Bennett's fracture: Comparative study between open and closed surgical techniques

S J M Kamphuis, A P A Greeven, S Kleinveld, T Gosens, E M M Van Lieshout, M H J Verhofstad
Hand Surgery and Rehabilitation 2019, 38 (2): 97-101
The aim of this study was to assess long-term outcomes of surgically treated Bennett fractures, while comparing open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) with closed reduction and percutaneous fixation (CRPF). Patients treated between 1994 and 2010 were assessed retrospectively during an outpatient visit using a validated questionnaire (i.e. DASH, pain assessed through VAS), sensory testing, grip- and pinch-strength and radiographic analysis for post-traumatic arthritis. Fifty patients were included. Mean follow-up was 10 years. Mean age at trauma was 34 years. ORIF was used in 35 patients. CRPF was used in 15 patients. No differences in grip- and pinch-strength were found. Re-operations were needed in five ORIF-treated patients. Higher Pain Scores (VAS) were seen in the ORIF-treated patients. No correlation was found between surgical technique and functional outcomes. A persistent step-off or gap larger than 2 mm after surgical fixation was significantly correlated with post-traumatic arthritis at 10 years' follow-up. The need to perform ORIF for anatomical reduction seems to be less important in preventing post-traumatic arthritis as a persistent step-off or gap of more than 2 mm was found to be significantly correlated with the development of post-traumatic arthritis. Secondly, both techniques lead to good functional outcomes, although persistent pain was seen in the ORIF-treated patients. Bennett fractures can therefore be safely treated with CRPF when the persistent step-off and gap after fixation do not exceed 2 mm. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic study, Level III.

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