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Hand (N Y). 2018 Aug 2:1558944718791186. doi: 10.1177/1558944718791186. [Epub ahead of print]

Prosthetic Arthroplasty of Proximal Interphalangeal Joints for Treatment of Osteoarthritis and Posttraumatic Arthritis: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Comparing the Three Ulnar Digits With the Index Finger.

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1 New York University, Langone Orthopedic Hospital, New York City, USA.
2 Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.



It is common teaching that treatment of index finger alone is a relative contraindication for arthroplasty of the proximal interphalangeal joint (PIPJ). However, limited data exist reporting the digit-specific complication of PIPJ arthroplasty for the treatment of osteoarthritis or posttraumatic arthritis. The purpose of this article is to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature to assess whether the 3 ulnar digits may bear a similar instability and complication profile.


Systematic searches of the MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane computerized literature databases were performed for PIPJ arthroplasty specifying by digit. We reviewed both descriptive and quantitative data to: (1) report aggregate instability and instability-related complications after non-index digit PIPJ arthroplasty; and (2) perform statistical testing to assess relative rates by digit and compared with index digits.


Computerized search generated 385 original articles. Five studies reporting digit-specific instability-related outcomes of silicone, pyrocarbon, or metal surface arthroplasty on 177 digits were included in the review. Meta-analysis demonstrated a 29% instability rate for long digits (n = 65), 6% for ring digits (n = 53), and 6% for small digits (n = 17), compared with 33% for index digits (n = 42). There was no difference in the overall deformity, instability, and complication rates of long versus index fingers ( P = .65).


Instability-related deformity and complication rates of long finger PIPJ arthroplasty may not be different from that of the index finger. Treatment of the long finger may be a relative contraindication to PIPJ arthroplasty. Future biomechanical and clinical studies are needed.


arthroplasty; instability; meta-analysis; meta-surface; osteoarthritis; posttraumatic arthritis; proximal interphalangeal joint; pyrocarbon; silicone; systematic review


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