Traumatic injuries are most commonly accompanied by fractures and you never know where the fracture can occur. Fractures can occur due to both high-energy and low-energy traumas, and that will decide how serious the injury will be. Sometimes, fractures occur in the finger(s) of our hand and those are known as phalangeal fractures. These are the conditions where one or more phalanges get broken.
Also known as ‘Phalanx Fractures,’ these are one of the most common injuries noticed, but they are less common when compared to metacarpal fractures.
Pathology of Phalangeal Fractures
These types of fractures can be intra-articular or extra-articular and their location could be the shaft, head, neck, & base of the phalanx. One of the most common causes of these fractures is injuries due to contact sport. In case of crush injuries to the distal phalanx, nail trauma or open fracture can occur. If the fracture extends to the articular surface of the phalanx, dislocation could also be noticed.
Causes of Phalangeal Fractures
The injury to the phalanx generally occurs due to direct blows on the hand, and this most commonly occurs in case of contact sports injuries. In maximum cases, such injuries can be treated with the use of a splint while severe conditions may require surgery with the use of Orthopedic Implants like Bone Plates, Bone Screws, Hand Plating System, or K-wires. Surgery is often indicated in case of unstable conditions.
Structure of Phalanges
Phalanges are the bones present in the fingers and the thumb. Each finger comprises three phalanges whereas, the thumb has two. So, in total, we have 14 phalanges in each hand.
Diagnosis of Phalangeal Fracture
For the diagnosis of phalangeal fracture, a simple radiographic examination of the fingers may be helpful. Diagnosis of this fracture could also be done using ultrasound, but it is not preferred as the first line of diagnosis. When things are not clear with the radiological examination, the doctor may indicate ultrasound.
Treatment of phalangeal fractures can be done surgically or without surgery, and this will be based on the seriousness of the fracture.
This treatment procedure is the most preferred one for distal phalanx fractures. Non-operative treatment procedure is ideal for non-displaced fractures and a splint is used to immobilize the bones while allowing them to heal. Taping may also be done if the pain is there after the application of a splint. In the case of proximal fractures, a longer splint is applied while immobilizing the metacarpophalangeal joint and the wrist as well.
Displaced phalangeal fractures may require surgical reduction and for this, trauma implants like K-wires and Bone Plates & Screws may be used. Siora Surgicals Pvt. Ltd. is one of the world’s best Orthopedic Products Manufacturers offering a huge range of ISO standard quality orthopedic devices including Titanium Elastic Nails, Orthopedic Locking Plate, Cannulated Screw for Wrist, Proximal Femoral Nail Antirotation, and Interlocking Nail Femur.
It is difficult to fix comminuted fractures and for that, wires in traction may be needed. While on the other hand, open fractures require quick examination and treatment. Antibiotic therapy is also indicated in case of open fractures.