Internal suture for mallet finger fracture.

Bauze A, Bain GI

Modbury Public Hospital, and the University of Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.

An internal suture technique has been used for mallet finger fractures involving at least 30% of the articular surface. It provides fixation without a button or transfixion of the fragment.

An independent retrospective review was conducted of ten patients at a mean follow-up of 17 months. Mean visual analogue score (0 to 10) for pain was 2.4 and satisfaction 7.9. Mean active range of motion was 13 to 49 degrees, passive motion was 2 to 56 degrees, pinch strength of effected finger to thumb was 3.8 kgf (81% of the opposite finger), grip strength 37.9 kgf (95% of the opposite hand). All fractures united and there were no neuromas.

Complications included two nail deformities, a superficial infection and a pin track infection. One patient with a crush injury continued to have pain despite an arthrodesis.

J Hand Surg [Br] 1999 Dec;24(6):688-92