A Novel External Fixation Technique for Injuries of the Proximal Interphalangeal Joint

Academic Article


  • Digital external fixation is often used for the management of complex injuries involving the proximal interphalangeal joint, including pilon fractures of the middle phalanx base and unstable fracture-dislocations. Several dynamic "homemade" constructs have been described which utilize only K-wires and rubber bands and allow early range of motion within the construct. Although these constructs are inexpensive and their application is fairly straightforward, their designs pose a few potential problems when the construct is stressed during rehabilitation efforts. These designs utilize a blocking K-wire which relies on pin-to-pin contact to maintain reduction and creates unnecessary friction that can impede motion and result in pin loosening in bone. Furthermore, rubber band rupture can occur and destabilizes the construct. Here we present a novel technique which utilizes only K-wires and K-wire caps, provides adequate joint distraction and stabilization throughout the arc of motion, and avoids the aforementioned pitfalls of existing designs.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 9149053
  • Author List

  • McCarley M; Hunter AM; McKissack H; Shah A; Oakes J; Chaudhari N; Sherrill J
  • Start Page

  • 176
  • End Page

  • 181
  • Volume

  • 23
  • Issue

  • 4