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Distal phalanx fracture of finger
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Distal phalanx fracture of finger

Contributors: Thomas John Carroll MD, Danielle Wilbur MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Causes / typical injury mechanism: Distal phalanx fractures are common hand injuries that result from trauma. In patients aged 10-29 years, distal phalanx fractures are most commonly from sports injuries. In patients aged 40-69 years, accidents involving machinery are the most common cause. In patients older than 70 years, falls are the most common cause.

Classic history and presentation: Patients will present with acute pain, swelling, and possible nail bed injury following a direct trauma. The finger may appear grossly angulated or displaced.

Prevalence: Phalanx fractures are the most common injuries to the skeletal system, accounting for 10% of all fractures.
  • Age – All ages
  • Sex / gender – 2:1 male-to-female ratio
Risk factors:
  • Osteoporosis
  • Fall risk
  • Working with heavy machinery
  • Participating in sports
Pathophysiology: Distal phalanx fractures are caused from bending or torsional forces associated with trauma.

Grade / classification system: There is no specific classification system; however, the fractures can be subclassified based on location –
  • Tuft fractures involve a comminuted distal phalanx fracture often resulting from a crush injury.
  • Shaft fractures involving the phalanx shaft are often described as transverse or longitudinal.
  • Base fractures involve either the volar or dorsal base of the distal phalanx.
  • Seymour fractures describe an epiphyseal injury in the pediatric population with an associated nail bed injury.


S62.669A – Nondisplaced fracture of distal phalanx of unspecified finger, initial encounter for closed fracture

36778005 – Fracture of distal phalanx of finger

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Last Reviewed:11/11/2023
Last Updated:11/12/2023
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Distal phalanx fracture of finger
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