Long-Term Outcomes of Huber Opposition Transfer for Augmenting Hypoplastic Thumb Function

Lindley B. Wall, Aalok Patel, Summer Roberts, Charles A. Goldfarb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Purpose This study was conducted to report the functional outcomes of the Huber opposition transfer (abductor digiti minimi muscle) in types II and IIIA hypoplastic thumbs. Methods Patients who had undergone a Huber opposition transfer with at least 5 years of follow-up were included in this study. There were 21 thumbs included; 12 returned for a detailed evaluation and 9 were included with a medical record review. Outcome measures included range of motion and pinch strength; Pediatric Outcomes Data Collection Instrument (PODCI) and Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) scores were collected on those who could return. There were 15 type II and 6 type IIIA thumbs. Results Range of motion was significantly less than normal for both the interphalangeal and the metacarpophalangeal joints. For the returning cohort, key and tripod pinch were 44% and 65% of normal. The median Kapandji score was 9 (range, 6–10). The PODCI scores were high for global, upper extremity function, happiness, and pain. The PROMIS scores were similar to normal, except for parent reports of physical function. For all included patients, there was a revision surgery rate of 22%, primarily related to persistent instability. Conclusions At a minimum 5-year follow-up, the Huber opposition transfer for types II and IIIA thumbs was shown to provide good subjective outcomes, despite limited range of motion and strength. Type of study/level of evidence Therapeutic IV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657.e1-657.e7
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2017


  • Huber
  • Opposition transfer
  • congenital
  • hypoplastic thumb


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