Effectiveness of rheumatoid hand surgery: contrasting perceptions of hand surgeons and rheumatologists.
PURPOSE: Surgical management of rheumatoid hand diseases is controversial with large variation in practice pattern in the U.S. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the attitudes of hand surgeons and rheumatologists toward the effectiveness of rheumatoid hand surgery. METHODS: We designed a survey instrument to examine physicians' opinions about the effectiveness of different surgical treatments for rheumatoid hand deformities. The self-administered survey was mailed to a national random sample of 500 members of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and 500 members of the American College of Rheumatology. RESULTS: Of survey responders, 82.5% of hand surgeons versus 34.1% of rheumatologists believe metacarpophalangeal joint arthroplasty improves hand function; 93.2% and 54.6%, respectively, believe prophylactic extensor tenosynovectomy prevents tendon rupture; and 52.5% and 12.6%, respectively, believe small joint synovectomy delays joint destruction. CONCLUSIONS: Rheumatologists view rheumatoid hand surgery as significantly less effective than do hand surgeons, which highlights the disagreements between the 2 specialties about the management of this clinical problem.
Alderman, AK; Chung, KC; Kim, HM; Fox, DA; Ubel, PA
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