Proximal Interphalangeal (PIP) Joint Dislocation

Proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joint dislocation is an injury in which the bones in the middle joint of a finger dislodge, usually as the result of direct trauma or injury to the hand. This injury is characterized by pain, swelling, bruising, and mobility impairment in the affected joint. While joint sprains and dislocations can happen to anyone, these injuries are particularly common among athletes (particularly those who play contact sports), people at greater-than-average risk for falling, people with weak ligaments, and people who engage in a lot of physical activity. If a person suspects that he or she has suffered a PIP joint dislocation, ice should be applied to the injured area as soon as possible in order to reduce swelling. The person should then seek medical attention for the injury. Hand specialists can diagnose PIP joint dislocations by examining the swelling, bruising, disfigurement, and mobility at the affected joint. An X-ray may be used to rule out bone fractures, as broken bones will change the treatment plan. Treatment of PIP joint dislocations may include icing, using a splint or cast to support the joint and promote proper alignment, and taking anti-inflammatory and pain relief medications. Physical therapy may be recommended to restore flexibility, range of motion, and strength in the area. PIP dislocations rarely require surgery; however, in cases involving broken bones, surgery may be recommended.