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Volar plate injury

Patient information A-Z

What is a volar plate injury?

The volar plate is a small piece of ligament on the palm side of the middle joint (phalanx) on your finger. This structure helps to support the middle joint of your finger and prevents it being able to over straighten or dislocate.

It can be partially or fully torn and may sometimes pull off a small piece of bone when it is damaged. This injury is caused by impact to the finger, such as a ball, and pushing the joint backwards.

Volar plate injury
Volar plate injury

Swelling and bruising at the injury site is normal. Simple, over the counter pain killers and applying ice to the area will help to reduce swelling and pain. Ice should be applied, wrapped in a tea towel, for 20 minutes three to four times a day.

These injuries / fractures can be protected by strapping the fractured finger to the finger next to it. This may be done by taping your fingers together or using a double Tubigrip. The strapping acts as a splint to protect the healing

You should:

  • remove any rings or jewellery from the affected hand.
  • keep the splint / strapping intact until advised to remove it.
  • apply ice and elevate the hand to reduce swelling in the finger.
  • move your finger as comfort allows with the splint / strapping intact.
  • take simple over the counter pain killers as needed.

You should not:

  • take part in any physical or contact sports for at least six weeks unless recommended otherwise.
  • miss any appointments with the specialists if these have been requested.
  • take part in any activities which will risk further harm until instructed it is safe to do so.

Please remember:

Please contact your GP if your condition is not improving, or if your pain relief is not adequate.

If your condition is worsening please contact the Multi professional fracture clinic, call 01223 348299 or call 01223 257095.

For more information please visit please visit Fracture Info (opens in a new tab)

For any concerns on wounds email the fracture information team.

Please include your hospital number and any photos of your wounds that you would like to be reviewed.

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Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151