What's the Diagnosis? By Dr. Lynn Manganiello

A 13 year old female presents with right 5th digit pain and deformity after she hyperextended her finger while catching a basketball. What's the diagnosis? (scroll down for answer)






Answer: Proximal interphalangeal joint dislocation


Mechanism - hyperextension or axial load


-Usually ulnar deviation as radial collateral ligament more likely to rupture (as in this case)


-May be dorsal (associated with volar plate rupture, can lead to Swan neck deformity) or ventral​





-Perform thorough neuromuscular exam 


-Reduce digit - usually digital block sufficient for pain control


-Test ROM and strength following reduction —> if normal can splint in 30 degrees of flexion for 3 weeks (or in extension if volar dislocation)


-Needs operative repair only If irreducible or evidence of complete ligamentous disruption







Long, B, Koyfman, A. “Injuries to the Hand and Digits.” Tintinalli’s Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide, 8th Ed. Judith E. Tintinalli, el al. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2016