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Distal Interphalangeal (DIP)Joint fusion

September 26th, 2007

When the DIP joint becomes arthritic, pain, deformity, and instability can be successfully managed by fusion, to restore function.The elimination at this joint does not appreciably limit range of motion required for most activities.DIP joint fusion can be performed successfully using a variety of techniques, and union rates are characteristically high if decortication, bony coaptation, and stability are adequate.

Though use of k-wires is time-honored, and allows arthrodesis in slight flexion, the use of a headless compressive screw has the advantages of ease of execution, fully buried hardware, and the ability to mobilize the finger almost immediately. Patient satisfaction has increased tremendously with the use of screw fixation because motion of the finger is allowed after a few days.

Related Photos:

Preoperative PA xray shows joint space narrowing and degenerative osteophytes

Preoperative lateral xray

Postoperative PA xray after DIP fusion with headless screw

Postoperative lateral xray

Postoperative scar is well tolerated and barely visible in this location

Prehension is still possible despite the absence of slight flexion at the DIP joint