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J Hand Surg Am. 1993 May;18(3):387-94.

Open hand fractures: an analysis of the recovery of active motion and of complications.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson 39216-4505.


Seventy-five of 104 patients who underwent operative fixation of open hand fractures were reviewed between 6 months and 7 years after injury (average, 17 months). There were 140 fractures involving 125 fingers. Results, evaluated on the basis of total active range of digital motion achieved at final follow-up, correlated highly with severity of soft tissue injury. When open fractures of comparable severity were contrasted between groups that did and did not require additional extension by incision to achieve acceptable reduction and stabilization, there was some additional loss of active range of motion in the surgically treated group. Metacarpal fractures had significantly better outcomes than phalangeal fractures. Fractures involving the proximal phalanx or the proximal interphalangeal joint had the poorest prognosis, especially when they were associated with tendon injury. There were significant complications in 13 fingers. Infection and late amputation were related to wound severity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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