A Proven Thumb Joint Replacement.

The BioPro Modular Thumb Implant is a two-piece implant designed to treat arthritis in the thumb (CMC) joint. Today, traditional surgical treatments involve removing the bone at the base of the thumb (trapezium), eliminating the thumb joint altogether. The BioPro Modular Thumb was designed to replace the joint, not remove it, providing patients with pain relief and faster recovery.1

Understanding Thumb Arthritis

The thumb joint is one of the most common sites of arthritis in the body, affecting up to 15% of the population older than 30 years old and up to 33% in postmenopausal women. The ability to perform tasks such as writing, opening jars, playing musical instruments, turning doorknobs and handling tools would not be possible without the thumb. Arthritis occurs when the smooth cartilage that covers the ends of the bones in the joint are damaged. When arthritis occurs in the thumb joint, it can cause severe pain, swelling, decreased strength, and motion. It often becomes difficult to do simple everyday tasks and the pain can become so severe that you may experience pain at night when sleeping.

Common symptoms

  • Pain with tasks that require pinching or gripping such as opening a jar, turning a key, or pinching an object
  • Swelling and tenderness at or around the base of the thumb
  • Loss of strength
  • Bump or enlargement at the base of the thumb
  • Limited motion
  • Dull aching pain after use


If arthritis of the thumb is suspected, an X-ray can be taken to determine the amount of damage. From the x-ray the doctor will evaluate the joint space, alignment, and if any bone spurs (osteophytes) are present. The stage of arthritis and severity of the symptoms will determine the next step. It is usually treated with conservative care, however since arthritis is a progressive condition, it may worsen over time and surgery may be required.

Comparing Treatments

Since there is no way to replace the cartilage, surgical treatments address the condition by removing the bone-on-bone contact. The most common surgical treatment and the treatment often presented to patients involves the complete removal of the trapezium bone at the base of the thumb. The BioPro Modular Thumb Implant instead replaces the joint with a two-piece implant, giving your surgeon 48 different implant combinations to choose from, helping ensure a personalized fit.

  • Replaces joint, forming a new socket into the trapezium
  • Maintains thumb length and cosmetic appearance1
  • Improves pinch and grip strength1
  • Fast recovery1
  • If pain persists, may be revised with a traditional surgery1
  • Removes the base (trapezium) and suspends the metacarpal with a tendon from the forearm
  • Shortens the thumb, changing the overall appearance of the hand2
  • Initial decrease in pinch strength2
  • Long recovery2
  • If pain persists, revision surgery has been shown to lead to an even worse outcome3

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.


Below is the typical timeline for patients after undergoing a thumb joint replacement with the BioPro Modular Thumb Implant. Each patient’s recovery may be different. Please discuss your protocol with your surgeon prior to surgery.

2-4 weeks

A cast or splint will be worn while the thumb heals

4-8 weeks

Rehab or strength exercises

8-12 weeks

Resume normal activities and sports

Patient Stories

Dr. Duffner’s returns to surgery

Dr. Duffner, an orthopedic surgeon in Palm Springs, CA, was contemplating early retirement due to painful arthritis in both of his thumbs. Due to his past training as a surgeon, he was aware of the traditional treatments available but wanted an option that would help maintain his key pinch and grip strength. After undergoing the joint replacement procedure by Dr. Neil Jones, he returned to work. Listen as he shares his experience.

Ruth’s experience with both surgeries

After undergoing LRTI surgery on her right hand 12 years ago, Ruth recently received a BioPro Modular Thumb Implant in her left hand from John Faillace, MD (Galveston, TX). Listen as she shares and compares her experiences.

In the News

After suffering from osteoarthritis in both thumbs for more than 10 years, Carolyn decided to undergo the joint replacement procedure. “I have complete mobility, flexibility, and strength is coming back”.

Your Questions, Answered by Surgeons.

BioPro has spent over 20 years collaborating with experienced surgeons to help further develop and perfect the implant, giving surgeons an alternative to traditional procedures.

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.

The standard implant is manufactured from cobalt chrome, a highly biocompatible and durable material. A titanium version is available for use in patients susceptible to nickel chromium allergies. The MELISA blood test may be performed to confirm a patient’s potential metal sensitivities.

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 the thumb to a modular design, allowing the surgeon to better match the patient’s anatomy. The first clinical study was published in 2012 and reviewed 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 it at night and have difficulty 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.

  1. Pritchett JW, Habryl LS. A promising thumb Basal joint hemiarthroplasty for treatment of trapeziometacarpal osteoarthritis. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2012 Oct;470(10):2756-63. doi: 10.1007/s11999-012-2367-7. Epub 2012 May 15. PMID: 22585348; PMCID: PMC3442003.
  2. Komura S, Hirakawa A, Masuda T, et al. Chronological changes in surgical outcomes after trapeziectomy with ligament reconstruction and tendon interposition arthroplasty for thumb carpometacarpal osteoarthritis. Orthop Traumatol Surg Res. 2020;106(2):357-364. doi:10.1016/j.otsr.2019.11.020
  3. Sadhu A, Calfee RP, Guthrie A, Wall LB. Revision Ligament Reconstruction Tendon Interposition for Trapeziometacarpal Arthritis: A Case-Control Investigation. J Hand Surg Am. 2016;41(12):1114-1121. doi:10.1016/j.jhsa.2016.09.005