Abstract: Boutonniere deformities are a common injury to the extensor mechanism of the finger. The deformity results in fixed contraction in the middle finger joint and is severely debilitating to functionality. Due to the complexity of the extensor mechanism, surgical repair is difficult, which usually requires multiple procedures, and in some cases is unsuccessful. Nonsurgical treatment of the deformity has not dramatically improved in many years and usually requires long-term use of braces and physical therapy. This work is focused on design and preliminary evaluation of an improved boutonniere brace to correct the deformity with emphasis on lower costs, integrating therapeutic techniques such as heat and motion to increase blood flow and patient comfort. A review of the current state of the art is presented along with the design approach used to develop an improved device. Experimental test results are also presented. This work demonstrates a new device and approach for treatment of boutonniere deformities that may translate to treatment of other conditions such as arthritis.

Rentschler, M.E., Macdonald, S.A., “An Improved Brace Design for Boutonniere Deformity,” ASME Journal of Medical Devices. 4(2): 021002-1-021002-7, 2010.

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