An Experimental Study of Small- Joint Compression Arthrodesis

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Arthrodesis of the interphalangeal and metacarpophalangeal joints is a technically demanding procedure with significant failure rates. A method of compression arthrodesis that was developed by one of the authors (RWB) using a compression clamp and crossed Kirschner wires is reported. This technique has been used without complication in the successful arthrodesis of 125 consecutive interphalangeal and metacarpophalangeal fusions by two of the authors (RWB and JAIG). An in vivo model of small-joint arthrodesis was then developed using the rabbit humeroulnar joint to compare this method of compression clamp arthrodesis with the tension band technique. Biomechanical testing at both 2 and 8 weeks postoperatively showed compression clamp arthrodesis to compare favorably with the tension band technique.

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