Elbow Issues

PIP Joint Injuries of the Finger

A sprain is a general term that means a ligament is injured. Doctors usually use this term to mean that the ligament has been stretched and partially torn. If the ligament is stretched too far, it ruptures or tears completely.

Injury to the volar plate can occur when the joint is hyperextended. If a complete tear occurs, the ligament usually ruptures or tears from its attachment on the middle phalanx. There may be a small piece of bone avulsed (pulled away) from the middle phalanx when this occurs. If it is small it is usually of no consequence, but if it is large and involves a significant amount of the joint surface it may require surgery to fix the fragment and restore the joint surface.

Injury to the collateral ligaments can occur when the joint is forced to bend too far sideways until one of the collateral ligaments ruptures. These ligaments can also be injured if the PIP joint is actually dislocated, with the middle phalanx dislocating behind the proximal phalanx.

Initially, the finger is painful and swollen around the PIP joint. If the joint has completely dislocated it will appear deformed.