A Comparison of Complications in 400 Patients After Native Nail Versus Silicone Nail Splints for Fingernail Splinting After Injuries

Weinand, Christian; Demir, Erhan; Lefering, Rolf; Juon, Bettina; Vögelin, Esther (2014). A Comparison of Complications in 400 Patients After Native Nail Versus Silicone Nail Splints for Fingernail Splinting After Injuries. World journal of surgery, 38(10), pp. 2574-2579. Springer 10.1007/s00268-014-2583-2

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BACKGROUND The fingertip is the most commonly injured part of the hand and is an important aesthetic part of the hand. METHODS In this retrospective study we analyzed data from 700 patients operated on between 1997 and 2008 for complications after nail splinting with native nail or silicone nail. Inclusion criteria were patients living in Bern/Berner Land, complete documentation, same surgical team, standard antibiotics, acute trauma, no nail bed transplantation, and no systemic diseases. Groups were analyzed for differences in age, gender, cause and extension of trauma, bony injury and extent, infection, infectious agent, and nail deformities. Statistical analysis was done using the χ (2) test, Fisher's exact test, and Pearson correlation coefficients. RESULTS A total of 401 patients, with a median age of 39.5 years, were included. There were more men with injured nails. Two hundred forty native nails and 161 silicone splints were used. There were 344 compression injuries, 44 amputations, and 13 avulsion injuries. Forty-three patients had an infection, with gram-positive bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus) causing most infections. A total of 157 nail dystrophies were observed, split nails most often. The native nail splint group showed significantly (p < 0.015) fewer nail deformities than the silicone nail splint group; otherwise, there were no statistical differences. However, there were twice as many infections in the silicone nail group. CONCLUSION It seems to be advantageous to use the native nail for splinting after trauma, when possible. In case of a destroyed and unusable nail plate, a nail substitute has to be used.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Orthopaedic, Plastic and Hand Surgery (DOPH) > Clinic of Plastic and Hand Surgery > Hand Surgery

UniBE Contributor:

Juon, Bettina and Vögelin, Esther


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Jörg Arnoldi

Date Deposited:

05 Sep 2014 09:38

Last Modified:

06 Nov 2015 10:43

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:






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