Ask An Orthopedist: Can a ligament be tightened up?

Calendar November 7, 2017

Question: My middle finger, middle joint has a subluxation from a long ago sports injury. I have good range of motion but the finger is being distorted by swelling and the ligament on one side of the joint has been stretched. Is there a treatment for me besides fusion or joint replacement? I did see a specialist and he said he didn’t think the joint replacement would work because of the stretched ligament. Can a ligament be tightened up?

Ligaments can be tightened and/or reconstructed in various joints. However in a finger, you are highly likely to wind up with a stiff joint that functionally is like a fused joint but with pain. If a new joint isn’t an option then fusion or living with it are your choices.

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