Antegrade Percutaneous Intramedullary Fixation Technique for Metacarpal Fractures: Prospective Study on 150 Cases

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Abstract

Objectives:

The aim of our study was to assess the results of antegrade percutaneous intramedullary Kirschner wire (K-wire) fixation, for the treatment of unstable displaced metacarpal fractures in a large number of cases, in order to support the usage of this mini-invasive technique in the largest variety of fractures as possible.

Material and Methods:

Every patient meeting the inclusion criteria was treated with closed reduction and antegrade intramedullary fixation with 1 or 2 K-wire from January 2013. A total of 150 patients with 165 metacarpal fractures were evaluated until February 2016. Average follow-up duration was 10 weeks. The clinical outcome was assessed by the total active motion of the digit, presence of rotational deformity, Quick Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (Q-DASH) score, and Patient-Rated Wrist/Hand Evaluation (PRWHE) score. The radiographic outcome was assessed by evaluating the dorsal angulation and shortening of the metacarpal, comparing the postoperative radiography and the first radiography showing fracture healing.

Results:

Comparing the injured and contralateral digit average total active motion after 10 weeks from surgery, no statistical significance emerged. No patient developed extensor tendon irritation, so that there was no need to perform tenolysis, ever. The average Quick Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand score was 12.3 (range, 0 to 37). The average Patient-Rated Wrist/Hand Evaluation score was 19 (range, 0 to 41). Fracture union was steadily achieved. Radiographic assessment showed a nonsignificant postoperative loss of reduction.

Conclusions:

Antegrade intramedullary K-wire fixation technique is valid, reproducible, cheap, and perfectly suited to the treatment of metacarpal fractures requiring surgery, providing immediate mobilization and excellent outcomes for a very wide variety of fractures.

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