Patient: I have dislocated my ring (3rd) finger on my left hand at the second (middle) knuckle. Other than splinting (i have it taped to my other finger), is there anything else the doctor can do?
Doctor: Interphalangeal (IP) joint dislocations of the fingers are common. Typically associated with forced hyperextension or h hyperflexion of the fingers, they require immediate reduction. The IP joint is a hinge joint that allows only flexion and extension and consists of several ligamentous complexes. The treatment is basically: after a successful reduction in the ER, splint, ice and elevation of the affected finger. After reduction, the affected joint most be assessed for flexor-extensor tendon function, active range of motion, localized tenderness, and instability in the medial-lateral and dorsal-volar directions. The joint is usually immobilized with a foam-padded splint immediately after reduction to prevent redislocation or instability. The Immobilization is kept for 14-21 days for a Proximal IP joint dislocation and 10-14 days for a Distal IP joint dislocation. Buddy taping (taped on the next finger) for 3-6 weeks thereafter allows active range of motion and prevents hyperextension.