is a hyperextension injury which is essentially a ligamentous injury although
it may involve a portion of bone avulsed off by a ligament. It usually involves
a piece of bone avulsed off the base of the middle phalanx by the volar
plate which is usually not significantly displaced and usually will heal
without problem. It also usually involves a collateral ligament tear which
heals without problem but often heals with abundant scar tissue leading
to an appearance of chronic swelling on one side of the joint, which is
No more than a few
days of immobilization is necessary and is important to work on obtaining
full range of motion of the joint. The middle joint of the fingers is
the worst with regards to stiffness and early range of motion is very
important. Range of motion exercises may be explained to the patient or
therapy with a hand therapist may be necessary.
"Buddy taping" of
the fingers after the initial few days of immobilization is all that is
necessary for finger support. At first, "buddy taping" will be necessary
all the time, gradually progressing to "buddy taping" only with exertive
or sporting activities with effected hand.
If motion is begun
early, full range of motion can be expected. For those who have been immobilized
longer, permanent stiffness may result. Rarely, with severe stiffness,
surgical release of the scarred tendons and joint capsule may be necessary,
also rarely, instability may result which may require reconstructive surgery.
Most patients do extremely well, being able to progress to painless activity
with full function, with minimal abnormal appearance.