Background Fracture-dislocations of all four ulnar (second to fifth) carpometacarpal (CMC) joints are rare hand injuries and frequently overlooked or missed. These injuries can be treated conservatively when closed reduction is successfully achieved, though they are sometimes irreducible and unstable. Case Description We report the case of a 17-year-old boy involved in a vehicular accident. Clinical images showed dorsal dislocation of all four ulnar CMC joints of the left hand associated with a fracture of the base of the fourth metacarpal. Although closed reduction was attempted immediately, the affected joints remained unstable and easily redislocated. Therefore, we performed open reduction and percutaneous fixation of all ulnar CMCs. He showed excellent recovery after 1 year postoperatively, reported no pain, and demonstrated complete grip strength and range of motion of the affected wrist and fingers. Literature Review Accurate clinical diagnosis of this lesion is difficult because of polytrauma, severe swelling masking the dislocated CMC joint deformity, and overlapping of adjacent metacarpals and carpal bones on radiographic examination. As for the treatment strategy, it has yet to obtain a consensus. Some reports value open reduction to guarantee anatomical reduction, and it is definitely needed in the patients with interposed tissues to be removed or with subacute and chronic injuries. Clinical Relevance Delayed diagnosis or treatment could lead to poor outcomes. Therefore, surgeons must be aware that precise preoperative assessment is critical, and anatomical open reduction of interposed bony fragments, like our case, may be required even in an acute phase.
- carpometacarpal joints
- open reduction
- overlook injury
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine