Pyrocarbon metacarpophalangeal joint arthroplasty in noninflammatory arthritis: Minimum 5-year follow-Up

David R. Dickson*, Ravi Badge, David Nuttall, Adam C. Watts, Sumedh C. Talwalkar, Mike Hayton, Ian A. Trail

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose To report the outcomes, complications, and survivorship of pyrocarbon metacarpophalangeal joint arthroplasty in noninflammatory arthropathy at a minimum 5-year follow-up. Methods A retrospective review of 51 implants in 36 patients was undertaken. Patient demographics, complications, further surgery, and implant revision were recorded. Objective outcome was assessed by grip strength, range of motion, and radiological assessment of alignment, loosening, and subsidence. Subjective outcome was assessed by Patient Evaluation Measure, Quick Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand score, and visual analog scores (0, best; 10, worst) for appearance, satisfaction, and pain. Results There were 35 index and 16 middle fingers. The average follow-up was 103 months (range, 60-172 months). The mean arc of motion was 54° (range, 20° to 80°). There was no difference in grip strength between operated and nonsurgical side. Six implants were revised, and 3 of these required additional surgery. The average Patient Evaluation Measure and Quick Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand scores were 27 (range, 10-54) and 29 (range, 0-57), respectively. Mean visual analog scores for pain, satisfaction, and appearance were all 1 with the respective ranges being 0-7, 0-4, and 0-6. Most implants were Herren grade 1 lucency with the remaining 5 proximal and 12 distal implants being grade 2. Mean subsidence in the proximal component was 2 mm (range, 0-4 mm) and 1 mm (range, 0-3 mm) in the distal component. The degree of loosening or subsidence did not correlate with outcome. Implant survival as assessed by Kaplan-Meier was 88% at 10 years. Conclusions Good pain relief, a functional range of motion, and high satisfaction were seen in the majority of patients. All implant revisions were performed within 18 months of the index procedure. This may represent technical issues rather than problems with the implant. Type of study/level of evidence Therapeutic IV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1956-1962
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015


  • arthroplasty
  • metacarpophalangeal joint
  • outcome
  • Pyrocarbon
  • survivorship
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Male
  • Prosthesis Design
  • Prosthesis Failure
  • Time Factors
  • Metacarpophalangeal Joint/diagnostic imaging
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Hand Strength
  • Range of Motion, Articular/physiology
  • Osteoarthritis/pathology
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Carbon
  • Radiography
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Finger/adverse effects
  • Joint Prosthesis
  • Aged
  • Reoperation/methods
  • Cohort Studies


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