SplintER: Pop, Lock & Drop It


A 38-year-old female presents to the ED with right shoulder pain after a fall directly onto that shoulder. She noticed immediate pain and difficulty moving the arm associated with mild tingling in her right fingers. The radiographs above were obtained in the ED (Image 1. AP and lateral radiographs of the right shoulder, author’s own images).



SplintER Series: Let the Feet Drop

A 20-year-old male distance runner who was jogging and happened to be running past the emergency department presented with severe bilateral leg pain, foot pain, and foot numbness that had resolved by the time he was evaluated in the ED. The x-ray above was obtained (Image 1. X-ray of the leg. Case courtesy of Andrew Murphy, Radiopaedia.org, rID: 41408).


SplintER Series: Stop! Hammer Time

mallet finger
A 54-year-old female presents to the emergency department with 3rd and 4th right finger pain after “jamming” them a week ago. She was reaching to tap someone on the shoulder and they backed into her hand forcing her fingers into flexion. She has swelling and pain at the distal interphalangeal (DIP) joint of her 3rd and 4th digits on the right and cannot extend the digits at the DIP joint. An x-ray of the right hand was obtained and is shown above (Figure 1: Lateral radiographs of the right hand. Author’s own images).


SplintER Series: Point Tender

A 42-year-old female presents to the emergency department with complaints of worsening finger pain. She reports the pain started 2 days ago with redness at the tip of the finger. Over the past 24 hours, her redness has spread and the finger has become more painful. On arrival, she is afebrile and hemodynamically stable. She has the below exam findings with tenderness along the volar aspect of the finger and pain with passive extension (Figure 1). What is your suspected diagnosis? What is your initial workup? What is your management and disposition?

Figure 1: Image obtained from WikEM


SplintER Series: Between a Rock and a Hard Place


A 17-year-old male basketball player presents with right lateral thigh pain for the past 3 weeks. He had a collision with another player 5 weeks ago that resulted in a bruise that has since resolved. He is mildly tender over the lateral mid-thigh in the soft tissues and has a decreased knee flexion. You obtain X-rays (Figure 1). What is your suspected diagnosis? What is your initial workup in the ED? What imaging confirms the diagnosis? What is your management and disposition?
AP and lateral x-rays of the knee showing myositis ossificans

Figure 1: AP and lateral radiographs of the right femur


SplintER Series: Do You Even Lift?

Pectoralis major tendon tear


A 35-year-old male presents after injuring his left shoulder while weight lifting two days ago. He describes sudden-onset pain with associated “pop” in his left anterior/medial shoulder and chest as he was bench pressing. On exam, he has ecchymosis over the medial aspect of his humeral shaft and left chest. He has decreased strength with resisted internal rotation of the shoulder. An MRI is obtained and shown above (Image 1: Case courtesy of Dr. Tim Luijkx, Radiopaedia.org, rID: 36975)



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