Instructional course lecture| Volume 32, ISSUE 6, P914-917, July 2007

Proximal Interphalangeal Joint Arthrodesis Using the Tension Band Technique

  • Richard L. Uhl
    Corresponding author: Richard L. Uhl, MD, Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Albany Medical College, 1367 Washington Ave, Ste 200, Albany, NY 12206.
    Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Albany Medical College, Albany, NY.
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      Arthritis and instability of the proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joints of the hand leads to chronic pain and decreased hand function. Proximal interphalangeal joint arthrodesis is an effective means of restoring hand function. The tension band technique is a reliable and cost-effective means of stabilizing the arthrodesis while allowing early hand motion. The dorsal tension band causes compression at the arthrodesis site during active motion, further facilitating healing. The technique is cost effective, using inexpensive pins and a wire. Complications include delayed union, pin protrusion from the bone, and painful hardware.

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