How Effective is Surgery?

Metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joint contractures involving only one finger can almost always be corrected with surgery or needle aponeurotomy. However, when two or more adjacent MCP joints are contracted, the skin is usually contracted as well, and complete correction is less likely.

For the Proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joint contractures, the realistic expectation is improvement, not perfection. PIP contractures due to isolated cords in the fingers have been reported to improve an average of 50% after surgery 3968392. Straightening achieved in surgery is often patially lost during the healing phase (see recurrence). Use this calculator to estimate the final degree of proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joint bend after surgery. The math is based on the 1980 statistical analysis ofLegge and McFarlane, based on the finger involved, the contractures of the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) and proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joints of that finger, and the number of fingers involved. This is a statistical estimate, to give an idea of how tricky the problem is, not a guarantee of result, which may be better or worse than predicted. Similar outcomes can be expected for needle aponeurotomy (percutaneous fasciotomy) as for open surgery.