Phalanx fractures and dislocations in athletes
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Purpose of review
Phalangeal fractures, dislocations, and fracture-dislocations in the hand are common injuries. We review the current literature on the diagnosis and treatment of these injuries in the athlete. An understanding of the anatomy and its relationship to the mechanism of injury may help to direct appropriate management. Return to play remains an important concern to the patient-athlete.
Findings from recently published articles reinforce previously established treatment methods in the management of finger phalangeal fractures, dislocations, and fracture-dislocations. The majority of these injuries can be treated non-operatively. Technological advances in implant designs may conceivably allow for earlier rehabilitation and, in turn, a more expeditious return to sport. Management of phalangeal injuries in the elite athlete often necessitates special treatment considerations.
The majority of phalangeal bone and joint injuries in the athlete can be treated in a comparable manner to the non-athlete. The goals of treatment are restoration of bone and joint alignment and stability in order to hasten a return to competition. Surgery as a means to expedite return to play in the high-level athlete should be determined on a case by case basis. Technological improvements in surgical implants may enable accelerated postoperative recovery. However, to our knowledge, there are no published studies to definitively support this assumption.
KeywordsHand fractures Phalangeal fractures Finger dislocations Finger fracture-dislocations Sports injuries
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
Franklin Chen reports royalties from Acumed, Inomed, and Biomet, outside of the submitted work.
David M. Kalainov reports product design consulting personal fees from Acumed and Skeletal Kinetics, as well as product design discussion with OsteoMed, outside of the submitted work.
Human and animal rights and informed consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
There has been no financial support or sponsorship agreement for this work.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance
- 7.• Kodama N, Takemura Y, Ueba H, Imai S, Matsusue Y. Operative treatment of metacarpal and phalangeal fractures in athletes: early return to play. J Orthop Sci. 2014;19:729–36. doi: 10.1007/s00776-014-0584-5. Retrospective study of hand fractures in athletes following a protocol of surgery and early rehabilitation to return high-level athletes to sports participation.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar