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Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2010 Apr;92(3):236-9; quiz 239. doi: 10.1308/003588410X12628812458176. Epub 2010 Mar 10.

Treating the boxer's fracture in Wales: a postal survey.

Author information

1
Department of Orthopaedics, Wrexham Maelor Hospital, Wrexham, UK. rhidianjones@hotmail.com

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

There is no standardised treatment for fifth metacarpal neck fractures. Treatment of this common fracture can vary from immediate mobilisation to immobilisation in a plaster cast for 3 weeks. There is no literature identifying current practice amongst surgeons.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS:

This survey's aim was to reveal current practice in Wales by means of a postal questionnaire sent to all Welsh orthopaedic consultants.

RESULTS:

The questionnaire had a 60% response rate. Results demonstrated varied opinion regarding the degree of displacement warranting reduction. Overall, 10% of surgeons reduce the fracture at 30 masculine of displacement, 29% at 40 masculine, 18% at 50 masculine and 20% at 60 masculine of displacement. The treatment was also very varied. Most surgeons preferred to treat these fractures with neighbour strapping (43%,) while others preferred plaster immobilisation (39%) or immediate mobilisation (10%.) Only 22% of surgeons discharge these patients back to the community after their first visit to out-patients while 13% offer two follow-up appointments.

CONCLUSIONS:

The treatment being offered for this common fracture in Wales is inconsistent. There is a need to develop evidence-based best practice guidelines which should standardise the treatment of this common injury. Perhaps, a large multicentre outcome study may enable this to be drawn up in the future.

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PMID:
20223051
PMCID:
PMC3080065
DOI:
10.1308/003588410X12628812458176
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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