Arthritis of the thumb, commonly referred to as basal thumb arthritis, can be very disabling, causing severe hand pain and swelling, as well as decreased strength and range of motion. Today, traditional surgical treatments involve removing the bone at the base of the thumb (trapezium), eliminating the thumb (CMC) joint altogether. The BioPro Modular Thumb was designed to replace the joint, not remove it, providing patients with pain relief and faster recovery.1

  • Replaces joint, forming a new socket into the trapezium
  • Maintains thumb length and cosmetic appearance1
  • Improves pinch and grip strength1,2
  • Fast recovery1
  • If pain persists, may be revised with a traditional surgery1
  • Removes the base (trapezium) and suspends the metacarapal with a tendon from the forearm
  • Shortens thumb, changing the thumbs appearance3
  • Decrease in pinch strength3,4
  • Long recovery3
  • If pain persists, revision surgery has been shown to lead to an even worse outcome5

Learn what treatments may be right for you.

Find a Surgeon

Fill out the contact form or call us at 810-982-7777 to see if there is an experienced surgeon in your area.

Consult with your surgeon

Discuss all your possible treatment options and expectations after surgery.

Undergoing joint replacement

Joint replacement surgery with the BioPro Modular Thumb Implant is an outpatient procedure. You should be in and out in one day and on the road to recovery.


What happens during surgery?

A small piece of bone is resected from the long bone (metacarpal) of the thumb. A socket is formed into the base of the thumb (trapezium). The stem of the implant is inserted into the metacarpal with the head fitting into the newly formed socket. The variety of head and stem sizes allow the surgeon to get a snug fit to keep the implant in place and allow for good range of motion. The joint is then closed providing additional soft tissue stability. You will be in a cast for approximately 2—4 weeks, depending on your healing. After your cast is removed, you may have hand therapy to regain your strength and motion. Most patients have unrestricted activity 8—12 weeks after surgery.

"The main advantage of this joint replacement surgery is no bridges have been burned, there is a much faster recovery, minimal pain, and good maintenance of the anatomy." - Alejandro Badia, MD (Miami, FL)

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"I  have been using the implant since 2002, in my experience, the results of the BioPro Modular Thumb Implant provide superior results to traditional LRTI, especially in function and cosmetic appearance." - Louis Habryl, DO (Gaylord, MI)

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"I  find that most patients with the BioPro Modular Thumb have better motion than suspensionplasty. My patients have good strength, motion and a lot of patients request to have it performed on both thumbs." - John Faillace, MD (Houston, TX)

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Patient Stories

Frequently Asked Questions.

The BioPro Modular Thumb implant is intended to treat localized basal thumb (CMC or carpometacarpal) joint arthritis. The Modular Thumb implant is not recommended for patients who in addition to basal thumb arthritis, have arthritis in adjacent joints, such as the trapezium/scaphoid joint. If considering the BioPro Modular Thumb implant consult your doctor today to see if this treatment is right for you.

You will be in a cast for approximately 2—4 weeks, depending on your healing. After your cast is removed, you may have hand therapy to regain your strength and motion. Most patients have unrestricted activity 8—12 weeks after surgery.

The implant was first designed by Dr. Charles Townley in 1996. In 2004, Dr. Louis Habryl and BioPro updated to a modular design, allowing the surgeon to better match the patient’s anatomy. The first clinical study was published in 2012 reviewing 6-year outcomes for the new modular design.

The published clinical study reported a 94% success rate. You can review the entire study here.

You can contact us by completing the “Find a Surgeon” form or call us at 810-982-7777.

Surgeons in different areas of the country are often exposed to different methods in training and become comfortable with specific procedures they utilize, especially if they are getting good results and their patients are happy. It is possible they are just unaware of the implant, or they just may not be ready to switch from their current preferred procedure.

Normally in a joint, cartilage covers the ends of bones and creates a shock absorber to allow pain-free movement. With arthritis, the cartilage deteriorates, which results in contact between the bones. This produces pain and eventually deformity.

The most common symptom of thumb (CMC ) joint arthritis is pain at the base of the thumb. It often becomes difficult to do everyday tasks, such as opening jars, turning doorknobs or writing. The pain can become so severe that you may experience pain at night when sleeping. In more severe cases destruction and mal-alignment of the joint occurs, and a bump develops. If you start to experience these symptoms you may want to consult your doctor, who can advise you on the best option to treat your discomfort. They will diagnose you by a physical evaluation as well as X-rays of your hand. X-rays are used to confirm the diagnosis, although the severity of your arthritis cannot always be determined with x-ray findings.

Arthritis of the base of the thumb is more commonly seen in women over the age of 40. It is a fairly common problem that happens to around 7% of men and 15% of women. There are conservative treatments, but many arthritic thumb cases commonly require surgery.

Traditional surgeries involve the removal of the trapezium bone. The most common is trapezial resection with ligament reconstruction which goes by several different names, Anchovy, LRTI, or TMIA. This procedure involves full or partial removal of the arthritic bone at the base of the CMC joint (the trapezium). A series of small cuts are made in the forearm to split a tendon, which is moved to the base of the thumb to fill in the area from which the trapezium bone was removed. The thumb now rests on a soft tendon pillow, not a hard piece of arthritic bone (which is painful). Immobilization for an LRTI is six weeks and mobility after surgery may be limited. The cosmetics of your hand also may be altered as the joint space loses height over time. Should this procedure fail, there are not many good treatment options remaining.

Yes. There are a variety of reasons you may choose to travel, either there are no experienced surgeons in your area, or you want to have this performed by the most experienced surgeon possible. The procedure is an outpatient procedure and rehab can typically be performed locally. Contact us today to see what options may be available for you.