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J Hand Surg Am. 1993 Mar;18(2):267-70.

Low-velocity gunshot wounds of the metacarpal: treatment by early stable fixation and bone grafting.

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Department of Orthopaedics, University of Illinois, Chicago.


The results of early stable fixation of 64 metacarpal fractures due to low-velocity gunshot wounds in 49 patients were reviewed retrospectively. These reconstructive procedures were performed between 1 and 7 days after injury and involved stable internal fixation supplemented with primary iliac crest bone graft in 40 fractures with bone loss or comminution. Postoperatively, the hands were splinted with 90 degrees of metacorpophalangeal flexion while early interphalangeal motion was emphasized. Follow-up averaged 12 months, with a range of 4 months to 7 years. Primary bone union was achieved in all metacarpals. The average range of motion was 65 degrees for the metacarpophalangeal joint, 72 degrees for the proximal interphalangeal joint, and 60 degrees for the distal interphalangeal joint. Complications included two superficial infections. There were no cases of deep infections or persistent draining wounds. Early, stable fracture fixation of these injuries achieved union, alignment, and early rehabilitation with no appreciable increase in morbidity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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