Volar plate injury habitually occurs because of a hyper-extension force – when the finger is bent backwards forcefully in the wrong way. Also known as a jammed finger, it is very commonly seen in ball sports where the ball forces the fingers backwards.
The volar plate is a ligament that separates the joint space of the proximal interphalangeal joint and the flexor tendons.
Causes And Symptoms Of Volar Plate Injury
The Volar plate is a ligament that makes sure that hyper-extension does not occur. In case of undue force during hyper-extension, the volar plate gets disrupted at its insertion on the middle phalanx of a finger. What’s more, collateral ligaments get damaged and impaired and avulsion fracture may occur too.
By and large, most injuries are seen in athletes, particularly ball-handling sports. The collateral ligament heal without any difficulty, although there will be scar tissue formation during the process of healing. Scar formation results in a broadening on one side of the joint leading to the appearance of a perpetual lump.
Symptoms includes excruciating pain in the hurt finger and is situated specially over the middle finger joint. Inflammation develops rapidly and the finger looks somewhat deformed. Any sort of finger movement is exceedingly painful, and bruising appears chiefly on the palm side of the middle finger joint.
Volar Plate Injury Complications
A very careful evaluation and assessment needs to be carried out to establish the severity of the Volar plate injury. X-rays help ascertain an avulsion fracture along with a Volar plate injury.
Complications that have been linked to this trauma are:
- By and large, the simple dislocations are easily reduced by the player’s coach on the field. However, in certain cases, the condition could become very severe.
- A fracture of the base of the middle phalanx is linked to dorsal dislocations. If the fracture involves more than 50 % of the articular surface, then the collateral ligament support gets lost.
- Also, there will be a major loss of joint stability.
- Volar plate injuries tend to be unstable, showing an obstinate subluxation of the middle phalanx.
- Furthermore, the collateral ligament will heal with profuse fibrous tissue, thus producing a lump on one side of joint.
Treatment For Volar Plate Injury
You first need to get an X-ray done in order to ascertain whether there is an avulsion fracture, or whether the injury is only soft tissue related. It will help you assess the intensity of damage and impairment.
- In case only the ligaments are damaged, then you need to immobilize the finger.
- Place a splint for 7 to 10 days thus expediting the healing process. Gentle range of motion exercises may be then commenced to ward off stiffening.
- Schedule sessions with your physical therapist. Buddy taping your impaired finger to the adjacent non-injured finger assists in enhancing your range of motion during the healing period.
- During the recuperation process, have 2 to 3 glasses of ginger tea; it allays pain and discomfort considerably by reducing the swelling and inflammation.
- Gentle aromatherapy massage is advised too. It will alleviate discomfort and will help enhance your range of movement.
- In case there’s a fracture, surgical intervention becomes necessary.
- Treatment and rehabilitation are vital to help gain an optimal outcome.