The authors perform arthroscopy of the proximal interphalangeal joint in an unspecified number of fresh cadaver hands and in two patients. They used a 1.9 mm arthroscope with a 30 degree lens and they positioned the hands horizontally on the table. Inflow was provided manually by a syringe and outflow was established with a “cannula” or 2.0-mm shaver. Two different portals were described; one between the central slip and lateral band, and the other between the lateral band and collateral ligament. The palmar portion of the joint could not be visualized.
Arthroscopy of the proximal interphalangeal joint is a relatively new technique. Possible indications include synovial tissue biopsy, joint synovectomy, and removal of loose bodies. Horizontal placement of the hand allows for adequate joint visualization with passive extension and flexion of the finger. Blunt dissection may minimize the potential for iatrogenic injury to articular cartilage and sensory nerve branches. The true indications for this procedure are not yet defined and the results have yet to be determined.