Buddy wrapping or buddy taping is the act of bandaging a damaged or particularly a fractured finger or toe together with a healthy one. 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. 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.