Complications of K-wire fixation of fractures and dislocations in the hand and wrist
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Kirschner wire (K-wire) fixation of fractures and dislocations of the hand and wrist is a common procedure. Of the 590 K-wire fixations performed on 236 patients, 36 (15.2%) experienced complications which included osteomyelitis, tendon rupture, nerve lesion, pin tract infection, pin loosening or migration. There were no deep soft-tissue pin infections or pyarthrosis. Technical failure, mainly when the procedure was performed by residents, and poor patient compliance were the major causes of complications. K-wire fixation is a simple but demanding procedure that cannot be left to an inexperienced resident. Elimination of technical failure, supervision in the operating room, close monitoring, prompt treatment upon discovery of a complication, and improvement of patient compliance can reduce the rate of complications.
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