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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2004 Sep;86(7):1002-6.

Seventeen-year survivorship analysis of silastic metacarpophalangeal joint replacement .

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  • 1Wrightington Hospital, Wigan, England, UK.


We reviewed the records and radiographs of 381 patients with rheumatoid arthritis who had undergone silastic metacarpophalangeal joint replacement during the past 17 years. The number of implants was 1336 in the course of 404 operations. Implant failure was defined as either revision or fracture of the implant as seen on radiography. At 17 years, the survivorship was 63%, although on radiographs two-thirds of the implants were seen to be broken. Factors which improved survival included soft-tissue balancing, crossed intrinsic transfer and realignment of the wrist. Surgery to the thumb and proximal interphalangeal joint had a deleterious effect and the use of grommets did not protect the implant from fracture.

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