Proximal phalanx fracture

Dr Henry Knipe and Dr Tom O'Graphy et al.

Proximal phalanx fractures can be epiphyseal or shaft fractures and can be articular or extra-articular.

Proximal phalanx fractures are the most common paediatric hand fracture 1.

The fracture is generally well seen on plain radiographs. Ultrasonography can be used for fractures that are difficult to see or there are doubts.

The clinical consolidation is in 4 or 6 weeks; radiological consolidation takes longer. However, it should be noted that the fingers don't tolerate immobilisation very well so it shouldn't exceed 3 weeks.

Treatment can be conservative in case of a non-displaced fracture, but the method of immobilisation may vary between orthopaedic surgeons. Some use a splint in palmar or dorsal position, fixating the wrist, MCP joint and the entire finger, also immobilising the adjacent finger. Others use a cast which fixates the wrist, metacarpophalangeal joint and proximal phalanx but allows movement of the interphalangeal joints.

Surgery is required in case of an open fracture, significant displacement, and instability after reduction. Surgical fixation involves Kirchner wires or very small screws.

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Article information

rID: 41774
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Proximal phalangeal fractures

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