[Current treatment of hamate hook fractures].

Journal Article (Journal Article)

PURPOSE: Hamate hook fractures can be treated conservatively or surgically, whereby fragment and fracture position, age of the fracture, associated injuries, and individual needs of the patient all influence the choice of the therapeutic procedure. Acute non-displaced fractures are frequently treated conservatively, while displaced fractures and nonunions undergo surgical treatment. We report our experience in diagnostic and therapeutic management of 14 hamate hook fractures. CLINICAL MATERIAL AND METHOD: During a three-year period, 14 patients (eleven men and three women) 21 to 73 years old (42.0 +/- 17.9 years) with fractures at the base of the hamate hook were treated at three hand surgery units. The retrospective study of all patients included a chart review, postoperative radiological imaging after one year, and clinical examinations with grip strength measurements after 18 to 34 months (27.8 +/- 4.9 months). In six patients (43 %), the acute fracture was immobilized in a lower arm cast for six weeks, while eight patients (57 %) were operated primarily. In five cases (36 %) excision of the fragment and in three cases (21 %) open reduction and internal fixation using a screw were performed. Of six patients treated conservatively, five developed nonunion after two to five months (3.0 +/- 1.2 months) with persistent pain and underwent secondary surgery. One patient was asymptomatic despite a nonunion and declined surgical treatment. In three cases the fragment was excised, while two patients underwent open reduction and internal fixation with a screw. RESULTS: All patients operated primarily were free of complaints three months after surgery. The success rate of surgical treatment (8/8) was therefore significantly higher than that after conservative treatment (1/6). CONCLUSION: Compared to conservative treatment of acute non-displaced hamate hook fractures, which is associated with a high risk of developing symptomatic nonunion, primary surgical treatment reliably yields a good clinical outcome. Here, results after fragment excision and open reduction and internal fixation are comparable.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Scheufler, O; Radmer, S; Erdmann, D; Exner, K; Germann, G; Andresen, R

Published Date

  • October 2006

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 38 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 273 - 282

PubMed ID

  • 17080342

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0722-1819

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1055/s-2006-924318


  • ger

Conference Location

  • Germany