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Fractures through a biphalangeal toe: a pitfall to avoid

Leanne L Seeger, Warren Chang, Benjamin D Levine, Benjamin Plotkin, Kambiz Motamedi.

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.

Key words: toe, fracture, biphalangeal

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The articles in Bibliomed are open access articles licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.
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