Jersey Finger Injury Treatment Farmville VA
Medical School: Univ Of Miami Sch Of Med, Miami Fl 33101
Graduation Year: 1964
Northern Virginia Orthopaedic Group
Glen Allen, VA
Medical School: Montpellier
Graduation Year: 1983
Orthopedic Surgery, Sports Medicine
Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center
Newport News, VA
Foot & Ankle Surgery
Treatment for Jersey Finger Injury
Jersey finger injury refers to the damage done to the tip of the ring finger when an athlete grabs the shirt (jersey) of another player while that player is pulling away. The hand grasping the jersey is closed in a fist. But the force of the player wearing the shirt pulls the tip of the ring finger into extension.
The result is a rupture of the tendon away from the bone. A piece of the bone may come with the tendon (still attached). This is called an avulsion injury. There can be a bone fracture along with the tendon rupture.
And although it sounds like this is an injury only an athlete can have, in fact, "jersey" finger injuries occur in nonathletes of all ages. Older adults with rheumatoid arthritis or other inflammatory joint conditions experience this injury as well. The same mechanism takes place: forceful extension of the tip of the finger when it is bent that causes the problem.
Any finger can be affected. The ring finger seems to be the most commonly injured digit because of its unique anatomy. It is the weakest of the fingers and least able to move by itself. The flexor digitorum profundus (or FDP) tendon pulls away from the bone more easily than any other finger tendon.
When the fingers are in a fisted position, the ring finger is actually just a tiny bit more forward than the other fingers. So it absorbs more of the force during a pull-away maneuver compared with the other fingers.
Treatment is based on a classification scheme. The injury can be described as a type I, II, III, IV, or V level of retraction. Retraction refers to how far back toward the palm the tendon has recoiled. Type I describes a flexor digitorum profundus tendon (FDP) that has pulled away from the bone and snapped all the way back to the palm.
Type II injury means the tendon has pulled away from the tip of the finger taking a tiny bit of bone with it but without retracting past the next bone. With a type III injury, the tendon has avulsed with a large bone fragment that has gotten caught or entrapped without moving.
Type IV level of retraction has a ruptured tendon with bone avulsion and retraction back toward the palm. And Type V is a ruptured tendon with bone avulsion. The bone where the tendon has pulled away is broken into tiny pieces (called a comminuted fracture). Type V injuries are further divided into Va and Vb. Type Va means the damage is outside the joint (extra-articular). Type Vb tells us there is intraarticular (inside the joint) damage.
When planning the type of surgery to perform, the surgeon evaluates how far back the tendon has retracted, how much bone damage is present, and if the joint is involved. For example, full retraction of the tendon often means the pulley system that holds the tendon in place has also been disrupted. When the force of the injury is enough to strip the tendon from the bone carrying the pulley mechanism along with it, then the blood supply is also affected.
Besides considering t...