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Low-velocity gunshot wounds of the proximal phalanx: treatment by early stable fixation.

Authors
  • Gonzalez, M H
  • Hall, M
  • Hall, R F Jr
Type
Published Article
Journal
The Journal of hand surgery
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1998
Volume
23
Issue
1
Pages
150–155
Identifiers
PMID: 9523969
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Twenty-eight proximal phalangeal fractures secondary to low-velocity gunshot wounds in 27 patients treated by stable fixation were retrospectively reviewed. Definitive fixation was performed within 1 week of injury. Fractures were stabilized with either a plate, intramedullary spacer, or a combination of both. When necessary, supplemental fixation was achieved with cerclage wires or interfragmentary screws. Twenty fractures with bone loss or comminution were primarily supplemented with iliac crest bone graft. After surgery, the fingers were splinted in 90 degrees of metacarpophalangeal (MP) flexion. An aggressive supervised therapy program was initiated within 24 hours of surgery. The average length of follow-up care was 9 months (range, 3-29 months). Primary union was achieved in all fractures. The average range of motion was 83 degrees for the MP joint and 66 degrees for the proximal interphalangeal joint. The average total active motion (TAM) for the involved digits was 200 degrees (range, 65 degrees-250 degrees). Fractures without intra-articular extension had a significantly better average TAM (213 degrees) than did those with intra-articular extension (169 degrees; p = .05). Primary bone grafting did not adversely effect the final TAM. There were no infections. Early stable fracture fixation of these injuries achieved union, alignment, and early rehabilitation with no appreciable increase in morbidity.

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