Markus Jakubek, Martin Enzendorfer, Rainer Fiala, Klemens Trieb

Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Klinikum Wels-Grieskirchen, Austria

Keywords: A rthrodesis; interphalangeal; intramedullary; nitinol; X-Fuse®.


Objectives: This study aims to evaluate the nitinol (X-Fuse®) implant in arthrodesis of the distal interphalangeal and the thumb joints with respect to bone fusion and clinical efficiency.
Patients and methods: This prospective study included 24 consecutive patients (7 males, 17 females; mean age 56.8 years; range 27 to 79 years) with nitinol (X-Fuse®) implants in their 41 joints. All patients were followed-up clinically and radiographically with respect to fusion, complications and outcome at a minimum of 14 months postoperatively (mean 28±6 months). X-rays, Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand, and visual analog scale scores were recorded preoperatively and at postoperative fifth week, third month, first year, and subsequent visits.
Results: The Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand score improved significantly from preoperative 37.7 points to postoperative 14.5 points at first year. The visual analog scale score improved significantly from preoperative 5.5 to postoperative 0.85 points at first year. Failure to fuse only occurred in two joints (5%), resulting in fusion after reoperation. No other severe complications such as deep infection, intraoperative fracture, wound healing problems or regional dystrophy were observed.
Conclusion: The X-Fuse® implant may be a reliable alternative method for finger joint arthrodesis.