Volar Plate Injury

Explanation: The volar plate is a thick ligament that sits on the palm side of our hand over the middle knuckle of your finger. This ligament helps to protect fingers from bending too far backwards. When a volar plate injury occurs, this ligament is torn. Volar plate avulsion fractures can also occur, meaning when the ligament is torn it also pulls off a small piece of bone.

Mechanism of injury: Volar plate injuries typically occur when a force causes the finger to bend too far backwards such as when catching a ball or landing on an outstretched hand.

Examination: After a volar plate injury occurs it is important to see your GP for an appropriate referral and have an x-ray completed to determine the extent of the injury.

Treatment: Treatment for a volar plate injury depends on the extent of the injury and if other ligaments may also be involved in the injury; however, commonly consists of a period of immobilisation by splinting or buddy strapping. Oedema management is also important from the date of injury to ensure swelling does not impact healing or movement, as swelling can be significant for this injury. Range of motion is monitored and addressed by hand therapists throughout the healing process to promote optimal functional outcomes.