The Masquelet technique for septic arthritis of the small joint in the hands: Case reports

Taichi Saito, Tomoyuki Noda, Hiroya Kondo, Koji Demiya, Satoshi Nezu, Suguru Yokoo, Minami Matsuhashi, Takenori Uehara, Yasunori Shimamura, Masayuki Kodama, Toshifumi Ozaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Septic arthritis in distal interphalangeal (DIP) joints sometimes occurs in association with mucous cysts or after the surgical treatment of mallet fingers. Recently, several studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of the Masquelet technique in the treatment of bone defects caused by trauma or infection. However, only few studies have reported the use of this technique for septic arthritis in small joints of the hand, and its effectiveness in treating septic arthritis in DIP joints remains unclear. We report the clinical and radiological outcomes of three patients who were treated with the Masquelet technique for septic arthritis in DIP joints. One patient had uncontrolled diabetes and another had rheumatoid arthritis treated with methotrexate and prednisolone. The first surgical stage involved thorough debridement of the infection site, including the middle and distal phalanx. We placed an external fixator from the middle to the distal phalanx and then packed the cavity of the DIP joint with antibiotic cement bead of polymethylmethacrylate (40 g) including 2 g of vancomycin and 200 mg of minocycline. At 4–6 weeks after the first surgical stage, the infection had cleared, and the second surgical stage was performed. The external fixator and cement bead were carefully removed while carefully preserving the surrounding osteo-induced membrane. The membrane was smooth and nonadherent to the cement block. In the second surgical stage, an autogenous bone graft was harvested from the iliac bone and inserted into the joint space, within the membrane. The bone graft, distal phalanx, and middle phalanx were fixed with Kirschner wires and/or a soft wire. Despite the high risk of infection, bone union was achieved in all patients without recurrence of infection. Although the Masquelet technique requires two surgeries, it can lead to favorable clinical and radiological outcomes for infected small joints of the hand.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100268
JournalTrauma Case Reports
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


  • Hand
  • Induced membrane
  • Masquelet technique
  • Septic arthritis
  • The small joint

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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