Swanson silicone finger joint implants: a review of the literature regarding long-term complications

J Hand Surg Am. 1995 May;20(3):445-9. doi: 10.1016/S0363-5023(05)80104-2.


A review of the English-language literature pertaining to complications associated with Swanson Silastic (Dow Corning, Midland, MI) finger implants was performed. The review focused on seven broad categories of complications: synovitis, lymphadenopathy, bone change, implant fracture, implant loosening, infection, and implant removal. Outcome data on 15,556 small joint implants were identified in 70 pertinent articles. The prevalence rates of complications associated with finger implants were all very low. Implant fracture and bone changes occurred in 2% and 4% (respectively) of finger implants. Each of the other complications developed in 1% or less of implants, including particulate synovitis (0.06% of implants). Particle-wear lymphadenopathy was reported in 0.08% of implants. The literature review identified no reports of immunologic reactions, connective tissue disease, or other systemic effects associated with the use of Swanson finger implants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Finger Joint / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Joint Prosthesis / adverse effects*
  • Metacarpophalangeal Joint / surgery
  • Prostheses and Implants / adverse effects*
  • Prosthesis Failure
  • Silicone Elastomers*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Silicone Elastomers