Is the Use of Biodegradable Devices in the Operative Treatment of Avulsion Fractures of Fingers, the So-Called Mallet Finger Advantageous? A Feasibility Study with Meniscus Arrows®

R Nelis, D.B Wouters*
Twee Steden Ziekenhuis Tilburg, Department of General Surgery, Traumatology and Arthroscopy, Dr. Deelenlaan 5, 5042 AD Tilburg, The Netherlands

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© Nelis and Wouters; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed 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 work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Twee Steden Ziekenhuis Tilburg, Department of General Surgery, Traumatology and Arthroscopy, Dr. Deelenlaan 5, 5042 AD Tilburg, The Netherlands; Tel: 0031-(0)13-4655655; Fax: 0031-(0)13-4677216; E-mail:



Treatment of Mallet fingers or fractures remains a controversial topic. No evident preference can be distilled from the reports of the clinical results obtained by conservative treatment with splints and internal fixation. If operative treatment is indicated, several techniques can be used. However, each technique has disadvantages like the risk of comminution of the fragment, the risk of infection and necrosis, a demanding operative technique and-or the necessity of removing the metallic devices. This can be avoided by the use of biodegradable devices. The purpose of this feasibility study was to evaluate the outcome of internal fixation of a Mallet fracture with a biodegradable device, the Meniscus Arrow®.


We treated nine consecutive patients with a Mallet fracture by fixation of the fragment with a biodegradable Meniscus Arrow®, at this moment the smallest device available, with an average operation time of 14 minutes.


Postoperatively, no complications were found. All patients were satisfied by the results after surgery, with a restored range of motion in the distal interphalangeal joint as previously and good alignment with full consolidation of all fractures at radiological evaluation.


The operative treatment of bony mallet fingers with the Meniscus Arrow® is a fast procedure without complications in our prospective series of nine patients and without the need of a second operation to remove the implant.

Keywords: Mallet fracture, biodegradable, meniscus arrow®, internal fixation..