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Specializing in Thumb Joint Reconstruction Surgery

Awarding-Winning Orthopedic Services in Orange County

Osteoarthritis is a disease that affects over 32 million adults in America.1 As you age, the likelihood that Osteoarthritis will affect at least one of your joints is quite common. Many people will lose function in the affected joint, but when that joint in the thumb, it can make everyday activities extremely difficult.

While most cases of Osteoarthritis of the thumb can be treated with non-surgical options such as NSAID medication (such as ibuprofen), joint immobilization, modified activities, steroid injections, physical therapy and even supplements such as glucosamine chondroitin sulfate and turmeric, in more severe cases, surgery may be the best treatment.

The most common surgery to treat osteoarthritis of the thumb is called ligament reconstruction and tendon interposition arthroplasty, also referred to as LRTI Joint Reconstruction. LRTI surgery remains one of the most popular procedures for thumb joint reconstruction surgery because it preserves motion while also effectively relieving pain.

Thumb Joint Reconstruction Surgery involves making an incision over the region of the thumb basilar joint and removing the trapezium (one of the bones in the thumb joint) and cushioning or suspending the thumb joint with the patient’s own tissue (flexor carpi radialis tendon) to reconstruct the joint.

What to expect from Thumb Joint Reconstruction Surgery

LRTI is typically a same-day procedure performed at a surgery center and involves general anesthesia or a regional axillary block (nerve block). Patients typically will go home with a splint to help immobilize the wrist and thumb for 2 weeks. Patients are then placed into a cast for approximately 4 weeks and then transitioned to a brace. The immobilization period can vary by patient, but typically patients can expect a complete recovery after thumb joint reconstruction surgery anywhere between 12 weeks to one year.

Find a Hand Surgeon

Our Board-Certified, fellowship-trained hand specialists are experts at in thumb joint reconstruction surgery to treat thumb osteoarthritis. Hoag Orthopedic Institute is ranked as one of the top Orthopedic Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report in 2019-2020.

If you have exhausted non-surgical treatment options and feel it’s time to consider surgery, schedule an appointment with a Hoag Orthopedic Institute Hand Doctor today to help alleviate your hand pain and get back to your daily activities.


Find a hand surgeon who specializes in thumb joint reconstruction surgery​
Call us at (855) 999-4641 to make an appointment.


Find a Hand Surgeon

Source: 1 CDC Osteoarthritis