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Tendon grafting for multiple extensor tendon ruptures of fingers in rheumatoid hands

S Nakamura, M Katsuki
Journal of Hand Surgery: Journal of the British Society for Surgery of the Hand 2002, 27 (4): 326-8
We assessed the outcome of tendon grafting of multiple finger extensor tendon ruptures in 14 patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Extensor lags improved from a preoperative mean of 33 degrees (range, 20 degrees-65 degrees) to a postoperative mean of 18 degrees (range, 0-60 degrees). However, loss of finger flexion was observed, with a mean postoperative fingertip to palm distance of 1.6 (range: 0-7.5) cm. Patient satisfaction correlated with the fingertip to palm distance, though not with the postoperative extensor lag. Because of the loss of finger flexion which was probably due to muscle contracture, we conclude that the results of tendon grafts in this situation are unsatisfactory.

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