The Results of Treatment of Synovitis of the Wrist Induced by Particles of Silicone Debris*†


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Abstract

Synovitis of the wrist induced by particles of silicone debris is a destructive inflammatory process. Many silicone-rubber carpal implants remain in place, and there are few reports regarding the treatment of this condition. The purpose of the present study was to examine the results of treatment of synovitis induced by particles of silicone debris. Twenty-eight patients were identified, with use of computerized indexing, as having been evaluated for silicone-induced synovitis between 1972 and 1992. Seventeen of the twenty-eight patients were included in the study. At the time of the latest follow-up, twelve of the seventeen patients had pain, thirteen of the fourteen patients for whom radiographs were available had evidence of osteolysis typical of that associated with debris-induced synovitis, and eight of the seventeen patients reported difficulty with activities of daily living because of problems with the wrist.Seven patients had been treated non-operatively, and ten had been treated operatively. With the small number of patients available for study, we could not detect a significant difference between the two groups with respect to pain, perceived limitation of motion, difficulty with activities of daily living, grip strength, or the total range of motion of the wrist. There was no significant difference between the two groups with regard to the age at the time of the initial procedure, the time to the diagnosis of the synovitis, and the duration of follow-up after treatment. There was no clear advantage to removal of the implant and débridement with or without arthrodesis of the wrist or other reconstructive procedures. We recommend caution when a reconstructive or salvage procedure in the wrist is selected for a patient who has synovitis induced by particles of silicone debris.

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