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Buddy Tape Splint

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Other Names

  • Buddy Tape
  • Finger Splint
  • Buddy Tape Fingers
  • Buddy wrapping
  • Neighbor Taping


Demonstration of buddy taping with the cotton padding[1]
Example of white finger tape used to buddy tape
Illustration of buddy taping
Illustration of buddy taping 4th and 5th toe
  • Buddy tape splinting involves using adhesive tape by taping two fingers together
    • Theory is that uninjured finger provides support for the injured finger while it heals
    • Can also be used on toes for similar indications





  • Displaced or unstable fractures
  • Tendon injuries
  • Open fractures



  • Adhesive tape 1.25 cm (½ inch)
  • Cotton Gauze


  • Wash and dry fingers prior to application


  • Apply tape around both fingers to bind the injured finger against the uninjured finger.
  • Use one strip of tape to bind adjacent phalanges proximally
    • Do this between the metacarpophalangeal and proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joints
    • This allows the untaped joints to flex and extend.
  • Use a second piece of tape to bind the 2 digits distally between the PIP and distal interphalangeal (DIP) joints,
    • Again leave the interphalangeal joints untaped
  • Check distal sensation and capillary refill

Pearls and Pitffals

  • Optional: Insert cotton padding or gauze between the fingers being splinted
    • This prevent skin maceration between the fingers
    • Ensure there are no folds in the gauze between the fingers.
  • Note: Finger dislocations should be Finger Dislocation Reduction prior to beginning
  • Can consider digital block if any manipulation, reduction is necessary
  • Demonstrate to patient and family so they can re-apply tape as needed as needed
  • Be careful not to tape too tightly, restricting circulation


  • Make sure follow up is arranged
  • Advise patient to keep dry, change tape if dressing becomes wet


  • Pain or discomfort
  • Restricted circulation

See Also


  1. Image courtesy of uptodate.com
  2. Weber, Daniel M., et al. "Buddy taping versus splint immobilization for paediatric finger fractures: a randomized controlled trial." Journal of Hand Surgery (European Volume) 44.6 (2019): 640-647.
  3. Is buddy taping as effective as plaster immobilization for adults with an uncomplicated neck of fifth metacarpal fracture? A randomized controlled trial Pellatt R, Fomin I, Pienaar C, et al. Ann Emerg Med. 2019;74(1):88-97.
Created by:
John Kiel on 29 May 2023 15:30:37
Last edited:
29 May 2023 23:15:21