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Patient Case History: Tiffany

Metacarpal (finger) lengthening


Patient Surgeon: Austin T. Fragomen
Tiffany is a 17 year old girl who had a congenital deformity of her left ring finger. The finger metacarpal was very short making the finger appear quite short. When she made a fist it was quite obvious that she had no knuckle over the ring finger. This was a source of great embarrassment for her, and she was constantly hiding her hand from the view of the public. She was very concerned that one day she would need to wear a wedding band on this finger drawing constant attention to the deformity.



She underwent percutaneous placement of a mini-external fixator and osteotomy of the short metacarpal. Gradual traction was placed across the finger to slowly lengthen the metacarpal bone, a method called distraction osteogenesis. By three months after surgery the new bone was hard and no longer needed the support of the external fixator. The device was removed in the office.



Two years after the surgery she has a normal looking and functioning ring finger with minimal scarring. Her knuckle is restored. The bone looks normal radiographically fully healed and remodeled. Tiffany is very pleased and confidant to wear a ring and face the world without embarrassment.



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