Surgical Information – Procedures

Finger Fracture Fixation

What is finger fracture fixation?

Finger fracture fixation is a surgical procedure to repair a broken finger. In this technique, the surgeon realigns the broken bones and uses small devices, such as pins, screws or wire, to hold them together as the finger heals.

Finger fractures fall into two categories: non-displaced, in which the bones remain aligned, and displaced, in which the bones shift out of alignment. Fixation is typically performed when the fracture is displaced because improper finger alignment can affect normal hand function.

Finger fracture fixation is an outpatient procedure and patients go home the same day.

Anatomy

The finger is composed of ligaments, tendons and bones. Each fingerhas three bones: the bone closest to the palm is called the proximal phalange; the second bone is called the middle phalange; and the smallest bone furthest from the hand is the distal phalange.A finger fracture is a break in one of the phalanges.

When is surgery recommended?

Fixation may be an option if your finger fracture is severe, the bones are displaced, or your finger is unstable or deformed. It’s important to consult a qualified hand and upper extremity specialist to assess the extent of your fracture and determine the appropriate treatment. Untreated finger fractures can cause long-term problems, including stiffness, pain and, in extreme cases, loss of hand function.

What is the recovery time?

Recovery time varies depending on the severity of your fracture, but most broken fingers heal in four to six weeks.At that time, pins are removed, but screws and plates remain in the finger unless they cause problems. After the fracture is healed, physical therapy with a Certified Hand Specialist is recommended to restore hand strength and flexibility and ensure you can perform daily activities.

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