What are treatment options for volar PIP joint dislocations?

Updated: Jan 18, 2018
  • Author: Jay E Bowen, DO; Chief Editor: Craig C Young, MD  more...
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Answer

As with dorsal dislocations, the head of the proximal phalanx may become impinged between the central slip and the lateral band, in which case open reduction is necessary. Another indication for open repair is if the joint is functionally unstable (ie, the joint dislocates spontaneously as the patient moves it). A third indication for open reduction is an untreated chronic volar plate avulsion that allows the joint to hyperextend.

After closed reduction of a volar dislocation, the PIP joint should be immobilized in extension for 6-8 weeks.

All patients with closed injuries of the PIP joint should be told that swelling and disability are common for possibly months, with swelling and disability persisting for 6 months to 1 year in some complete ligamentous injuries. In addition, some thickening is likely to be permanent.


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