This procedure uses pins, screws or metal plates to repair broken bones in the fingers. The actual fixation method will depend on the location and pattern of the break.
The patient is positioned so that the hand is clearly visible to the surgeon. General or regional anesthesia is administered, and the hand is cleansed and sterilized. A tourniquet is applied.
Accessing the Finger
If the fracture can be held together with pins, an incision is not often necessary. If the fracture cannot be stabilized using pins, the surgeon will make an incision on the top or side of the finger, depending on the location and pattern of the fracture. In some cases, an incision may be made instead on the palmar side of the finger.
Repairing the Damage
The surgeon realigns the fractured ends of the bone. If pins can be used, they are placed through the skin and into the bone using a special drill. The ends of the pins will remain outside the skin so they can be removed after the fracture heals. Often, if pins cannot be used, tiny screws are used to secure the fracture. For certain fractures, a metal plate will be inserted and held in place with screws.
End of Procedure
If an incision was made, it is closed with sutures. Local anesthesia is administered for pain relief. The finger is bandaged and placed in a protective splint. Patients typically go home the same day. Elevation of the hand is encouraged to reduce swelling and pain. Pins are usually removed from 3 to 6 weeks after surgery. Screws and plates are not removed unless problems develop.