Traction Splints: Effective Nonsurgical Way of Managing Proximal Phalanx Fractures

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Treating proximal phalanx fracture without compromising the mobility is difficult.


Clinical and radiologic results of 30 patients with proximal phalangeal fracture of the hand treated conservatively from January 2004 to December 2006 were evaluated. Application of traction splint was followed by supervised rehabilitation. Patients were followed for 6 months. Results were evaluated using “Total Active Motion Scores” and grip strength.


The results were excellent in 72% of the patients, good in 22%, and poor in 6%. For long-term assessment patients were contacted and reviewed in October 2007. Eighty percent patient responded to call and the results achieved were found to be stable in most of the patients.


Proximal phalangeal fractures can be effectively treated by closed methods, using the stabilizing effect of soft tissues (zancolli complex-metacarpophalangeal retention apparatus) and external devices (traction splints), thus enabling bone healing and movement recovery at the same time.

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