A Fourteen-year Review of Practice Patterns and Evidence-based Medicine in Operative Metacarpal Fracture Repair

Daniel C. Sasson, Nikhil D. Shah, Selcen S. Yuksel, Aaron M. Kearney, Keith Brandt, Arun K. Gosain*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: The American Board of Plastic Surgery has been collecting practice data on metacarpal fracture operative repair since 2006 as part of its Continuous Certification process. These data allow plastic surgeons to compare their surgical experience to national trends. Additionally, these data present the opportunity to analyze those trends in relation to evidence-based medicine. Methods: Data on metacarpal fracture operative repair from May 2006 to December 2014 were reviewed and compared with those from January 2015 to March 2020. National practice trends observed in these data were evaluated and reviewed alongside published literature and evidence-based medicine. Results: In total, 1160 metacarpal fracture repair cases were included. Outpatient (as opposed to inpatient) operative repairs have been trending upward, from 50% to 61% (P < 0.001). Most repairs were performed under general anesthesia (68%), and there was a decrease in the use of regional anesthesia between our two cohorts (14%-9%; P = 0.01). An open reduction with internal fixation was the most popular technique (51%), and a decrease in the use of closed reduction with splinting was observed (16%-10%; P = 0.001). Stiffness was the most commonly reported adverse event. Topics addressed in evidence-based medicine articles but not tracer data included interosseous wiring, which has shown success in spiral shaft fracture treatment with minimal complications, and nonoperative management. Conclusion: As evidence-based recommendations continue to change with additional research inquiry, tracer data can provide an excellent overview of the current practice of metacarpal fracture repair and how effectively physicians adapt to remain aligned with best practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E4065
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery - Global Open
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 25 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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