Meniscal allograft arthroplasty for the treatment of trapeziometacarpal arthritis of the thumb

Purpose: To evaluate the surgical use of meniscal allograft tissue as a spacer and stabilizer of the trapeziometacarpal (TM) joint in the thumb.


  • 25 consecutive thumbs had surgery for stage III TM arthritis using meniscal tissue
  • Pre-operative pain levels were significantly reduced, 91% exhibited no pain or mild pain at final follow-up. This is similar to reports for other techniques.
  • All previously employed patients returned to their occupations without any restrictions within 3-6 months after surgery
  • Significant improvement in DASH questionnaire (Disabilities of arm, shoulder and hand) scores from pre-op to final follow-up
  • Increase in grip strength and key pinch strength
  • May not cause adjacent foreign body reactions as sometimes happens when using a synthetic implant

Take Away: The results of this technique are comparable to other available surgical techniques. Using a meniscus for the surgical management of stage II or III TM joint arthritis should be considered a viable option.

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Authors: Paul S. Shapiro, Edward Diao, Lynn M. Givens

Published: Hand