Finger Fracture Fixation

Fractures of the finger bones are a common pathological issue which could lead to temporary or permanent loss of normal function. Fractures close to the joint lead to further complications, often resulting in permanent loss of the affected finger. The kinds of fractures encountered are i) incomplete: bone is not fully broken; ii) complete: clean fracture into 2 pieces; iii) multiple: bone is broken into more than two pieces; iv) comminuted: bone is shattered into several bits; v) transverse, oblique or spiral.

The treatment of fractures is carried out in stages of reduction, maintenance and rehabilitation. The reduction of a fracture is generally done either invasively or non-invasively which is highly dependent on the kind of fracture. To maintain the reduction, various devices are used, both externally and internally. Common methods include buddy taping and casting which are easy to apply as they require no operation. K wires are also often used as they require a relatively simple operation. Other methods widely in use are external fixators based on ligamentotaxis and plates and screws which are used internally.

With most methods, maintaining the fracture reduction often does not allow normal movement of the affected finger and this may result in further complications which in turn require a longer rehabilitation period. To tackle this problem, researchers have developed a device for transverse fractures that both transmits the load effectively along the finger and allows free movement of the finger. Forces applied on either distal or proximal bones are fully transmitted via the device so as not to pass through the fractured bone. A key advantage of the device is that it allows free movement of the finger so as to avoid joint stiffening.

Patent Status A patent application has been filed and Imperial Innovations Ltd are now seeking partners for further development and licensing.

Case 4031

Type of Offer: Licensing

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