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(THETA) The THumb osteoarthritis Exercise TriAl; a multicenter, randomized controlled trial on exercise therapy with an orthosis compared to an orthosis alone in patients with thumb base osteoarthritis

Project summary

The THETA study examines the effect of a combination of splint and exercise therapy in patients with osteoarthritis osteoarthritis of the thumb joint, rather than just splint therapy. It will be specifically examined whether the combination treatment will show more reduction in pain and whether there is a difference in the number of patients who still need surgery later. To investigate this, patients will be assigned to one of the two treatments and the patients will be followed over time.


Surgical treatment is associated with long recovery, long-term discomfort and outcomes vary widely – not every patient is satisfied in the long term. In addition, surgical treatment is very expensive. Successful exercise therapy and splint therapy could therefore improve patients quality of life and could reduce the costs of care.

More detailed information

Principal Investigator:

Drs. Robbert Wouters

Role Erasmus MC:



Project website:

Funding Agency: