A simple mini-fixator for complex thumb fractures

Document Type : Case Report


Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic Surgery, Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, Abu Dhabi, UAE



The role of external fixators in hand injuries is well entrenched, especially in complex, comminuted phalangeal, and metacarpal fractures where internal fixation is not always possible. We describe a simple, low cost, lightweight, and “easy to construct and easy to use” mini-fixator which can be used for complex, comminuted, open, or closed thumb fractures for definitive fixation with consistent and predictable outcomes. These self-made mini-fixators can also be used for other phalangeal and metacarpal fractures. This represents a viable, alternative option to commercially available mini-fixators which are costly, not readily available, and complicated to use.


Nagy L. Static external fixation of finger fractures. Hand Clin 1993;9:651-7.  Back to cited text no. 1
Tank PM, Patel NB, Patel V, Rana T. Simple low cost static external fixators for phalangeal fractures of hand. Int J Orthop Sci 2018;4:714-20.  Back to cited text no. 2
Crockett DJ. Rigid fixation of bones of the hand using K wires bonded with acrylic resin. Hand 1974;6:106-7.  Back to cited text no. 3
McCulley SJ, Hasting C. External fixator for the hand: A quick, cheap and effective method. J R Coll Surg Edinb 1999;44:99-102.  Back to cited text no. 4
Thomas RK, Gaheer RS, Ferdinand RD. A simple external fixator for complex finger fractures. Acta Orthop Belg 2008;74:109-13.  Back to cited text no. 5
Walter FL, Papandrea RF. A mini external fixator for hand and finger fractures constructed from readily available materials. Tech Hand Up Extrem Surg 2011;15:215-8.  Back to cited text no. 6
Sraj S. A simple phalangeal external fixator using kirschner wires and locking balls: No need for cement or rubber bands. J Hand Surg Am 2016;41:e217-21.  Back to cited text no. 7
Suzuki Y, Matsunaga T, Sato S, Yokoi T. The pins and rubbers traction system for treatment of comminuted intraarticular fractures and fracture-dislocations in the hand. J Hand Surg Br 1994;19:98-107.  Back to cited text no. 8
Henderson J, Ridha H, Gillespie P. Improvised external fixation – A modification. J Hand Microsurg 2011;3:95-6.  Back to cited text no. 9
Barabas AG, James M. A simple technique for secure external fixation of hand fractures: Bent k-wires wrapped in cement. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg 2010;63:e202-3.  Back to cited text no. 10
Wijffels MM, Patel A, Bartlema KA, Rahimtoola Z. A simple and low-cost external fixator for infected hand injuries. J Hand Microsurg 2013;5:89-91.  Back to cited text no. 11