Dr. Jonathan Y. Lee and colleagues recently published paper on a novel method for the treatment of difficult phalangeal (finger bones) avulsion fractures, in the prestigious Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (American edition).
The hook plate technique for fixation of phalangeal avulsion fractures. Gavin Chun-Wui Kang, Andrew Yam, Ee San Phoon, Jonathan Yi-Liang Lee and Lam-Chuan Teoh. J Bone Joint Surg Am, 94(11): e721-6 (2012)
Avulsion fractures are small fragments that are notoriously difficult to secure with earlier methods of treatment yet are critically important, as they are the attachments of important ligaments and tendons, and thus have significant functional compromise if they do not heal properly.
The novel method modifies existing Synthes® titanium implants, to create a ‘hook’ plate that overcomes the shortcomings of earlier methods of treatment for these small, difficult to fix, but functionally significant fractures of the finger bones.
Dr. Jonathan Y. Lee had previously (in 2007) described this technique for use in treating mallet fractures, a common injury and subset of extensor tendon injury with bony avulsion of the terminal extensor tendon where it inserts onto the distal phalanx, resulting in an inability to fully extend the distal joint of the finger. This implant fixation technique allows restoration of the joint cartilage surface, and the fragments to be securely fixed, so that movement and therapy may be initiated earlier in the course of treatment.
Mallet fractures: a novel approach to internal fixation using a hook plate. Teoh LC, Lee JY. J Hand Surg Eur, 32(1): 24-30.