Internal fixation of distal metacarpal fractures: new uses for an old plate.
Certain metacarpal fracture patterns require operative fixation to restore anatomy and optimize results. Compared with dorsal plating, the width of the minicondylar blade plate buttresses the deforming volar pull of the intrinsics and provides a stronger construct. The implant provides firm fixation in the juxta-articular fragment with minimal space requirements. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the outcomes following the use of a minicondylar blade plate for the treatment of distal metacarpal fractures. Twenty-two distal metacarpal fractures in 20 patients treated with a minicondylar blade plate were retrospectively reviewed. Outcome measures collected included postoperative grip strength, range of motion, return to work, and radiographic evidence of osseous union. Average range of motion of the metacarpophalangeal joint was 62° postoperatively. Eighty-two percent (18/22) of fractures were able to flex their digits to their distal palmar crease. Seventy-one percent (12/17) of patients had at least 75% return to grip strength compared with the contralateral side. Seventeen patients returned to full activity at a mean of 2.5 months (range, 1-3 months) postoperatively; 1 patient was on disability, and data were not available for the final 2 patients. No major complications occurred. The minicondylar blade plate is a safe and effective technique for stabilizing unstable periarticular metacarpal fractures. Stable fixation allows for early range of motion, rapid return to strength, and a relatively quick return to full work duty.
Published In/Presented At
Sibley PA, Jacoby SM, Abzug JM, Waddell CL, Rivlin M, Bednar JM. Internal fixation of distal metacarpal fractures: new uses for an old plate. Orthopedics. 2013 Sep;36(9):e1169-74. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20130821-20. PMID: 24025009.
Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Surgery