Analysis of Operative Techniques of Fractures of the First Metacarpal Base

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Abstract

Introduction

Over time, the operative treatment of extra-articular and intra-articular fractures of the first metacarpal base has gained significant importance, and at present, there are many operative strategies available because of the different osteosynthesis procedures in practice today.

Purpose

In this retrospective cohort study, we analyze the possible differences between 2 distinguished operative osteosynthesis techniques, in terms of patient outcome, operation time, duration of radiation exposure, and postoperative radiographic results.

Methods

Fifty-two patients operated on for first metacarpal extra-articular or intra-articular base fracture were investigated retrospectively by means of records. After reduction, osteosynthesis was performed on 34 patients with K-wires (group I), and on 18 patients with plates and/or screws (group II). Of the 52 patients, 19 were available for a prospective follow-up examination.

Results

After analyzing the operation time, a significant difference between the 2 operative techniques for epibasal and Bennett fractures (P = 0.0089 and P = 0.02) was recorded. Furthermore, for the time of radiation exposure, no significant difference could be detected. Also, no statistical difference was found between the 2 analyzed groups in terms of patient outcomes and postoperative radiographic results.

Conclusions

The determined data of the operated extra-articular and intra-articular first metacarpal base fractures revealed approximately equal results for patient outcome, postoperative x-ray results, and time of radiation exposure during the operation. After analyzing the operation time of epibasal and Bennett fractures, we can recommend that the K-wire fixation is superior to the plate and/or screw osteosynthesis as a treatment, because of the associated benefits of keeping costs low without harming the patient in the long term.

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