Acute finger injuries: Part II. Fractures, dislocations, and thumb injuries

  • Leggit J
  • Meko C
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Abstract

Family physicians can treat most finger fractures and dislocations, but when necessary, prompt referral to an orthopedic or hand surgeon is important to maximize future function. Examination includes radiography (oblique, anteroposterior, and true lateral views) and physical examination to detect fractures. Dislocation reduction is accomplished with careful traction. If successful, further treatment focuses on the concomitant soft tissue injury. Referral is needed for irreducible dislocations. Distal phalanx fractures are treated conservatively, and middle phalanx fractures can be treated if reduction is stable. Physicians usually can reduce metacarpal bone fractures, even if there is a large degree of angulation. An orthopedic or hand surgeon should treat finger injuries that are unstable or that have rotation. Collateral ligament injuries of the thumb should be examine with radiography before physical examination. Stable joint injuries can be treated with splinting or casting, although an orthopedic or hand surgeon should treat unstable joints.

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Authors

  • Jeffrey C. Leggit

  • Christian J. Meko

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