Percutaneous Fixation of Pediatric Fractures of the Proximal Phalanx Neck: A Novel Technique

William F. Pientka, Jonathan Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Proximal phalanx neck fractures occur almost exclusively in children. Fractures of the proximal phalanx neck can be difficult to treat nonoperatively given the anatomic location and associated extrinsic forces. A divergent or crossed pin configuration is often utilized for the stabilization of these fractures. Purpose: We present a surgical technique with a single Kirschner (K-wire) placed axially along the affected finger, with a hyperextension reduction maneuver, to reduce and fixate proximal phalanx neck fractures in children and adolescents. Methods: We performed a retrospective review of all pediatric proximal phalanx neck fractures treated by a single surgeon. Demographic data, as well as clinical and radiographic outcomes were recorded. We then directly compared axial pinning [14 patients; average age 6.63 y (9 mo to 17 y)] with nonoperative treatment [28 patients; average age 8.03 y (9 mo to 16 y)], and open treatment [8 patients; average age 8.13 y (1 to 14 y)]. Results: Patients who underwent closed reduction and axial pinning had significantly improved final coronal alignment compared with nonoperative treatment. Compared with fractures which required open reduction, closed reduction with axial pinning resulted in significantly shorter surgical duration and time to radiographic healing. The final range of motion showed no difference between intervention types, as all patients regained full range of motion. Conclusions: We find this axial pinning technique to be simpler and faster than divergent pin fixation, with no significant differences in time to radiographic healing, time to full activity, final proximal interphalangeal active flexion or extension, loss of reduction, or radiographic parameters. Level of Evidence: Level III - Therapeutic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-182
Number of pages8
JournalTechniques in Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • pediatric
  • percutaneous fixation
  • phalangeal neck
  • proximal phalanx
  • technique

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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