Acta chirurgiae orthopaedicae et traumatologiae Cechoslovaca

Acta chirurgiae orthopaedicae et traumatologiae Cechoslovaca

Původní práce / Original papers

86, 2019, p. 358 - 361

Artrodézy interfalangeálních kloubů ruky pomocí zevního fixátoru při řešení stavů po proběhlé septické artritidě

Arthrodesis of Interphalangeal Joints of the Hand by an External Fixator in Managing Conditions Resulting from Septic Arthritis

Ortopedická klinika Fakultní nemocnice Hradec Králové



Arthrodesis of interphalangeal joints of the hand is a method used to treat conditions associated with joint destruction, instability and pain.

Our study aims to evaluate the outcomes of the treatment of sequelae of septic arthritis of interphalangeal joints by arthrodesis with external fixation. This topic is hardly covered in literature. Moreover, it compares the outcomes of application of this method in diabetic patients and non-diabetic population.


Arthrodesis by means of Stellbrink external fixator was performed in 17 patients who had suffered septic arthritis of interphalangeal joints of the hand.

The following parameters were followed in patients in our group: age, sex, etiology of disease, smoking, diabetes, affected fingers and joints of the hand, side, microbial culture finding, wound healing, postoperative ATB therapy and its duration, radiographic signs of the union of arthrodesis and potential complications.


The group included 8 men and 9 women. The mean age was 66.2 years. 5 patients in the group were diabetic. In 16 patients the wound healed per primam, in 1 case per secundam. The average duration of postoperative ATB therapy was 4.3 weeks. The X-ray showed the union of fused articular surfaces at 6.9 weeks on average. Complications occurred in 3 patients, namely 1 case of secondary wound healing, 1 case of nail bed damage and 1 case of flexor tenosynovitis of the operated finger.

The arthrodesis was successfully healed in all the patients and a no difference was detected between diabetic and non-diabetic patients.


When arthrodesis of interphalangeal joints of the hand is performed using an external fixator, the metal material is introduced outside the area of inflammation, or the field potentially at risk of infection, therefore this method is predetermined for surgeries in the terrain changed by inflammation or potentially at risk of inflammation. Compared to the other methods such as arthrodesis by inserting K-wires intramedullary, there is no risk of migration of the metal material and the associated soft tissue irritation.


Our study confirms the safety and efficiency of arthrodesis of interphalangeal joints of the hand by means of an external fixator in treating the sequelae of septic arthritis. The union of arthrodesis with no complications was observed even in all the diabetic patients. Ranking among the main advantages of this method are the easy care for the surgical wound, achievement of easy and firm fixation with the possibility to apply an external fixator outside the area of the original infection.

Key words: arthrodesis, external fixator, septic arthritis, interphalangeal joint

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