Open reduction and internal fixation with absorbable devices was used to treat 32 fractures of the hand at our department. The clinical results were reviewed in 20 patients with an average follow-up of 4.5 years. There were 17 metacarpal fractures, 12 phalangeal and three carpal fractures. Thirty fractures were intra-articular. Subjectively 15 of the 20 patients indicated their satisfaction with the outcome of the treatment. Redisplacement of fixation occurred in two Bennett's fractures. A minor redisplacement was observed in one comminuted and in one noncomminuted phalangeal intra-articular fracture. A foreign-body reaction occurred in two patients with a Bennett's fracture and in one with a trapezoid fracture. A wound infection occurred in one patient with a Bennett's fracture and in one patient with a phalangeal fracture. The use of absorbable implants showed promising results in the intra-articular fractures of metacarpal and phalangeal bones with the exception of the Bennett's fractures, where the outcome was less favourable. The number of patients in the study was limited and for a more definitive conclusion a larger series of fractures of the hand should be analysed.