BACKGROUND: Comminuted intraarticular fractures of the metacarpophalangeal joint (MPJ) are difficult to treat. We evaluated the clinical outcomes of using a dynamic traction splint to treat comminuted intraarticular fracture of MPJ. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We conducted a retrospective chart review on patients with comminuted intraarticular fracture of the MPJ treated with a dynamic traction splint at National Cheng Kung University Hospital between March 2014 and February 2018. The surgical procedures consisted of a transverse Kirschner wire insertion and treatment for concomitant injuries. The patients then received staged regular rehabilitation programs under a hand therapists' supervision for 14 weeks. Active range of motion (ROM) of injured digits, Visual Analog Scale score for pain, and return-to-work status were recorded to evaluate functional outcomes. RESULTS: A total of 10 patients were included. All were male patients and aged 8 to 66 years. The most common injury mechanism was motor vehicle accident (70%). The locations of fractures were 1 at the metacarpal head and 9 at the proximal phalangeal bases. Half of the fractures were open. Concomitant injuries were 1 digital nerve severance, 1 extensor tendon rupture, and 3 dorsal skin avulsions. There were no postoperative complications. The active ROM of the MPJ ranged from 40° to 90° with a median ROM of 80°. The Visual Analog Scale score for pain was 0 in 8 patients and 1 in the other 2 patients. All patients returned to their original workplace after rehabilitation. CONCLUSIONS: Dynamic traction splints and postoperative rehabilitation programs could be an alternative treatment for comminuted intraarticular fracture of the MPJ.
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