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J Hand Surg Am. 2007 Sep;32(7):1113-9.

Instructional Course Lecture. Arthrodesis of the interphalangeal joints with headless compression screws.

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Virginia Hand Center, Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23294, USA.


Interphalangeal arthrodesis is a reliable method of pain relief for arthritic proximal and distal interphalangeal joints in the fingers. Indications include osteoarthritis, acute trauma, chronic reconstruction for trauma, rheumatoid and other inflammatory arthritides, and at the distal interphalangeal joint, chronic mallet finger deformity and unreconstructible flexor tendon defects. Solid arthrodesis imparts stability to the digital skeleton. Headless compression screws can be reproducibly inserted and are a good method to provide fixation adequate to accomplish interphalangeal arthrodesis. Surgical technique involves a dorsal incision and preparing the skeleton for good bony apposition. Exact technique for screw insertion depends on the specific screw used. Union rates range from 85% to 100% in published studies, with time to union of 7 to 10 weeks.

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