In general, the small bones of the hand are subjected to the same diseases as are the larger bones of the body. Thus, we see acute and chronic osteomyelitis of the suppurative as well as of the tuberculous type; syphilis, especially in children, and tumors both benign and malignant. Anv of these conditions may cause partial or complete destruction of the bone, and the resulting deformity and disturbance in function of the fingers may be of considerable importance. If, however, the patients are operated on in time and the defects remedied by some plastic method, the deformity can be lessened and a considerable amount of function maintained.
Various methods have been adopted to accomplish this purpose. The first methods consisted of using such materials as glass, ivory and metals to replace the removed piece of bone. In some the results have been good; but here as in other cases in