BACKGROUND: Thumb carpometacarpal osteoarthritis is characterized by osteophyte growth and changes in the curvature of the articular surfaces of the trapezium and first metacarpal. The aim of this longitudinal study was to quantify in-vivo bone morphology changes with osteoarthritis progression.METHODS: The study analyzed an observational dataset of 86 subjects with early thumb osteoarthritis and 22 age-matched asymptomatic controls. CT scans of subjects' affected hands were acquired at enrollment (year 0), and at 1.5, 3, 4.5, and 6-year follow-up visits. Osteoarthritic subjects were classified into stable and progressive groups, as defined by osteophyte volume and the rate of osteophyte growth. Trapezium height, width, and volar facet recession, along with first metacarpal volar beak recession and recession angle, were quantified.FINDINGS: Mean trapezium width increased 12% over six years in the progressive osteoarthritis group. Trapezium volar recession of the progressive osteoarthritis group was significantly greater than stable at enrollment (P<0.0001) and year 6 (P<0.0001). The first metacarpal volar beak of the progressive osteoarthritis group recessed significantly faster than stable (P=0.0004) and control (P=0.0003). In year 6, volar beak surfaces in subjects with progressive osteoarthritis were flatter with reduced curvature, measuring -8.7±4.0 degrees, compared to the stable osteoarthritis (P<0.0001) and control groups (P=0.0003), which maintained nominal curvatures, measuring 0.7±2.5 and 0.2±3.2 degrees, respectively.INTERPRETATION: Our results demonstrate significant recession and reduction in the angle of the first metacarpal volar beak in progressive osteoarthritis. Flattening of the first metacarpal volar beak may have important associations with carpometacarpal joint contact and loading migrations, further propagating osteophyte formation and bony remodeling. This work highlights the volar beak of the first metacarpal as a region of morphology change with disease.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2022.105791
View details for PubMedID 36228419