The Trapezium is a small wrist bone that lies at the base of your thumb. Trapeziectomy is the removal of this bone. It is commonly affected by wear and tear, otherwise known as arthritis. Arthritis affecting this bone is very common. It can be related to age, activity, injury or can be inherited. With time the joint becomes worn. Progressively it leads to increasing pain, weakness in grip, stiffness and eventually it may cause deformity at the base of the thumb.
Trapeziectomy is the removal of this bone.
What does a Trapeziectomy entail?
In Trapeziectomy procedure the trapezium bone is removed completely. The gap fills with scar tissue on which your thumb will sit to reduce the pain of the bone on bone rubbing. 85% of patients have a significant pain improvement.
In some cases a tendon sling procedure is also carried out to support the base of thumb after removal of the trapezium bone. In this a part of a tendon of your thumb or wrist is used to wrap around the thumb bone and roll up into the gap to support the thumb during healing (you will not notice a functional problem by loss of your tendon). No clear advantage is shown comparing this option with simply removing the bone in most cases.
Objectives of a Trapeziectomy
When all non-operative treatment options have been exhausted, surgery gives the best chance of reducing your pain. This may consequently improve your hand function.
After the procedure 85% of patients have a significant pain improvement.
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This procedure is done as a day case meaning you will be allowed to go home the same day with no overnight stay in the hospital. Very occasionally, social or medical conditions require an overnight stay.