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The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 86-B, Issue 3 | Pages 406 - 412
1 Apr 2004
Deshmukh SC Kumar D Mathur K Thomas B

We reviewed 13 patients with a complex fracture-dislocation of the proximal interphalangeal joint of a finger and one patient with a complex fracture-dislocation of the interphalangeal joint of thumb. We had treated these injuries using a pins and rubbers traction system which had been modified to avoid friction of the pins against the bone during mobilisation of the joint in order to minimise the risk of osteolysis. A Michigan hand outcome questionnaire was used for subjective assessment. The active range of movement (AROM) of the proximal and distal interphalangeal joints and the grip strength were used for objective assessment.

The mean follow-up was 34 months (12 to 49). The mean normalised Michigan hand outcome score was 84. The mean AROM of the proximal interphalangeal joint was 85° and that of the distal interphalangeal joint 48°. The mean grip strength was 92% of the uninvolved hand.

Twelve patients have returned to their original occupations. There has been no radiological osteolysis or clinical osteomyelitis. This modified traction system has given acceptable results with a low rate of complications. It is light, cheap, effective and easy to apply.