Finger Rescue Using the Induced Membrane Technique for Osteomyelitis of the Hand

J Hand Surg Asian Pac Vol. 2021 Jun;26(2):235-239. doi: 10.1142/S2424835521500247.


Background: The induced membrane technique is now commonly used for large diaphyseal bone defects. Recently, several papers reported using the induced membrane technique for hand surgery. We applied this technique with some modifications to treat osteomyelitis of the phalanges. Methods: This study included six men and one woman with a mean age of 56 years. The causes of osteomyelitis included animal bite (n = 3), trauma (n = 3), and an indwelling needle (n = 1). Two-staged surgeries were performed, including an initial stage with radical debridement of the infected tissue and placement of a cement spacer into the bone defect. Four weeks after the first stage, a bone graft was performed. A bone block with cortex was harvested from the iliac crest or radius, and costal cartilage was used for proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joint arthroplasty in two cases. Grafted bones were fixed with a mini screw or an external fixator. Results: In all cases, the infection subsided, and bone union was obtained within two to three months. No absorption of the grafted bone was observed. In the two cases with PIP joint defect, joint motion without pain was preserved at 56° and 26°. Conclusions: A short interval between the two surgical stages of the induced membrane technique could be advantageous for patients in terms of time and financial burden and early rehabilitation of movement. Cortico-cancellous bone grafts were able to maintain bone length and stability with screw fixation. In the cases with PIP joint defects, instead of arthrodesis, we performed PIP arthroplasty using costal cartilage, eventually obtained some motion without pain. The induced membrane technique was useful and technically feasible for treating osteomyelitis in the hand, and secondary joint reconstruction was possible to obtain some motion.

Keywords: Bone and joint defects; Costal cartilage graft; Hand infection; Induced membrane technique; Osteomyelitis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cartilage / transplantation
  • Debridement
  • Female
  • Finger Phalanges / surgery*
  • Guided Tissue Regeneration*
  • Humans
  • Ilium / transplantation
  • Male
  • Membranes*
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteomyelitis / surgery*
  • Radius / transplantation