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A Journal on Orthopedics and Traumatology

Official Journal of the Piedmontese-Ligurian-Lombard Society of Orthopedics and Traumatology
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Minerva Ortopedica e Traumatologica 2009 April;60(2):129-50

language: English

Operative treatment of unstable and displaced fractures of the hand in adults

Day C. S. 1,2, Kuo P. 1, Tabrizi S. 1, Yu Y. 1

1 Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Boston, MA, USA
2 Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA


Hand fractures are among the most common fractures of the upper extremity. However, operative treatment of these injuries has been limited only to the past 80 years. In recent years, operative treatment of hand fractures has been gaining popularity due to a number of factors, including improvements in implant technology and surgical technique, and the availability of subspecialists in hand surgery. As a result of such improvements, there has been an increase in the success rate of such procedures in published literature. Unstable and displaced fractures constitute one group of fractures for which operative treatment is nearly always indicated. The choice of treatment depends on a multitude of factors, from the size and location of the fracture, to the age and socioeconomic status of the patient. For many types of injuries, several treatment options may be available, and the decision to perform one type of procedure should take into account not only the desired outcome, but also the patient’s medical, demographic and socioeconomic status and the comfort level of the surgeon with the particular procedure. Published literature provides a valuable source for surgeons to evaluate the risks and benefits of surgical procedures for various hand fractures, and to make a sound judgment that is in the best interests of the patient, the surgeon and the hospital.

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