Executive Editor: Joseph Schatzker, Richard Buckley

Authors: Michael Castro, Richard Buckley, Andrew Sands, Christina Kabbash

Phalanges - 2nd-5th row, MTP-joint dislocation

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1 Closed reduction top


Perform reduction as quickly as possible, since there is a risk of neurovascular compromise. Reduction is accomplished by reproducing the mechanism of injury. The proximal phalanx is extended and traction is applied to free the inferior rim from its impingement on the dorsal surface of the metatarsal. The toe is then translated in a plantar direction to effect the reduction. In the toes, the ligamentous support is sometimes sufficient to maintain reduction, which makes fixation unnecessary. However, if the reduction is unstable, then fixation must be accomplished.


Pitfall: Interposition of the plantar plate

Sometimes, reduction fails because the plantar plate may become interposed in the joint. In such a case, a dorsal incision will allow visualization of the joint and removal of the interposed tissue which then allows reduction to follow.

2 Pin fixation top

There are two options to secure fixation. Fixation of the fracture with a K-wire through the distal phalanx is the preferred technique as it is easier.


Option 1

The first option is to drive a K-wire through the toe beginning just under the nail and then driving the K-wire in line with the axis of the toe across the IP-joints, and then across the MTP-joint, while it is kept reduced, into the shaft of the metatarsal.


Option 2

The alternative option would be to drive a K-wire which catches the base of the proximal phalanx.


While the reduction is maintained, the K-wire is driven across the joint into the shaft of the first metatarsal.

The difficulty with this option is to catch the base of the proximal phalanx with the K-wire.

v2.0 2017-03-23