What is the role of imaging studies in the evaluation of nailbed injuries?

Updated: Sep 27, 2017
  • Author: Darrell Sutijono, MD; Chief Editor: Trevor John Mills, MD, MPH  more...
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Answer

Depending on the extent of injury, radiologic evaluation with anteroposterior, lateral, and oblique views of the injured finger(s) may be useful to rule out foreign bodies and fractures or dislocations of the distal finger. [6]

In a study of children with nailbed injuries, the authors found that 50% of their patients had an associated distal phalangeal fracture, most often a comminuted tuft fracture. [15] Most tuft fractures, in the setting of a nailbed injury, require no specific treatment outside of addressing the nailbed injury and protective splinting. Transverse shaft fractures that are significantly displaced may require surgical repair. [16]

In a study utilizing point-of-care ultrasound in patients presenting to the ED with distal finger trauma, sensitivity was 93.4% and specificity was 100% for diagnosing nail bed injury. [17]


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