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Papers of the Week

2020 Sep 09

J Hand Surg Eur Vol

Discrepancies in conservative treatment for thumb carpometacarpal arthritis: a comparison between different specialities and patient characteristics.



Non-surgical treatment is successful in controlling pain and preventing disease progress in treating thumb carpometacarpal arthritis. We used Optum's de-identified Clinformatics® Data Mart Databases between 2015 and 2018 to conduct a study of the patient and provider characteristics associated with three types of non-surgical treatment (hand therapy, splinting and corticosteroid injection) prior to surgery. In this population-based cohort study, we found that non-surgical providers were more likely to provide three different types of non-surgical treatments, as compared with hand surgeons. In addition, women and patients with comorbid conditions, including carpal tunnel syndrome, obesity, chronic pain and depression, were less likely to exhaust the available non-surgical management options for thumb carpometacarpal arthritis. Therefore, we suggest that these specific patient populations can potentially benefit from additional non-surgical treatments that may delay or obviate surgery for this disease. These groups are target populations for future efforts to ensure that all patients receive equitable care. II.