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Osteotomy in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the first carpometacarpal joint

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Degenerative changes of the first carpometacarpal joint commonly cause pain, weakness and adduction deformity. Many patients respond to conservative treatment, but in resistant cases an abduction wedge osteotomy of the base of the first metacarpal has been found to relieve symptoms with less complications than other operations. Twenty-one patients with 23 osteotomies have been reviewed, with a follow-up from 2 to 17 years. All have had lasting relief from pain and consider that they have full function, with no stiffness or limited abduction. Osteotomy is indicated mainly for cases where the arthritis is confined to the carpometacarpal joint, but also relieves pain in cases of peritrapezial arthritis.

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