Silicone arthroplasty versus screw arthrodesis in distal interphalangeal joint osteoarthritis

J Hand Surg Eur Vol. 2020 Jul;45(6):615-621. doi: 10.1177/1753193420917818. Epub 2020 Apr 26.


The aim of this study was to evaluate patient satisfaction after distal interphalangeal joint silicone arthroplasty and compare this outcome to that achieved with screw arthrodesis. On average 4.4 years after surgery, range of motion of the distal interphalangeal joint, pain on a numeric rating scale, satisfaction, and hand appearance of 48 patients (78 treated fingers) were assessed. For arthroplasty patients, mean distal interphalangeal joint motion was 28° with an extension deficit of 17°. Pain was low for arthroplasty and arthrodesis patients with scores of 0.2 and 0.6 out of a total of 10 points, respectively. The patients in both groups were satisfied with their outcomes, but arthroplasty patients were less satisfied with the appearance. Twenty-one per cent of the arthroplasties and 15% of the arthrodeses underwent reoperation. We suggest the motion-preserving distal interphalangeal arthroplasty as an alternative to distal interphalangeal arthrodesis for patients with higher functional demands and whose joints are stable preoperatively. In patients attaching importance to hand aesthetics and for unstable joints, distal interphalangeal joint arthrodesis is preferable. Level of evidence: III.

Keywords: Distal interphalangeal joint; arthrodesis; arthroplasty; osteoarthritis.

MeSH terms

  • Arthrodesis
  • Arthroplasty
  • Bone Screws
  • Finger Joint / surgery
  • Humans
  • Joint Prosthesis*
  • Osteoarthritis* / surgery
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Silicones
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Silicones