Background: The purpose of this study was to determine whether placing the suture-button device between the long and small finger metacarpals following ring finger ray amputation may better close the intermetacarpal gap and allow early range of motion without increasing the risk of malrotation than soft tissue repair alone. Methods: We performed ray amputation of the ring finger of 14 cadaver specimens by performing an osteotomy of the base of the ring finger metacarpal and then excising the remainder of the digit. We first performed a soft tissue repair of the transverse metacarpal ligaments and then cycled the fingers in simulated active flexion and extension on a custom computer-controlled device to re-create 6 weeks of range of motion. We then placed a suture-button device across the long and small finger metacarpals and tested the specimens again, thereby using each hand as an internal control. Results: The distance between the ring and small finger metacarpals was reduced following suture-button device placement compared with the initial control; this spacing was maintained following complete cycling of the fingers. The angle between the metacarpals was divergent following soft tissue repair, and then became slightly convergent after insertion of the suture-button device. None of the hands developed clinically relevant scissoring of the digits before or after application of the suture-button device. Conclusions: The suture-button device provides stable fixation to withstand early range of motion following ring finger ray amputation and significantly closes the gap and angle between the adjacent metacarpals without causing scissoring.
- ray amputation
- suture-button device
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine