Trapeziectomy: A Surgical Option for Arthritis

Arthritis is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide, causing pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints, making it difficult to perform everyday tasks. While there are several treatments available to manage arthritis symptoms, surgery may be necessary in some cases. Trapeziectomy is a surgical procedure that is commonly used to treat arthritis in the thumb. During this procedure, the trapezium bone, located at the base of the thumb, is removed. This can help to reduce pain and improve mobility in the thumb joint, especially in patients who have severe arthritis that has not responded to non-surgical treatments. If you’re interested in learning more about how this procedure can benefit you, reach out to Elanic Medical in Glasgow and set up your initial consultation today.

Arthritis surgery with trapeziectomy alleviates the pain and discomfort caused by arthritis in the base of the thumb by removing the trapezium bone (located at the base of the thumb). It is often performed on patients who have not found relief from non-surgical treatments such as medication or physical therapy, which tend to be the first options explored when attempting to treat the pain and discomfort associated with arthritis.

The procedure is typically performed under local anesthesia, so you can return home the same day and expect to return to normal activities within a few weeks to a few months.

Should I Consider Arthritis Surgery?

Patients with severe thumb arthritis may also experience swelling, stiffness, and instability in the thumb joint. These symptoms can significantly affect their quality of life and may require surgical intervention.

Arthritis surgery with trapeziectomy is usually recommended when non-surgical treatments have failed to relieve the symptoms of thumb arthritis. The surgery is considered when the patient experiences:

  • Persistent pain in the base of the thumb
  • Loss of strength in the thumb
  • Difficulty performing daily activities such as opening jars, turning keys, or writing
  • Significant loss of range of motion in the thumb
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Preparing for Arthritis Surgery

Before your surgery, you’ll visit our Glasgow offices and meet with an expert consultant who will guide you through the preparation process and ensure that you’re as ready as can be for your procedure. This will involve a thorough medical evaluation and physical examination to ensure that you’re an ideal candidate for arthritis surgery.

We’ll ensure that you receive comprehensive preoperative instructions, along with a full set of aftercare instructions that will give you a clear idea of what you can expect after your procedure. Our team will be available to you at all times should you have any questions or concerns during the aftercare process.

During your consultation, you’ll explore everything about arthritis surgery in Glasgow, including anesthesia options, surgical techniques that will be used, and more. Our goal is to ensure that you have total peace of mind in the period of time leading up to and after your procedure, so you’ll be able to ask any questions that you might have.

Your Surgical Experience

Incision and Access

To begin your surgery, your surgeon will make an incision on the back of your hand, between the thumb and index finger. They will then use a scalpel to cut through the skin, exposing the underlying tissues. After that, your surgeon will use a retractor to hold the tissues apart, providing access to the bones and ligaments in the wrist.


Your surgeon will then remove the trapezium bone, which is located at the base of the thumb. This bone is often the source of pain and discomfort for patients with arthritis. Once the bone is removed, the surgeon will smooth out the remaining surfaces of the joint to effectively reduce friction and improve your sense of mobility.


Once the procedure is complete, your surgeon will close the incision using stitches or staples. Your hand will then be wrapped in a bandage to protect the incision site and promote healing. You’ll be able to return home on the same day, and you’ll be provided with aftercare instructions to guide you through the recovery process.

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The Recovery Period

Immediately after your surgery, you’ll be monitored in our recovery room until you’re ready to return home. Pain medication will be administered as needed to manage discomfort, and your hand and wrist will be wrapped in a bandage or splint to protect the surgical site and promote a speedy healing process.

In some cases, you may be required to stay overnight in the hospital for observation. You’ll be given instructions on caring for the surgical site, including how to change the bandage and keep the wound clean and dry. We will recommend that you take care to avoid using the affected hand and wrist for several days after surgery to allow for proper healing.

Long-term recovery from arthritis surgery with trapeziectomy can vary depending on the individual and the extent of the surgery. Most patients can return to normal activities within six to eight weeks after surgery. However, it may take up to six months for the hand and wrist to fully heal and regain strength.

Find the Relief You Deserve at Elanic Medical in Glasgow

Arthritis surgery in Glasgow is a viable option for patients suffering from thumb arthritis. The surgery involves the removal of the trapezium bone, which provides relief from pain and improves hand function. The procedure is minimally invasive, and patients can often return to their normal activities within a few weeks. Overall, trapeziectomy is a promising option for patients with thumb arthritis who have not found relief from non-surgical treatments. Patients should consult with a qualified hand surgeon to determine if trapeziectomy is the right choice for them. To learn more, reach out to Elanic Medical in Glasgow and speak with an expert member of our team to set up your initial consultation today.

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