Distraction ligamentotaxis for complex proximal interphalangeal joint fracture dislocations: a clinical study and the modified pins rubber band traction system revisited

Cheng Lo, Simone H. Nothdurft, Hye Sung Park, Eldho Paul, James Leong

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The purpose of this study is to present our experience with the modified pins and rubber band traction system, discuss problems encountered, and make recommendations to optimize outcomes.

Data was collected prospectively from November 2013 to March 2017 at a tertiary referral hospital in Melbourne, Australia. Patients with closed complex proximal interphalangeal joint fracture dislocations that were considered unsuitable for other surgical options were included in the study. Patients underwent dynamic skeletal distraction using the modified (Deshmukh) pins rubber band traction system. Outcomes were measured using the Nominal Rating Scale for pain; Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (DASH) score; active and passive range of motion; patient rating scale; and complications.

Twenty patients underwent the procedure, and 19 were included in analyses. At the final follow-up assessment, an average of 62° and 77° was achieved for proximal interphalangeal joint active and passive range of motion, respectively. Pain levels were low (median score of 0 at rest and 1 ranging, out of 10). Four patients suffered minor pin site infections.

Distraction ligamentotaxis is a useful part of the armamentarium, especially in the absence of more suitable procedures. It is important to select appropriate patients, educate, and ensure adherence to postoperative therapy. Employing the Deshmukh frame modification streamlines the theatre processes, and removal of wires at approximately 4 weeks minimizes risk of pin site infection.
Original languageEnglish
Article number23
Number of pages8
JournalBurns & Trauma
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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