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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 41-47

Joshi's external stabilization system and K-wire fixation in the management of hand fractures – A prospective comparative study

1 Department of Orthopaedics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India
2 Department of Orthopaedics, F. H. Medical College and Hospital, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India
3 Department of Orthopaedics, DMC, Ludhiana, Punjab, India
4 Department of Orthopaedics, Subharti Medical College and Hospital, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India

Correspondence Address:
Sabeel Ahmad
529D/308, Kalyanpur West Ring Road, Lucknow - 226 022, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jodp.jodp_40_22

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Background: Hand fractures can be treated conservatively or surgically, depending on the severity, location, and type of fracture, as in conservative management chance of nonunion, malunion, and stiffness is more if it is displaced or angulated fracture. Various modes of treatment have been used which include K-wire fixation, mini plates, and external fixator application. A modified form of mini-external fixator devised in India is Joshi's External Stabilization System (JESS). Aim: This prospective study was conducted to compare the functional and radiological outcomes following metacarpal/phalangeal fracture fixed with either K-wire or JESS. Materials and Methods: Forty patients with hand fractures (58 fractures – 18 metacarpal and 40 phalanges) were prospectively studied. Twenty patients underwent K-wire fixation and 20 were fixed with JESS, functional and radiological outcomes were assessed, grip strength using dynamometer, visual analog scale (VAS) score, disabilities of the arm, shoulder, and hand (DASH) score, range of motion (ROM) using the American Society for Surgery of the hand scale, tip pinch strength. Student's t-test, Wilcoxon test, Fisher's exact test, and Chi-squared test were used. Results: At 6 months' follow-up, patients fixed with either of the fixation modality showed statistically significant improvement in different outcome variables such as ROM (P < 0.001), quick DASH score (P < 0.001), VAS score (P < 0.001), tip pinch strength (P < 0.001), and hand grip (P < 0.001). All the fractures united at an average 6 weeks. Functional outcomes were excellent in closed fracture fixed with either JESS or K-wire and good to moderate in open injuries. However, overall comparison between K-wire and JESS, no significant difference in these outcome measures was found. Conclusions: K-wires as well as JESS both provide adequate stability and satisfactory results in fractures of the metacarpal and phalanges. This study could not find the superiority of JESS over traditional K-wire fixation.

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