Metacarpophalangeal Joint Pyrocarbon Arthroplasty for Osteoarthritis: An Analysis of 44 Arthroplasties

Matthew R. Claxton, Matthew M. Rode, Eric R. Wagner, Steven L. Moran, Marco Rizzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The objective of this study was to analyze postoperative outcomes in a group of patients who underwent metacarpophalangeal (MCP) arthroplasty using a pyrocarbon prosthesis for noninflammatory arthritis. Methods: An analysis of 44 MCP joint arthroplasties in 30 patients with >2 years of follow-up over a 12-year period was reviewed. The mean age was 63 years. The primary operative indication was pain and stiffness from osteoarthritis refractory to nonsurgical management. Results: At a mean follow-up of 6 ± 3 years, 8 (18%) joints underwent reoperation, including 5 (11%) that underwent revision arthroplasty. The 2- and 5-year rates for survival free of revision arthroplasty were 95% and 93%, respectively. One (2%) operation was complicated by intraoperative fracture. Postoperative complications occurred in 8 (18%) fingers and included ligament/tendon rupture (n = 3) and instability (n = 2). There was significant postoperative improvement in pain levels, MCP arc of motion, pinch strength, and grip strength. At a mean 5 years of radiographic follow-up, 7% had progressive implant instability because of grade 3 or greater loosening. No joints experienced implant instability from progressive subsidence. Conclusions: Metacarpophalangeal arthroplasty using a pyrocarbon implant for osteoarthritis demonstrates an 7% revision rate at 5 years after surgery. Complications lead to reoperation in 1 of 5 arthroplasties. Radiographic evidence of implant instability was uncommon. Overall, patients experienced predictable pain relief and improvements in their range of motion and pinch strength. Type of study/level of evidence: Therapeutic IV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Arthroplasty
  • metacarpophalangeal joint
  • osteoarthritis
  • pyrocarbon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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