Metacarpal Shortening Osteotomy After Ray Amputation


Ray amputation is a good option in cases of useless finger or stump. Although index ray amputation decreases grip strength, it does not cause any major impairments to usual activities because its role can be adopted by the third finger. The long finger, though, loses its central position in the hand after the procedure, leading to a less natural appearance, the cosmetic aspect of the procedure is highly acceptable.

Therefore, to improve the aesthetic outcome of index ray amputations, the length of the third metacarpal is reduced by shortening osteotomy. A dorsal approach with a straight incision is performed with elevation of the periosteum along the metacarpal. A transverse section of the bone is removed using a power saw and the distal metacarpal is proximally slided and a 2 mm plate is used to stabilise it. The point of osteotomy is selected at the proximal portion of the diaphysis.

The procedure is generally performed on patients after plate removal due to irritation or if the patient feels uncomfortable and unsatisfied with the aspect of the hand.

Appearance of hand 2 months after surgery

In several cases, third metacarpal osteotomy is a good option to improve a four-finger hand appearance, with the long finger in a central position. However, since there are certain risks of complications, the procedure is recommended only for patient with a high demand of aesthetics.


Third Metacarpal Shortening Osteotomy to Improve Hand Appearance after Index Ray Amputation

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Dr. Aiman Shahab is a dentist with a bachelor’s degree from Dow University of Health Sciences. She is an experienced freelance writer with a demonstrated history of working in the health industry. Skilled in general dentistry, she is currently working as an associate dentist at a private dental clinic in Karachi, freelance content writer and as a part time science instructor with Little Medical School. She has also been an ambassador for PDC in the past from the year 2016 – 2018, and her responsibilities included acting as a representative and volunteer for PDC with an intention to make the dental community of Pakistan more connected and to work for benefiting the underprivileged. When she’s not working, you’ll either find her reading or aimlessly walking around for the sake of exploring. Her future plans include getting a master’s degree in maxillofacial and oral surgery, settled in a metropolitan city of North America.


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