Partial Versus Total Trapeziectomy Thumb Arthroplasty
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Background: There are numerous surgical techniques for the treatment of first carpometacarpal joint osteoarthritis, however, controversy exists as to whether outcomes differ between techniques. This feasibility study aimed to determine if a large-scale, health-related quality of life and functional outcomes study comparing 2 surgical techniques, complete trapeziectomy with ligament reconstruction and tendon interposition (T + LRTI) versus partial trapeziectomy and tendon interposition (PT + TI) arthroplasty, is possible. Methods: Patients with advanced stage arthritis (Eaton stages II-IV) of the thumb were invited to undergo either T + LRTI or PT + TI at 1 of the 2 hand surgery practices. Feasibility outcomes included: (1) Process: recruitment rate; (2) Resources: eligibility rate, eligibility criteria, retention, and compliance rates (completion of health-related quality of life questionnaires, Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand, EuroQol-5D-3L, and SF-36, and functional measurements, grip, key pinch, and tip pinch strength, at 1-week preoperatively and 1, 3, 6, and 12 months postoperatively); (3) Management: determining the practices' commitment to the study; and (4) Scientific: calculation of the variances and treatment effect sizes (ES) of differences between procedures. Data from baseline measurements and 6-month follow-up were used for analysis. Results: Sixty patients were screened, of which 34 (57%) were eligible for surgery. Twenty-one (81%) of the 26 ineligible patients were excluded due to previous or additional planned surgical procedures on the same hand, particularly carpal tunnel release (n = 17). Twenty patients consented; 12 in the T + LRTI and 8 in the PT + TI group. The highest completion rate for the 3 questionnaires and the functional measurements, for both groups was at 6-month time point. Compliance rates for questionnaire completion at 6-months were calculated at 50% and 75% for the T + LRTI and PT + TI group, respectively. Functional measurement completion rate was 50% and 63% for T + LRTI and PT + TI groups, respectively. Treatment ES were group dependent, with Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand, EuroQol-5D-3L usual activities and anxiety/depression showing a large ES in the PT + TI group; the T + LRTI group showed large ES in EQ-5D state of health today. Conclusions: Authors conclude that a large-scale study is feasible and dependent on: (1) increasing sample size to account for the high attrition rate; (2) liberalizing inclusion criteria to include patients with carpal tunnel syndrome; (3) allotting more time at follow-up visits to ensure completion of all measurements; and (4) increasing staff involvement (ie, develop rapport with patients and maintain stability with research assistants).