MIAMI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A group of leading European hand surgeons will tomorrow view ‘live’ an arthroscopic surgical procedure to implant a biodegradable thumb joint resurfacing material called a ‘spacer’.

The procedure will be performed by Alejandro Badia, MD, Chief of Hand Surgery at Baptist Hospital, Miami, and owner of the Badia Hand-to-Shoulder Center in Doral. His patient is a woman in her late sixties with a five year history of arthritis pain in the base of her thumb. This is a common complaint generally treated using invasive surgery involving tissue removal and replacement using tendon ‘harvested’ from a patient’s forearm.

The audience of surgeons gathering in Strasbourg, France for the satellite viewing of the surgery are members of the European Wrist Arthroscopy Society (EWAS). The society’s formation was inspired by Dr. Badia’s work in applying arthroscopic surgery techniques, long used in knee and shoulder repair, to the intricate bones and joints of the hand and wrist.

“Arthritis in the base of the thumb affects millions of people, especially women, and can eventually be debilitating when one loses the pinch strength needed to do many everyday chores as basic as opening a door,” Dr. Badia said.

“When treatment with splinting and medication eventually fail, surgery is the only way of regaining that strength. This relatively new procedure is vastly less invasive and tissue sparing – especially when using arthroscopy,” he added.

According to Dr. Badia, the advantage of arthroscopy over more traditional surgery is that the joint does not have to be opened up fully. Instead, only two small incisions are made – one for the arthroscope and one for the surgical implant. This reduces recovery time and healing process due to less damage to the connective tissue around the thumb.

The implant or ‘spacer’ used by Dr. Badia is called the Artelon® CMC Spacer Arthro from Small Bone Innovations, Inc., Morristown, PA. It was cleared by the US FDA last year for marketing in the U.S. Since then Dr. Badia has become something of a pioneer in the procedure, treating several hundred patients in the US and Latin America.

Anthony G. Viscogliosi, Chairman & CEO of Small Bone Innovations, added: “By working closely with surgeons like Dr. Badia, we are committed to producing more advanced, keyhole-type surgical solutions, such as the Artelon® CMC Spacer Arthro, that are tissue-sparing, function-restoring and motion-preserving, to allow faster and more normal restoration of patients’ quality-of-life.”

About Dr. Badia

Alejandro Badia, MD studied at Cornell University in Physiology and obtained his medical degree at New York University followed by an Internship in General Surgery and Residency in Orthopedic Surgery.

He went on to a Hand and Upper Extremity Fellowship at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.

This was followed by a Hand Fellowship in Europe through the prestigious AO Trauma Association. He is the founder of the Badia Hand-to-Surgery Center, a full service center for the upper limb including extremity MRI imaging, digital radiography, therapy, and surgical facilities located under one roof in Doral, Florida.

Dr. Badia also runs a prestigious hand surgery fellowship that has trained surgeons from five continents and he conducts a small joint arthroscopy course at a laboratory within the center.

He also organizes the annual Miami Hand Reconstruction Course ( that brings together both surgeons and therapists to discuss hand/wrist/elbow joint replacement and arthroscopic procedures.

Dr. Badia is a member of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, American Association for Hand Surgery and numerous other national and local medical/surgical societies. He is also honorary member of multiple foreign hand surgery, orthopedic and arthroscopic surgery societies including those from Italy, Peru, Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia and Colombia.

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