Basal joint arthritis, also known as carpometacarpal or CMC joint arthritis of the thumb, is a common problem particularly in individuals over the age of 50.

An integral component to a person’s pinch and hand function, the basal joint is predisposed to wear and tear over time.  Previous injury , laxity or trauma to the joint can also contribute to basal thumb pain.

As cartilage that normally lines a healthy joint deteriorates or if the thumb is not operating in satisfactory alignment, pain at the base of the thumb becomes disruptive for normal hand function.

The most commonly performed surgery performed for this problem involves removal of arthritic bone and stabilization of the thumb with a tendon transfer.  This surgery requires approximately 6 weeks of immobilization before rehabilitation begins.

Having treated basal thumb arthritis for over 25 years, Dr. DeHaan was excited to cultivate the Mini TightRope technique for CMC arthritis that stabilizes the basilar joint AND allows patients to move their hand and thumb within a week of their surgery.

Over the past 5 years, Dr DeHaan has preformed this technique for over 400 basilar joint arthritis patients.  He has observed less pain post operatively, early return to activity and consistent results.

Dr. DeHaan believes patients appreciate the ability to take their splint on and off while they are recovering, knowing that the internal support that the Mini TightRope provides acts as an internal splint as they heal.


Dr.  DeHaan and his staff have tailored the surgical and post operative experience to achieve each patient’s optimal result while communicating  and educating  them through the process.

You can watch an animation of the Mini TightRope procedure here.

If you experience thumb pain, visit Dr. Mark DeHaan at Orthopaedic Associates of Michigan for a formal evaluation and review of the treatment option that is best for you.