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A prospective study of 73 patients with fractures of the metacarpal neck of the little finger is reported. Fifty-seven (78 per cent) of the patients were followed up between 1 and 2 years after the injury. Forty-three (75 per cent) of these patients complained of symptoms, though only one patient considered himself disabled. The normal head/shaft angle at the fifth metacarpal neck measured in 12 control subjects as viewed on an oblique radiograph was 26 °. The importance of allowing for this normal angulation when assessing the angulation at the fracture is discussed. After manipulation, the corrected position of the fracture is not adequately maintained by a volar plaster slab. No definite relationship between the presence of symptoms and the residual angulation at the fracture site was demonstrated. Manipulation of these fractures is thus seldom indicated.
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Accepted: November 5, 1985
© 1986 Published by Elsevier Inc.