It has been suggested that trapeziometacarpal total joint arthroplasty be combined with complete release of the joint capsule to prevent ligament tethering and implant dislocation. Our goal was to evaluate the consequences of capsular release on range of motion. Trapeziometacarpal joint motion was measured with a 3D motion tracking system in seven fresh frozen human cadaver hands before and after capsular release and total joint arthroplasty with subsequently longer neck lengths. Relative to the native trapeziometacarpal joint with intact joint capsule, mean flexion-extension was significantly increased after the arthroplasty with released capsule and lengthening up to 6 mm. Mean abduction-adduction did not increase significantly. Total joint replacement combined with capsular release increases the trapeziometacarpal joint's range of motion, but not beyond the limits of most trapeziometacarpal implant designs. Lengthening of the implant neck progressively decreases the excess motion.