Two-pin L fixation of fractures of the fifth metacarpal neck

Published online: Jun 27 2002

Kermad F, Cazeneuve JF, Hassan Y, Rihan B, Boustani H.

Service de Chirurgie Orthopedique et Traumatologique, Centre Hospitalier, Rue Marcellin Berthelot, 02 000 Laon, France.


The authors present a retrospective review of 48 fractures of the fifth metacarpal neck in 48 patients, who underwent internal fixation using the two-pin L procedure. These fractures were treated between 1994 and 2000, in 5 female and 43 male patients with an average age of 27 years (range 14 to 58). Fighting and sporting accidents were the main etiology of injury. The indication for surgical treatment was volar displacement of over 30 degrees. The two-pin L procedure consists of stabilizing the fragments after reduction using one intra-medullary pin 2 mm in diameter introduced through a proximal approach, and a transverse distal pin 1.2 mm in diameter from the fifth toward the fourth metacarpal. All treatments were performed under nerve block. Early mobilization was authorized. Patients did not need any physiotherapy. Activity was resumed after three weeks, and the average time to the removal of pins was five weeks. In eight cases, it was necessary to remove the transverse distal pin around 21 days after surgery because of displacement of the pin causing pain under the skin. At three months follow-up, bone union was obtained in all cases, with a perfect range of motion of all finger joints, without any pain or reflex sympathetic dystrophy. The two-pin L procedure appears to be a reliable technique, which provided union in an anatomic position in all our cases, and also allowed early mobilization and provided good functional results.