Bracing Carpometacarpal Arthritis of the Thumb — Really

A surprisingly durable nonsurgical approach

What’s the Claim?

A five-year, prospective, observational study found that patients who used exercise therapy and an orthosis for carpometacarpal arthritis of the thumb:

  • Maintained their patient-reported outcomes scores for hand pain and function over the long term (in fact, their scores improved slightly)
  • Had decent “satisfaction scores” (a little more than half rated satisfaction as good or excellent)
  • Seldom opted for surgery (only 22% did so [95% CI 16% to 28%]).

There are some important caveats here, but there’s also a group of patients who will be well served by this option, so these findings are real-world practical.

How’s It Stack Up?