Does Arthroscopic Débridement With or Without Interposition Material Address Carpometacarpal Arthritis?

Does Arthroscopic Débridement With or Without Interposition Material Address Carpometacarpal Arthritis?

Julie E. Adams MD
Symposium: Thumb Carpometacarpal Arthritis
Online First ™ – March , 2013



Thumb carpometacarpal (CMC) joint arthritis is a common problem in clinical practice with a variety of treatment options. Arthroscopic procedures can preserve all or part of the trapezium in the setting of treatment of basilar joint arthritis, and such procedures (even without stabilization or ligament reconstruction) have high reported success rates. However, little is documented about the limitations of these procedures in terms of patient selection, the optimal type of interposition, if any, and rehabilitation.


A systematic review was performed to determine the influence of (1) interposition material (manufactured, biological, or none); and (2) patient-related factors (including metacarpophalangeal joint hyperextension, ligamentous laxity, and severity of arthritis) on pain, functional scores, and postoperative complications unique to each approach.


A systematic review of the English language literature regarding thumb basilar joint arthritis and arthroscopic partial trapeziectomy or débridement was performed. Those procedures including ligament reconstruction or stabilization were excluded.


Biological materials and no interposition were both associated with satisfactory improvement and low rates of complications; complication rates with synthetic materials were higher. Eaton Stages I to III were treated successfully with this technique. The effect of scaphotrapeziotrapezoid (STT) changes was variably described across series. In most series, metacarpophalangeal hyperextension did not seem to have an adverse effect on outcomes, although these patients were excluded in some series.


Arthroscopic débridement with or without interposition can be used for treatment of Eaton Stages I to III CMC osteoarthritis with satisfactory outcomes. Some series suggest satisfactory outcomes in the setting of STT changes and metacarpophalangeal hyperextension.