Complications of Low-Profile Plate Fixation in Metacarpal Fractures.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

High complication rates have been reported using conventional plating systems to treat metacarpal fractures. This study investigated complication rates in metacarpal fractures treated with low-profile anatomic plates. A retrospective chart review was performed of patients with metacarpal fractures who were treated with open reduction and internal fixation using low-profile anatomic plates at a single institution from January 2010 to February 2017. Patients with concomitant tendon injury, open fractures, prior same metacarpal fracture, or thumb metacarpal fracture were excluded. A total of 79 patients with 110 metacarpal fractures were included. The primary outcome was the presence of a complication, defined as superficial or deep infection, delayed wound healing, delayed union, nonunion, major or minor extensor lag or stiffness 90 days postoperatively, or return to the operating room. Eleven fractures (10%) had 1 or more complications. Complications included 6 fractures (5%) with major extensor lag or stiffness, 4 fractures (4%) with minor extensor lag or stiffness, 1 fracture (1%) with delayed radiographic union that did not require operative intervention, and 1 fracture (1%) with return to the operating room for removal of hardware. In this retrospective study, treatment of metacarpal fractures with low-profile plate fixation resulted in a 10% overall complication rate and a 1% reoperation rate; this rate is significantly less than reported in previous literature prior to the widespread use of low-profile plates. This study suggests treatment of patients with metacarpal fractures using low-profile plating systems provides a reliable solution with acceptable complication rates. [Orthopedics. 2021;44(1):e91-e94.].

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Baumgartner, RE; Federer, AE; Guerrero, EM; Mithani, SK; Ruch, DS; Richard, MJ

Published Date

  • January 1, 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 44 / 1

Start / End Page

  • e91 - e94

PubMed ID

  • 33002179

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1938-2367

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3928/01477447-20200925-02


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States