What Is a Finger Fracture?
While a finger fracture is often considered a minor trauma, without proper treatment it can cause major problems. The bones in a normal hand line up precisely, allowing manual dexterity and precise movement with the fingers and thimb. When a bone in the finger is fractured it can cause improper alignment of the entire hand. Without treatment, a fractured finger can remain stiff and painful for a long time.
Causes of a Finger Fracture
Almost any sport has the potential for fractured fingers. The most common are basketball, baseball, and contact sports. You'll know you've fractured a finger by watching for the following signs:
- Pain and tenderness
- Pain in the hand when you tap the end of the finger while it is straight
- Inability to move it completely
Treating Finger Fracture
See a physician. The finger will need to be put back into place. Typically, a splint or cast will suffice to hold the finger straight and protect it from further injury while it heals. Sometimes the fingers next to the fractured one will be splinted together for support. The splint remains in place usually for about three weeks. X-rays may be needed as healing occurs to check progress. Begin using your hand again according to your physician or therapist's recommendations. Simple rehabilitation exercises should be done every day to help reduce the fingers stiffness and swelling.