Buddy strapping

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Buddy strapping
Other names: Buddy wrapping, neighbour strapping, buddy tapping
Buddy taping

Buddy strapping or buddy tapping is a simple treatment for stable broken or dislocated fingers and toes.[1] It involves bandaging the damaged finger or toe together with a neighbouring healthy one.[1]

Medical uses

The bandage or medical tape is usually stiff, not allowing the digits to move; the healthy digit acts as a splint, keeping the damaged one in a natural position for healing. Rest plays a major role in the healing process. Buddy wrapping may also be used for sprains, dislocations, and other injuries.


This treatment may be performed by a physician or other medical professional in a hospital, orthopedic clinic, or other medical facility. Buddy wrapping may also be used when medical help is not immediately available, for example in the wilderness. Buddy wrapping can be a temporary solution or it can be used as a treatment all by itself.

A layer of absorbent cotton or gauze is placed between the digits to prevent the breakdown of the skin with resultant ulcers and/or infection.[2] The bandage is applied loosely, in several non-encircling layers. This avoids cutting off the blood flow to the digit that a too-tight wrap can precipitate. If the damaged part is only partly fractured, e.g., a greenstick fracture, the buddy wrapping method may also be used.[3]

Fractures of the smaller toes are commonly treated by buddy taping.[4] Padding is used between the toes to keep the space dry[5] and the toes aligned comfortably. If the toes are less comfortable when buddy-taped, the buddy tape should be removed.[6]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 White, Timothy O.; Mackenzie, Samuel P.; Gray, Alasdair J. (2016). "13. Hand". McRae's Orthopaedic Trauma and Emergency Fracture Management (3rd ed.). Elsevier. pp. 268–269. ISBN 978-0-7020-5728-1. Archived from the original on 2021-08-28. Retrieved 2022-09-10.
  2. "How To Buddy-Tape Fingers - Injuries; Poisoning". Merck Manuals Professional Edition. Archived from the original on 2022-05-20. Retrieved 2022-03-23.
  3. "What is Buddy Wrapping? | Bone and Spine". 6 August 2013. Archived from the original on 21 September 2021. Retrieved 8 September 2022.
  4. Bica, David; Sprouse, Ryan A.; Armen, Joseph (2016-02-01). "Diagnosis and Management of Common Foot Fractures". American Family Physician. 93 (3): 183–191. ISSN 0002-838X. PMID 26926612. Archived from the original on 2022-03-31. Retrieved 2022-09-08.
  5. "Broken toe - self-care: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia". medlineplus.gov. US National Library of Medicine. 2020-03-28. Archived from the original on 2021-10-31. Retrieved 30 October 2021.
  6. "Broken Toe". HealthLink BC. Archived from the original on 7 November 2021. Retrieved 8 November 2021.