Nathalie de Lambilly

La Tour Hospital, Switzerland

Title: Thumb interphalangeal joint replacement as an alternative to joint fusion


Arthrodesis is the generally accepted treatment for symptomatic osteoarthritis of the interphalangeal (IP) joint of the thumb. For 7 thumbs in 5 patients, an IP joint replacement was offered as a pain alleviating and motion conserving treatment option for osteoarthritis. In these cases, an offlabel use of the SR-PIP prosthesis was performed. All patients did well postoperatively with reasonable pain-free range of motion of the interphalangeal joint except one patient who required further surgeries for recurring joint instability. Radiologically, though, an osteolysis around the stems that could lead to loosening of the prosthesis and progressing periarticular ossifications that might cause a blockage of the joint were observed. IP joint arthroplasty represents a viable option on the short term; however, further studies should be conducted to ensure their long-term sustainability.


Nathalie de Lambilly is an orthopedic surgeon at La Tour Hospital, Switzerland. She has expertise in hand, wrist and elbow treatment.