Current Concepts in Treatment of Fracture-Dislocations of the Proximal Interphalangeal Joint

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Background:Proximal interphalangeal joint fracture-dislocations are common injuries that require expedient and attentive treatment for the best outcomes. Management can range from protective splinting and early mobilization to complex surgery. In this review, the current concepts surrounding the management of these injuries are reviewed.Methods:A literature review was performed of all recent articles pertaining to proximal interphalangeal joint fracture-dislocation, with specific focus on middle phalangeal base fractures. Where appropriate, older articles or articles on closely related injury types were included for completeness. The methodology and outcomes of each study were analyzed.Results:When small avulsion fractures are present, good results are routinely obtained with reduction and early mobilization of stable injuries. Strategies for management of the unstable dorsal fracture-dislocation have evolved over time. To provide early stability, a variety of techniques have evolved, including closed, percutaneous, external, and internal fixation methods. Although each of these techniques can be successful in skilled hands, none has been subjected to rigorous, prospective, comparative trials. Volar dislocations fare less well, with significant loss of motion in many studies. Pilon fractures represent the most complicated injuries, and return of normal motion is not expected.Conclusions:The best outcomes can be achieved by (1) establishing enough stability to allow early motion, (2) restoring gliding joint motion rather than noncongruent motion, and (3) restoring the articular surface congruity when possible. Although the majority of literature on this topic consists of expert opinion and retrospective case series, the consensus appears to favor less invasive techniques whenever possible.

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