by Apple Therapy

Finger Dislocations

  • Can occur at all 3 joints of the finger.
  • The fingers are most commonly at risk of dislocation when exposed to high
    impact activities and forced overstretching.

    • Such forces are most typically experienced during sports, especially fullcontact
      sports like rugby, basketball and football.
  • Depending on the severity of the dislocation, the displaced bone can cause
    damage to the surrounding tissues.

    • Some dislocations are associated with a fracture.
  • The most common joint to be dislocated is the PIP.
    • The fingers most involved are the small, ring and index.

Finger Disclocations: Type and Diagnosis

  • PIP joint dislocations (coach’s finger) can be very

    • The injury can involve the static (collateral ligaments and
      volar plate) stabilizers and the dynamic (intrinsic muscles,
      central slip and lateral bands) stabilizers.
    • Digital arteries and nerves may also be involved.
  • The dislocation can be dorsal, volar or lateral.
    • Most PIP joint dislocations are dorsal, which can result in
      swan neck deformities if untreated.
    • Volar dislocations when untreated can result in a
      boutonniere or pseudo- boutonniere deformity.

      • A true boutonniere deformity has a disruption of the
        central slip, not the volar plate.
  • Diagnosis can be made with plain X-rays and need to be
    performed to rule out fractures.

    • An evaluation should also rule out tendon avulsions such
      as mallet finger or FDP disruption.
Our Occupational Therapists are the go-to for finger dislocations. Occupational Therapy is available at our Bedford and Nashua offices.