Biomechanical Failure of Metacarpal Fracture Resorbable Plate Fixation

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Metacarpal fractures are a relatively common hand injury that may require operative intervention to ensure adequate reduction and stabilization. The use of permanent hardware, although acceptable, may lead to complications and an increased number of surgical procedures. The use of resorbable hardware such as poly-L-lactic acid and polyglycolic acid copolymer plates and screws may circumvent some of these complications. In vitro studies have demonstrated that the biomechanical characteristics of these resorbable plates may provide the rigid fixation necessary to allow for union of metacarpal fractures in vivo. However, limited clinical data are available regarding the success of their use in this application. The authors present what they believe is the first reported case of the failure of a poly-L-lactic acid and polyglycolic acid copolymer miniplate after use in the fixation of a metacarpal shaft fracture.

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