Clin Orthop Surg.  2021 Jun;13(2):243-251. 10.4055/cios20170.

Anatomic Repair of the Central Slip with Anchor Suture Augmentation for Treatment of Established Boutonniere Deformity

  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Seoul Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, CHA Bundang Medical Center, CHA University School of Medicine, Seongnam, Korea
  • 3Department of Orthopaedic Surgery National Health Insurance Service Ilsan Hospital, Goyang, Korea


The rupture of the central slip of an extensor tendon of a finger causes a boutonniere (or buttonhole) deformity, characterized by pathologic flexion at the proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joint and hyperextension at the distal interphalangeal (DIP) joint. Currently, there are no standard treatment guidelines for this deformity. This study aimed to report clinical results of surgery to correct chronic boutonniere deformity.
This retrospective case series was conducted between January 2010 and December 2018 and only 13 patients with trauma-induced chronic deformity were included. After excision of elongated scar tissue, a direct anatomic end-to-end repair using a loop suture technique with supplemental suture anchor augmentation was conducted. Total active motion was assessed before and after surgery and self-satisfaction scores were collected from phone surveys.
All patients presented with Burton stage I deformities defined as supple and passively correctable joints. The initial mean extension lag of the PIP joint (43.5°) was improved by an average of 21.9° at the final follow-up (p < 0.001). The mean hyperextension of the DIP joint averaged 19.2° and improved by 0.8° flexion contracture (p < 0.001). The average total active motion was 220.4° (range, 160°–260°). Based on the Souter’s criteria, 69.2% (9/13) of the patients had good results. Only 1 patient reported fair outcome and 23.1% (3/13) reported poor outcome. The average Strickland formula score was 70 (range, 28.6–97.1). In total, 10 patients (77%) had excellent or good results. Of 10 patients contacted by phone, self-reported satisfaction score was very satisfied in 2, satisfied in 3, average in 3, poor in 1, and very poor in 1. Three patients reported a relapse of the deformity during range of motion exercises, 1 of whom underwent revision surgery. One patient complained of PIP joint flexion limitation, and 2 complained of DIP joint flexion limitation at final follow-up.
In chronic boutonniere deformity, central slip reconstruction with anchor suture augmentation can be an easily applicable surgical option, which offers fair to excellent outcome in 77% of the cases. The risk of residual extension lag and recurrence of deformity should be discussed prior to surgery.


Boutonniere deformity; Proximal interphalangeal joint; Central slip repair; Suture anchor
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