Z Orthop Unfall 2023; 161(05): 511-515
DOI: 10.1055/a-1737-4541

Autologous Fat Transfer for Thumb Carpometacarpal Joint Osteoarthritis: Long Term Results

Article in several languages: deutsch | English
Christian Herold
1   Plastische und Ästhetische Chirurgie, Medizin im Mühlenviertel, Bremen, Deutschland
2   Chirurgische Klinik, Sektion für Plastische und Ästhetische Chirurgie, DIAKO Bremen, Bremen, Deutschland
Janina Lange
3   Chirurgische Klinik, Diako Bremen, Bremen, Deutschland
Hans Oliver Rennekampff
4   Klinik für Plastische Chirurgie, Hand- und Verbrennungschirurgie, Rhein-Maas Klinikum GmbH, Würselen, Deutschland (Ringgold ID: RIN39945)
Sixtus Allert
5   Plastische Chirurgie, Sana Klinikum Hameln-Pyrmont, Hameln, Deutschland (Ringgold ID: RIN393329)
Max Meyer Marcotty
6   Klinik für Plastische, Rekonstruktive und Ästhetische Chirurgie / Handchirurgie, Klinikum Lüdenscheid, Lüdenscheid, Deutschland (Ringgold ID: RIN14981)
› Author Affiliations


Background Initial results after autologous fat transfer for treatment of thumb carpometacarpal joint osteoarthritis have been promising. But long-term results have not yet been available.

Methods In a prospective study, 42 patients with thumb carpometacarpal joint osteoarthritis were observed for a mean time of 5 years after autologous fat transfer. Manual liposuction and centrifugation were performed. Pain rating according to numerous analogue pain scale; objective force of pinch grip and fist closure; and Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand questionnaire score (DASH score) before and after treatment were analysed.

Results The average pain preoperatively was 8.0 ± 1.6 and 4.0 ± 3.0 after 5 years overall. Force and pinch force of the treated hand improved from 71% and 60% preoperative in comparison to the non-treated hand to 100% and 96%, respectively, 5 years after fat transplantation. There were similar improvements for the parameters strength and DASH score. All improvements were statistically significant. No serious adverse events were observed.

Conclusions Autologous fat transplantation is a real alternative to trapeziectomy even in the long term in basal joint osteoarthritis of the thumb. The low invasiveness of the procedure and early recovery of patients compared with classical procedures such as trapeziectomy, and the superior long-term results compared with classical injection therapy, make this approach feasible as a first-line therapy in basal joint osteoarthritis of the thumb as it offers stable results and warrants a high patient satisfaction rate.

Publication History

Received: 05 June 2021

Accepted after revision: 27 December 2021

Article published online:
10 March 2022

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