0
Scientific Articles   |    
Three Cast Techniques for the Treatment of Extra-Articular Metacarpal FracturesComparison of Short-Term Outcomes and Final Fracture Alignments
Lieutenant Commander Jeff Tavassoli, DO1; Commander Robert T. Ruland, MD1; Lieutenant Commander Christopher J. Hogan, MD1; Commander David L. Cannon, MD1
1 Bone and Joint/Sports Medicine Institute, Charette Health Sciences Center, 620 John Paul Jones Circle, Portsmouth, VA 23708. E-mail address for C.J. Hogan: cjhogan@mar.med.navy.mil
View Disclosures and Other Information
The authors did not receive grants or outside funding in support of their research or preparation of this manuscript. They did not receive payments or other benefits or a commitment or agreement to provide such benefits from a commercial entity. No commercial entity paid or directed, or agreed to pay or direct, any benefits to any research fund, foundation, educational institution, or other charitable or nonprofit organization with which the authors are affiliated or associated.
The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Navy, the Department of Defense, or the United States government.
Investigation performed at the Bone and Joint/Sports Medicine Institute, Charette Health Sciences Center, Portsmouth, Virginia

The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2005 Oct 01;87(10):2196-2201. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.D.03038
5 Recommendations (Recommend) | 3 Comments | Saved by 3 Users Save Case

Abstract

Background: Most extra-articular metacarpal fractures can be managed nonoperatively. While the conventional wisdom is that the metacarpophalangeal joint should be immobilized in a position of flexion, alternative methods for cast immobilization have been described. The purpose of this study was to retrospectively evaluate three methods of closed treatment; specifically, we investigated whether the position of immobilization of the metacarpophalangeal joint or the absence of a range of motion of the interphalangeal joints affected the short-term outcome or fracture alignment.

Methods: Between November 2000 and April 2004, extra-articular metacarpal fractures were immobilized for five weeks in one of three ways: with the metacarpophalangeal joints in flexion and full interphalangeal joint motion permitted (Group 1); with the metacarpophalangeal joints in extension and full interphalangeal joint motion permitted (Group 2); and with the metacarpophalangeal joints in flexion, the interphalangeal joints in extension, and no interphalangeal joint motion permitted (Group 3). Radiographs and the range of motion were evaluated at five weeks after application of the cast, and the range of motion and grip strength were assessed at nine weeks.

Results: Two hundred and sixty-three patients met the inclusion criteria. At five weeks, there was no difference among the treatment methods with regard to the range of motion or the maintenance of fracture reduction. At nine weeks, there was no significant difference with regard to the range of motion or grip strength.

Conclusions: When immobilization was discontinued by five weeks, the position of the metacarpophalangeal joints and the absence or presence of interphalangeal joint motion during the immobilization had little effect on motion, grip strength, or fracture alignment. This finding contradicts the conventional teaching that the metacarpophalangeal joint must be immobilized in flexion to prevent long-term loss of joint extension. Patient comfort, ease of application, and the surgeon's familiarity with the technique should influence the choice of immobilization.

Level of Evidence: Therapeutic Level III. See Instructions to Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Figures in this Article
    Sign In to Your Personal ProfileSign In To Access Full Content
    Not a Subscriber?
    Get online access for 30 days for $35
    New to JBJS?
    Sign up for a full subscription to both the print and online editions
    Register for a FREE limited account to get full access to all CME activities, to comment on public articles, or to sign up for alerts.
    Register for a FREE limited account to get full access to all CME activities
    Have a subscription to the print edition?
    Current subscribers to The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery in either the print or quarterly DVD formats receive free online access to JBJS.org.
    Forgot your password?
    Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a reminder to the email address on record.

     
    Forgot your username or need assistance? Please contact customer service at subs@jbjs.org. If your access is provided
    by your institution, please contact you librarian or administrator for username and password information. Institutional
    administrators, to reset your institution's master username or password, please contact subs@jbjs.org

    References

    Accreditation Statement
    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
    CME Activities Associated with This Article
    Submit a Comment
    Please read the other comments before you post yours. Contributors must reveal any conflict of interest.
    Comments are moderated and will appear on the site at the discretion of JBJS editorial staff.

    * = Required Field
    (if multiple authors, separate names by comma)
    Example: John Doe





    Related Content
    The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery
    JBJS Case Connector
    Topic Collections
    Related Audio and Videos
    PubMed Articles
    Guidelines
    ACR Appropriateness Criteria® acute hand and wrist trauma. -American College of Radiology | 7/17/2009
    Treatment of pediatric diaphyseal femur fractures. -American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) | 7/17/2009
    Results provided by:
    PubMed
    Clinical Trials
    Readers of This Also Read...
    JBJS Jobs
    04/16/2014
    Connecticut - Yale University School of Medicine
    02/05/2014
    Oregon - The Center - Orthopedic and Neurosurgical Care and Research
    04/02/2014
    Illinois - Hinsdale Orthopaedics