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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 46  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 346-350

Results of vertical figure-of-eight tension band suture for finger nail disruptions with fractures of distal phalanx


Department of Orthopaedics, Grant Medical College and Sir JJ Group of Hospitals, Mumbai, India

Correspondence Address:
Fayaz W Memon
Assistant Professor, Department of Orthopaedics, Grant Medical College and Sir JJ Group of Hospitals, Byculla, Mumbai 400 008
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-5413.96377

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Background: Fingertip injuries involve varying degree of fractures of the distal phalanx and nail bed or nail plate disruptions. The treatment modalities recommended for these injuries include fracture fixation with K-wire and meticulous repair of nail bed after nail removal and later repositioning of nail or stent substitute into the nail fold by various methods. This study was undertaken to evaluate the functional outcome of vertical figure-of-eight tension band suture for finger nail disruptions with fractures of distal phalanx. Materials and Methods: A series of 40 patients aged between 4 and 58 years, with 43 fingernail disruptions and fracture of distal phalanges, were treated with vertical figure-of-eight tension band sutures without formal fixation of fracture fragments and the results were reviewed. In this method, the injuries were treated by thoroughly cleaning the wound, reducing the fracture fragments, anatomical replacement of nail plate, and securing it by vertical figure-of-eight tension band suture. Results: All patients were followed up for a minimum of 3 months. The clinical evaluation of the patients was based on radiological fracture union and painless pinch to determine fingertip stability. Every single fracture united and every fingertip was clinically stable at the time of final followup. We also evaluated our results based on visual analogue scale for pain and range of motion of distal interphalangeal joint. Two sutures had to be revised due to over tensioning and subsequent vascular compromise within minutes of repair; however, this did not affect the final outcome. Conclusion: This technique is simple, secure, and easily reproducible. It neither requires formal repair of injured nail bed structures nor fixation of distal phalangeal fracture and results in uncomplicated reformation of nail plate and uneventful healing of distal phalangeal fractures.


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