The purpose of this single-centre randomized controlled trial was to assess the non-inferiority of buddy taping versus splint immobilization of extra-articular paediatric finger fractures. Secondary fracture displacement was the primary outcome; patient comfort, cost and range of finger motion were secondary outcomes. Ninety-nine children were randomly assigned to taping or splinting. Sixty-nine fractures were undisplaced; 31 were displaced and required reduction before taping or splinting. Secondary displacement occurred in one patient in the taping and three in the splinting group. The risk difference was below the predefined non-inferiority level of 5%. All secondary displacements occurred in the 31 displaced fractures after reduction and were in little fingers. Patient comfort was significantly higher and cost lower in the taping group. We conclude from this study the non-inferiority of buddy taping versus splint immobilization of extra-articular paediatric finger fractures in general. We advise treatment may need to be individualized for patients with displaced fractures because we cannot make any absolute conclusions for these fractures. Level of evidence: I.
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