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Management of intraarticular proximal interphalangeal joint fracture-dislocations and pilon fractures with the Ligamentotaxor® device

  • Handsurgery
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Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Introduction

Fracture-dislocation and pilon injuries of the proximal interphalangeal joints (PIPJ) continue to pose significant management challenges. Stable fracture configurations can be treated with extension block splinting or pinning. Unstable fractures usually require open or closed reduction and fixation either directly/internally onto the fracture using Kirschner wires, cerclage wires, screws or miniplates or indirectly/externally by ligamentotaxis using external fixators which can be dynamic or static. Dynamic external fixators, such as Suzuki’s pins and rubber traction system, S-Quattro and Hynes/Giddins frame, appear intuitive as they provide axial distraction, which reduces the fracture whilst obviating the need to open the fracture. They also allow immediate active movement whilst maintaining reduction. The Ligamentotaxor® (Arex, Pallaiseau Cedex, France) is a commercially-available dynamic external fixator which has been used at our institution since 2013.

Materials and methods

This retrospective study assessed the outcomes (interphalangeal joint active range of movement (AROM), QuickDASH score and complications) in 19 patients [mean age of 48.6 (SD 16.2)] whose proximal interphalangeal joint (PIPJ) fracture-dislocations and/or pilon fractures were treated with the Ligamentotaxor®. Injuries were classified according to Seno i.e. (1) volar lip fracture ± dorsal dislocation (2) dorsal lip fracture ± volar dislocation (3) pilon fracture.

Results

There were fifteen (79%) pilon/Seno 3, three (16%) Seno 1 and one (5%) Seno 2 fractures. The mean PIPJ AROM was 70.6° (SD 4.48°) for all Seno classes and 70° (SD 5.6°) for the pilon subgroup. The QuickDASH score averaged to 2.65 (SD 0.88). There were two pin-site infections, three pin-site inflammations, one osteomyelitis and two complex regional pain syndrome diagnoses. One patient required arthroplasty after missing several appointments.

Conclusions

These results, considering the predominance of pilon fractures, compare favourably the published Ligamentotaxor® and other dynamic external fixator systems.

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Acknowledgements

Mrs Mary Brazil, Information Officer, for helping with literature searches.

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This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

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NTM,*: data collection, analysis, writing. RP-L,*: data collection, analysis, writing. AS: study conception, data collection, manuscript revision.

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Correspondence to Nigel Tapiwa Mabvuure.

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Mabvuure, N.T., Pinto-Lopes, R. & Sierakowski, A. Management of intraarticular proximal interphalangeal joint fracture-dislocations and pilon fractures with the Ligamentotaxor® device. Arch Orthop Trauma Surg 140, 1133–1141 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00402-020-03482-8

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