Strengthening of the First Dorsal Interosseous for Thumb Carpometacarpal Osteoarthritis

Study Purpose

To determine the effect of first dorsal interosseus (FDI) strengthening in patients with thumb carpometacarpal (CMC) osteoarthritis.

Recruitment Criteria

Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Healthy volunteers are participants who do not have a disease or condition, or related conditions or symptoms

Study Type

An interventional clinical study is where participants are assigned to receive one or more interventions (or no intervention) so that researchers can evaluate the effects of the interventions on biomedical or health-related outcomes.

An observational clinical study is where participants identified as belonging to study groups are assessed for biomedical or health outcomes.

Searching Both is inclusive of interventional and observational studies.

Eligible Ages 18 Years and Over
Gender All
More Inclusion & Exclusion Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • - At least 18 years old.
  • - English-speaking.
  • - Splint treatment for thumb carpometacarpal (CMC) osteoarthritis.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • - Less than 18 years old.
  • - Rheumatoid Arthritis or post-traumatic carpometacarpal (CMC) osteoarthritis.
- Patients that received a corticosteroid injection during the appointment for treatment of thumb carpometacarpal (CMC) osteoarthritis

Trial Details

Trial ID:

This trial id was obtained from, a service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, providing information on publicly and privately supported clinical studies of human participants with locations in all 50 States and in 196 countries.


Phase 1: Studies that emphasize safety and how the drug is metabolized and excreted in humans.

Phase 2: Studies that gather preliminary data on effectiveness (whether the drug works in people who have a certain disease or condition) and additional safety data.

Phase 3: Studies that gather more information about safety and effectiveness by studying different populations and different dosages and by using the drug in combination with other drugs.

Phase 4: Studies occurring after FDA has approved a drug for marketing, efficacy, or optimal use.

Lead Sponsor

The sponsor is the organization or person who oversees the clinical study and is responsible for analyzing the study data.

Massachusetts General Hospital
Principal Investigator

The person who is responsible for the scientific and technical direction of the entire clinical study.

Neal Chen, MD
Principal Investigator Affiliation Massachusetts General Hospital
Agency Class

Category of organization(s) involved as sponsor (and collaborator) supporting the trial.

Overall Status Enrolling by invitation
Countries United States

The disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury that is being studied.

Thumb Osteoarthritis, First Dorsal Interosseous Strengthening
Additional Details

Thumb CMC osteoarthritis is a normal part of aging. Most patients are able to adapt to symptoms of pain and disability, other patients might benefit from non-operative interventions; e.g. splinting, corticosteroid injections, pain medication, and multiple hand exercises. The dorsal ligament complex is one of the components for stability of the thumb CMC joint. These ligaments specifically create stability for pinch and grip during the final phase of opposition. Both, the opponens pollicis (OP) and the first dorsal interosseous (FDI) play a key role in centralizing the metacarpal on the trapezium. A retrospective study showed that a dynamic stability modeled approach, including targeting the FDI, reduced pain and improved function in patients with thumb CMC osteoarthritis. Recently, another study demonstrated that reduction of radial subluxation

  • - the thumb metacarpal versus the trapezium CMC joint - was achieved by contraction of the dynamic stabilizers of the healthy hand, specifically with the focus on the FDI.
More clinical research is needed to determine if there are efficacious (effective and low-cost) evidence-based exercise programs for pain reduction and functional improvement in patients with thumb CMC osteoarthritis. The investigators are interested in the effect of FDI strengthening in patients with thumb CMC osteoarthritis. Therefore, the investigators hypothesized that there is no difference in the change of lateral pinch strength at 12 weeks between patients treated with a splint versus patients treated with a splint and FDI strengthening for thumb CMC osteoarthritis. We also tested the same hypothesis for 3-point chuck strength, VAS for pain, and PROMIS Upper Extremity CAT.

Arms & Interventions


Placebo Comparator: Splint Only

Subjects with carpometacarpal (CMC) osteoarthritis treated by splinting of their thumb.

Active Comparator: Splint with first dorsal interosseous (FDI) strengthening

Subjects with carpometacarpal (CMC) osteoarthritis treated by splinting of their thumb combined with first dorsal interosseous (FDI) strengthening stabilization exercises.


Device: - Splint

Subjects will use a splint custom-made by Massachusetts General Hospital Occupational Therapists as part of standard care for treatment of carpometacarpal (CMC) osteoarthritis.

Device: - Splint with strengthening exercises

Subjects will use a splint custom-made by Massachusetts General Hospital Occupational Therapists as part of standard care for treatment of carpometacarpal (CMC) osteoarthritis and will also be taught two first dorsal interosseous (FDI) strengthening exercises.

Contact a Trial Team

If you are interested in learning more about this trial, find the trial site nearest to your location and contact the site coordinator via email or phone. We also strongly recommend that you consult with your healthcare provider about the trials that may interest you and refer to our terms of service below.

Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts



Massachusetts General Hospital

Boston, Massachusetts, 02114