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Common Fractures and Dislocations of the Hand

Jones, Neil F. M.D.; Jupiter, Jesse B. M.D.; Lalonde, Donald H. M.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: November 2012 - Volume 130 - Issue 5 - p 722e–736e
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e318267d67a
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Learning Objectives: After reading this article, the participant should be able to: 1. Describe the concept of early protected movement with Kirschner-wired finger fractures to the hand therapist. 2. Choose the most appropriate method of fracture fixation to achieve the goal of a full range of motion. 3. Describe the methods of treatment available for the most common fractures and dislocations of the hand.

Background: The main goal of treatment of hand and finger fractures and dislocations is to attain a full range of wrist and nonscissoring finger motion after the treatment is accomplished. This CME article consists of literature review, illustrations, movies, and an online CME examination to bring the participant recent available information on the topic.

Methods: The authors reviewed literature regarding the most current treatment strategies for common hand and finger fractures and dislocations. Films were created to illustrate operative and rehabilitation methods used to treat these problems. A series of multiple-choice questions, answers, discussions, and references were written and are provided online so that the participant can receive the full benefit of this review.

Results: Many treatment options are available, from buddy and Coban taping to closed reduction with immobilization; percutaneous pins or screws; and open reduction with pins, screws, or plates. Knowledge of all available options is important because all can be used to achieve the goal of treatment in the shortest time possible. The commonly used methods of treatment are reviewed and illustrated.

Conclusions: Management of common hand and finger fractures and dislocations includes the need to focus on achieving a full range of motion after treatment. A balance of fracture reduction with minimal dissection and early protected movement will achieve the goal.


Orange, Calif.; Boston, Mass.; and Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

From the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of California, Irvine Medical Center; Harvard Medical School, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital; and Dalhousie University.

Received for publication January 5, 2012; accepted April 17, 2012.

Disclosure: The authors have no financial interest in any of the products or devices mentioned in this article.

Related Video content is available for this article. The videos can be found under the “Related Videos” section of the full-text article, or, for Ovid users, using the URL citations published in the article.

Neil F. Jones, M.D.; University of California Irvine, 101 The City Drive South, Pavilion III, Orange, Calif. 92868,

©2012American Society of Plastic Surgeons