leading to surgical conversion. Seventeen out of nineteen patients in our final assessment stated that they were pleased with liparthroplasty. Due to favorable mid-term outcomes of 61% of the 31 initially treated patients, we recommend liparthroplasty as a reliable bridging therapy for preserving joint integrity as long as possible, especially in non-smoking patients.

Keywords: arthroplasty; autologous fat transplantation; liparthroplasty; osteoarthritis; thumb carpometacarpal joint.

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.