Operative treatment of intra-articular fractures of the dorsal aspect of the distal phalanx of digits.

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Thirty-six digits with an intra-articular fracture of the dorsal aspect of the distal phalanx that involved one-third or more of the articular surface were treated by open reduction and internal fixation with Kirschner wires. After an average length of follow-up of forty-six months, roentgenograms of the distal joint in twenty-six digits appeared essentially normal. Ten digits had minor roentgenographic changes but, with the exception of one digit, the joint space was congruous and free of significant abnormalities. The average loss of extension of the distal joint was 2 degrees, and the average arc of flexion of the distal joint was 69 degrees. The average strength of pinch in all digits that were operated on was essentially equal to the strength of pinch in the contralateral digit. Exact reduction and internal fixation using the technique described resulted in excellent motion and function.

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