Title

Interobserver variability in the treatment of little finger metacarpal neck fractures

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

9-1-2014

Journal

Journal of Hand Surgery

Volume

39

Issue

9

DOI

10.1016/j.jhsa.2014.05.023

Keywords

Boxer fracture; interobserver agreement; little finger; metacarpal; variability

Abstract

Copyright © 2014 by the American Society for Surgery of the Hand. All rights reserved. Purpose: To address the null hypothesis that surgeons shown radiographs of little finger metacarpal neck fractures with measured fracture angulation would recommend surgery as often as surgeons shown unmarked radiographs. Methods: Members of the Science of Variation Group, an international collaboration of fully trained orthopedic and trauma surgeons, were asked to review 20 little finger metacarpal neck fracture cases, which included a vignette and 3 high-quality radiographs. Members were then randomized to review radiographs with or without measured fracture angulation on the lateral view and select operative or nonoperative management. Results: Surgeons shown radiographs with measured angulation were more likely to recommend surgery, and there was less variability among these surgeons, particularly for fractures with less angular deformity. Conclusions: Measured fracture angulation has a small but significant influence on treatment recommendations for little finger metacarpal neck fractures.

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