Interobserver variability in the treatment of little finger metacarpal neck fractures

Science of Variation Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1722-1727
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2014


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


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