Hemi-Hamate Arthroplasty Provides Functional Reconstruction of Acute and Chronic Proximal Interphalangeal Fracture-Dislocations

R. P. Calfee, T. R. Kiefhaber, T. G. Sommerkamp, P. J. Stern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


Purpose: Hemi-hamate resurfacing arthroplasty is a treatment alternative for the management of severe acute and chronic dorsal proximal interphalangeal (PIP) fracture-dislocations. This study was designed to determine whether this procedure would successfully restore function after such injuries. Methods: Hemi-hamate reconstructions were performed on 33 patients (mean age, 34 years) who presented to 1 hand surgery practice with dorsal PIP fracture-dislocations. Eligible patients experienced unstable dislocations with comminuted metaphyseal fractures involving at least 50% of the volar middle phalangeal surface that was not amenable to open reduction and internal fixation. We evaluated 22 patients with 14 acute (<6 weeks) and 8 chronic (mean, 30 weeks) injuries at a mean of 4.5 years (range, 1-7 years). Functional outcomes were assessed by objective and subjective measures: joint alignment/motion/stability, grip strength, Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (DASH) scores, and visual analog scales (VAS) of pain and function. Results: After hemi-hamate reconstruction, active PIP motion averaged 70° (acute 71°, chronic 69°) with a mean flexion contracture of 19° (range, 0° to 80°). Active distal interphalangeal motion averaged 54° (acute 56°, chronic 51°). The mean VAS score for digit pain was 1.4 (acute 0.7, chronic 2.5). The mean DASH score of 5 (acute 2, chronic 9) and VAS functional score of 1.9 (acute 1.4, chronic 2.6) indicated little functional impairment (acute 2, chronic 9). Grip strength averaged 95% of the opposite hand. Mean coronal plane angulation at the PIP joint was 3°. Ten patients reported aching with cold temperatures. One dissatisfied patient underwent revision surgery. Chronic reconstructions were associated with increased VAS pain ratings (p = .02) and higher DASH scores (p = .06). Conclusions: Hemi-hamate reconstruction represents a valuable surgical procedure to address severe PIP joint fracture-dislocations. Reconstruction of chronic injuries by this method restores PIP function, albeit with more modest outcome performance. Type of study/level of evidence: Therapeutic IV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1232-1241
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 1 2009


  • Arthroplasty
  • dislocation
  • fracture
  • hemi-hamate
  • proximal interphalangeal


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