Dorsal Plating for Intra-articular Middle Phalangeal Base Fractures With Volar Instability

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Journal Title



© 2018, The Author(s) 2018. Background: Intra-articular middle phalangeal base fractures with volar instability are rare injuries with scant literature on optimal management. Our purpose is to describe our method of dorsal plating and report postoperative outcomes. Methods: This study is a retrospective case review of 5 patients with intra-articular middle phalangeal base fractures with volar proximal interphalangeal joint instability, measuring subjective, clinical, and radiographic outcomes. Results: Patient age averaged 38.2 years (range, 23-56 years), and 80% were male. Sporting injuries were the most common mechanism (80%). Time to surgery averaged 7 days, and postoperative follow-up duration averaged 19.6 months (median 8 months). All fractures were intra-articular at the proximal interphalangeal joint with volar instability. There were no complications and no patients required secondary surgery. Grip strength was maintained and range of motion was good, based on the American Society for Surgery of the Hand Total Active Motion score. Average Quick Disability of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand was 0.5 (range, 0-2.3), 100% of patients were satisfied, and average visual analog pain score was 1.2. Patients returned to work at a median of 4 days. There was radiographic union at an average of 6.6 weeks (range, 6-7 weeks) in all fractures. Conclusions: Dorsal plating using a 1.5-mm modular hand plate is a viable option for rigid fixation of intra-articular middle phalangeal base fractures with volar instability. This fixation method allows for early range of motion without complications in this case series. All fractures united, and patients had minimal functional deficits and were able to maintain good range of motion.

Document Type



Faculty; Northwell Resident


School of Medicine; Northwell Health

Primary Department

Orthopedic Surgery





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