|Spot the tiny bit of bone.|
For the purposes of keeping things simple for the late referrers out there and truth be told, you're not all doctors, I'll just talk about the middle joint of the finger today, the PIP. Think of the volar plate as a bridge across the palmar aspect of the PIP joint. If this bridge is hyperextended too far, either the bridge will snap, and / or a piece of bone connected to the bridge will be pulled off. If that piece of bone is less than 50% of the articular surface, not significantly displaced or overtly unstable, the finger can heal without surgery.
|Broken bridge means bits are missing...|
|I drew this. Brilliant right?|
Point number two. If you tell the patient not to bend the finger, the finger will get stiff very quickly making my job even more difficult when you eventually decide to refer him or her on after 7 weeks of ineffectual management. Bending the finger will not stress the repairing ligament. Straightening it too far will.
|One option. But understanding the concept is everything.|
My treatment protocol varies significantly according to the patient. Some are in a splint for 4 weeks, some more, some just 2 and then buddy taped. Some never get splinted at all. They're an easy injury to treat properly, but can quickly go pear-shaped if basic principles are ignored. What you, dear late referrer need to comprehend, is that none of my patients are ever splinted straight because although my wife tells me I need the money, fixing your mistakes is not work I enjoy.
Look after those fingers,