A metal, hinged type of prosthesis has been developed for irreparably damaged joints of the finger in selected cases, as an alternative to amputation or arthrodesis.
This operation, a procedure of salvage, is performed in the hope of restoring some degree of useful function in an otherwise useless part.
Prerequisites for the procedure are: functionally restorable tendons, intact nerve supply, adequate circulation of the part, and good motivation.
Complications, consisting of sinking-in of the prosthesis and loosening of the screw, are discussed and solutions of these problems presented.
In ten patients of the twelve cases rated, a functional range of painless motion was restored and the cosmetic appearance of the hand improved.
All patients returned to full military duty and were engaged in specific occupations requiring use of the hands.
The results in this brief series have been sufficiently encouraging to warrant further attempts at this method of replacement arthroplasty.