Background: The presence of two rather than three phalanges involving a lateral toe is a common variant. This is most often seen at the fifth toe. A fracture through the expected location of the distal interphalangeal joint can mimic a normal triphalangeal toe, leading to a delayed diagnosis.
Methods: Over a thirty-four month period, records of fractures through a fused biphalangeal joint were kept by all members of the musculoskeletal imaging section of a large university.
Results: Thirty-three patients with fractures through biphalangeal toes found on routine clinical examinations were included in the study. Demographic information, mechanism of fracture, and digit involved were recorded.
Conclusions: Fractures occurring at the level of an expected interphalangeal joint are easily overlooked. Prompt diagnosis can improve patient outcomes.
toe, fracture, biphalangeal