Basal Joint Surgery (Ligament Reconstruction and Tendon Interposition Method)


This surgery treats arthritis of the basal joint. That's the joint at the base of your thumb. It lets you move your thumb to pinch and grip objects. Treating this joint relieves pain and restores range of motion.


To begin, you're given medicine to make you feel relaxed and numb. You may be put to sleep. We make an incision to reach your basal joint. Then, we remove the trapezium. This is the bone of the hand that meets the base of the thumb.

Preparing the tendon

We'll rebuild your joint using part of a tendon in your wrist. To get this tendon, we make one or two small incisions in your wrist. We split away part of this tendon and pull the free end up to your hand.


Now we drill a tunnel through the base of your thumb's metacarpal. We pass the tendon through this tunnel and anchor it securely. This leaves a length of slack in the tendon. We fold the tendon against itself several times. Then, we suture it to make a bundle. We put this bundle in the space where the trapezium used to be. The tendon bundle will cushion your joint.

End of procedure

When it's done, your skin is closed and bandaged. After a period of healing, physical therapy will help strengthen your hand. Follow your care plan for a safe recovery.