Gamekeeper’s/ Skier’s thumb is an injury to a particular ligament in the thumb at the level of the metacarpophalangeal...
Ligament Repair with Reinforcement/ Augmentation
Evolution of Ligament Repair with Reinforcement/ Augmentation
Ligament repair with reinforcement/ augmentation evolved as hand surgeons looked at ways to make the UCL stronger after surgery to repair or reconstruct it. If the post-surgical UCL is not strong enough, it can stretch out over time, allowing abnormal motion and pain to recur. When a weak UCL is subjected to sufficient force, the ligament can tear again and require further surgery. Having a stronger UCL allows patients to get back to higher levels of activity with their hands, even including physical labor and elite sports competition. The first thing surgeons look at is whether to repair the tissue that is already there, or whether to borrow a nearby tendon to achieve better quality and strength of the UCL. Beyond this decision, surgeons have started using synthetic material, placed alongside the tendon or ligament and secured with it to the bones, to make the post-surgical UCL stronger. A tendon or ligament must still be used to achieve bony healing, but something extra can be added to the UCL to make it stronger. This allows patients to move the joint and resume more activity sooner after surgery.
Arthrex SutureTape is a flat suture that can be used for ligament repair or reconstruction with reinforcement/ augmentation. It is similar to the suture often used for tendon and ligament repairs. Arthrex offers a system
of Nano SwiveLock® anchors that can be threaded with SutureTape and placed over the repaired or reconstructed UCL during Gamekeeper’s/ Skier’s thumb surgery. The system is called the InternalBrace™ when anchors are used in each bone and the SutureTape is placed over the UCL. With the InternalBrace™ system, most surgeons allow range of motion one week after surgery, versus 4-6 weeks without this augmentation.