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Prominent Orthopedic Journal Publishes Study on Revolutionary Thumb Surgery for Patients Battling Osteoarthritis

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Prominent Orthopedic Journal Publishes Study on Revolutionary Thumb Surgery for Patients Battling Osteoarthritis

November 21
00:30 2023

The prominent orthopedic journal, Techniques in Hand & Upper Extremity Surgery, has published a peer-reviewed study that examines how a revolutionary surgery can help patients suffering from the second most commonly affected form of osteoarthritis.

The study, The BioPro Thumb Carpometacarpal Hemiarthroplasty: Case Series and Surgical Technique, concluded the “BioPro Modular Thumb Implant” is a reliable alternative to current surgeries for basal joint thumb arthritis. Preliminary data from the study also documented high patient satisfaction with successful functional outcomes. 

Thumb carpometacarpal (CMC) osteoarthritis is painful and debilitating. It has long posed challenges for patients and orthopedic surgeons since conventional treatments, such as splints, medications and physical therapy, have only offered temporary relief. 

Alejandro Badia, M.D. – one of the study’s authors and founder of Badia Hand to Shoulder Center in South Florida, described this surgery as a breakthrough development for people suffering from osteoarthritis of the hand.

“This innovative surgery will transform the lives of anyone suffering from debilitating thumb joint pain and functional limitations,” said Badia. “This minimally invasive procedure uses advanced surgical techniques with faster recovery times. The best candidates for this are individuals experiencing severe thumb CMC arthritis and who have exhausted more conservative treatments.”

How BioPro Modular Thumb Implant Works

The BioPro Modular Thumb Implant replaces part of the thumb CMC joint with a modular implant that helps restore joint function and arthritis-related damage.

The procedure minimizes disruption to surrounding tissues, leading to potentially faster recovery times. The modular nature of the implant also allows for a personalized fit, catering to the unique anatomical features of each patient.

The key differentiator of this surgery lies in its focus on restoring thumb joint function and alleviating pain through a specialized hemiarthroplasty technique. The modular implant is designed to mimic the natural joint anatomy by offering a durable and customized solution for patients with advanced arthritis.

“Most patients who fail with conservative treatments like splints, injection, pills and therapy try an alternative open aggressive surgery that removes a bone in the wrist. This surgery can be painful with a slow recovery. The BioPro procedure does not remove a bone, giving a rapid recovery with minimal pain,” said Dr. Badia.

About the Study’s Author

Alejandro Badia, MD, FACS is a hand surgeon and upper extremity orthopedic surgeon who treats orthopedic problems of the Hand & Wrist, Arm & Forearm, Elbow, and Shoulder. In 2008, he founded Badia Hand to Shoulder Center in South Florida – a fully integrated clinical facility for the upper limb. He also runs an active international hand fellowship, and serves on the editorial board of two hand journals. Dr. Badia studied physiology at Cornell University and obtained his medical degree at NYU, where he also trained in orthopedics. A hand fellowship at Alleghany General Hospital in Pittsburgh was followed by an AO trauma fellowship in Freiburg, Germany.

Patient Abstract

A retrospective review of all cases of the modular thumb CMC implants performed at one community US center between 2018 and 2021 were included and invited for email or telephone review. 

Electronic records were examined for demographics, patient outcomes, and morbidity. Eleven patients underwent 11 thumb CMC joint hemiarthroplasties, mean age was 64.8 years (SD: 7.68 y), with 6 females. Six received surgery on their dominant extremity. Two were manual workers (both in the medical field), 6 office-based, 2 retired, and 1 homemaker. 

The preoperative median pain score (Visual Analog Score) was 8/10 (range: 5 to 10), reducing to 1/10 (range: 1 to 10) (P=0.000033) with a median follow-up of 23 months (range: 13 to 39 mo). In all, 8/11 patients reported they would recommend this surgery to friends and family and opt for the same surgery on their contralateral hand if necessary. One patient reported persistent pain a year postoperatively.

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