Charles A. Goldfarb and Thomas T. Dovan
Silicone implant arthroplasty has been used for more than 40 years for severe rheumatoid disease at the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joint. Multiple investigations have shown that silicone arthroplasty places the MCP joint in a more extended posture, with some improvement in the total arc of motion. Ulnar drift is also improved, but strength and other objective measures have not demonstrated marked changes postoperatively. The lack of prospective data and more complete outcome assessment has been, at least in part, responsible for the marked difference in opinions between rheumatologists and hand surgeons on the effectiveness of MCP arthroplasty. Recent reports using patient-centered outcome measures have shown that early outcome is favorable, with improvements in appearance, pain, and function.
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