Hallmark deformities of systemic scleroderma are early onset and progressively disabling flexion contractures of the proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joints often in conjunction with extension or, less frequently, flexion contractures of the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joints. Although surgical correction is generally recommended, a prevailing reluctance for operative treatment exists owing to the inherent ischemia of the disease with its potentially compromised healing capacity. Nonetheless, with recognition and preservation of the tenuous but well-defined and constant periarticular vascular networks of the PIP and MCP joints, articular reconstruction with uncomplicated wound healing can prove consistently successful for patients with scleroderma. This article describes the authors’ preferred methods of PIP arthrodesis vascularized by the dorsal cutaneous arterial network and MCP silicone implant arthroplasty perfused by the dorsal metacarpal arterial plexus.
- diffuse systemic scleroderma
- intrinsic hand flaps
- metacarpophalangeal joint silicone arthroplasty
- proximal interphalangeal joint arthrodesis