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Background: Several approaches to plate fixation of the proximal phalanx have been proposed, such as the dorsal extensor splitting approach and the lateral or dorso-lateral extensor sparing approach, which aims to minimise invasiveness to promote native extensor tendon glide. This study aimed to meta-analyse the outcomes of these two approaches. Methods: A systematic review of electronic databases was undertaken, and the outcomes of comparative studies meta-analysed. Results: Three studies were included for meta-analysis. Total active motion (TAM) was significantly greater in the extensor sparing group compared to the extensor splitting (Mean difference 8.52 degrees, 95%CI 0.8-16.36, p = 0.03). Conclusions: This study demonstrates that there is preliminary evidence favouring the use of extensor sparing approaches when fixing proximal phalanxes - however, this result requires validation with randomised controlled trials.

Original publication




Journal article


J Hand Surg Asian Pac Vol

Publication Date





462 - 468


Extensor tendon, Phalanx fractures, Systematic review, Total active motion