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Progress in Orthopedic Science ISSN: 2146 - 8370
Progress in Orthopedic Science. 2015; 1(1):(2-85)

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 5th toe. A fracture through the expected location of the distal interphalangeal joint can mimic a normal triphalangeal toe, leading to a delayed diagnosis. Our purpose was to identify these often elusive fractures in order to evaluate and document their existence for increased clinical awareness and improved patient care. Methods: Over a 34 month period, records of fractures through a fused biphalangeal joint were kept by all members of the musculoskeletal imaging section of a large university. At the completion of data collection, the complied list was analyzed for demographic information, mechanism of fracture and digit involved. Results: Totally, 33 patients with fractures through biphalangeal toes found on routine clinical examinations were included in the study. Conclusions: Fractures occurring at the level of an expected interphalangeal joint are easily overlooked. Prompt diagnosis can improve patient outcomes