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Metallosis After Swanson Spacer as Indication for Volar Synovectomy 12 Years After Implantation

[ Vol. 13 , Issue. 1 ]


Klemens Trieb   Pages 2 - 4 ( 3 )


The treatment of metacarpophalangeal destruction by rheumatoid arthritis is an indication for arthroplasty, the swanson spacer is one of the options. The flexible silicone spacer may be implanted with or without titanium guide sleeves ("grommets"). However, the imaginary abrasion protection for the silicone grommets may in turn lead through micro-movements to wear. A 69 years old female patient suffering from rheumatoid arthritis for 30 years is presented. 12 years ago swansen spacers were implanted to metacarpo-phalangeal joints 2 -5 of the right hand. Due to pain, limited movement and swelling at the volar MCP joints she presented at our clinic. Volar synovectomy of the 3rd ray of the right hand was performed, the A2 ring band could be spared. There was massive metallosis induced by wear of the grommets in the third volar tendon sheath, the other flexors were free of metallosis. These results show that in synovitis after swanson spacer implantation using grommets the differential diagnosis of metallosis must be included and complete synovectomy is the treatment of choice.


Metacarpophalangeal, metallosis, rheuma, silicone grommets, swanson, synovectomu.


Klinikum Wels-Grieskirchen, Head of the Orthopaedic Department, Medical Director, Grieskirchnerstr. 42, 4600 Wels

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