Journal List > J Korean Soc Surg Hand > v.18(1) > 1106415

J Korean Soc Surg Hand. 2013 Mar;18(1):1-8. Korean.
Published online March 31, 2013.
Copyright © 2013. The Korean Society for Surgery of the Hand
Comparison of Surgical Outcomes of Percutaneous K-Wire Fixation in Bony Mallet Fingers with Use of Towel Clip versus 18-Gauge Needle
Ho-Seung Jeon,1 Chan-Sam Moon,1 Seo-Goo Kang,1 Kyeong-Seop Song,2 and Uk-Hyun Choi2
1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Sung-Ae Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
2Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Kwangmyung Sung-Ae Hospital, Gwangmyeong, Korea.

Correspondence to: Kyeong-Seop Song. Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Kwangmyung Sung-Ae Hospital, 36 Digital-ro, Gwangmyeong 423-711, Korea. TEL: +82-2-2680-7263, FAX: +82-2-2617-9039, Email:
Received October 08, 2012; Revised January 25, 2013; Accepted February 07, 2013.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



The purpose was to describe comparative analysis of the surgical outcome of percutaneous K-wire fixation of bony mallet fingers reduced with towel clip and 18-gauge needle.


We analyzed the bony mallet finger patients with more than twelve months follow-up after percutaneous K-wire fixation. The patients were randomly divided into two groups. Eighteen fingers were treated with closed reduction using towel clip and 18 other fingers were treated with closed reduction using 18-gauge needle.


Radiographs showed bony union and no subluxation in all cases after K-wire removal. The average extension lag was 2.8°/1.9°, and range of motion of distal interphalangeal joint was 70.3°/75° respectively. According to Crawford's criteria, excellent results were obtained in 9/11 fingers, good results in 8/7 fingers, and poor result in 1/0 finger, respectively.


18-gauge needle reduction in percutaneous K-wire fixation is considered less invasive and useful method for treatment of bony mallet finger with comparable results with towel clip reduction.

Keywords: Bony mallet finger; K-wire; Towel clip; 18-Gauge needle


Fig. 1
A 24-year-old man has a bony mallet finger injury of index finger. (A) The initial anteriorposterior and lateral X-ray show displaced dorsal fragment and articular involvement more than 30% without subluxation. (B) Percutaneous pinning with towel clip reduction is performed. (C) At postopertive 12 months, the fracture is united and the patient has a range of motion from 0 to 75 degree.
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Fig. 2
A 36-year-old man has a bony mallet finger injury of the 4, 5th finger. (A) The initial anteriorposterior and lateral X-ray show a displaced dorsal fragment and articular involvement more than 30% without subluxation. (B) Percutaneous pinning with towel clip reduction is performed. (C) At postoperative 12 months, the fracture is united and the patient has a range of motion from 5 to 76 degree on the 3th finger and 0 to 78 degree on the 4th finger.
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Table 1
Summary of group A cases
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Table 2
Summary of group B cases
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Table 3
Whebe and Schneider's classification
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