How Will An Orthopedic Specialist Treat My Finger Fracture
Luckily, most broken finger bones can be treated without the need for surgery. Your fracture may require a splint or cast to protect it from further injury and ensure it heals in the correct position. If your splint also inhibits the fingers next to the one that has been injured, dont be surprised — this provides additional support to your broken finger as it heals.
In some cases, including a severe break or a more complex type of fracture, your doctor may recommend surgery to move your finger bones back where they belong. If you do require surgery, your orthopedic surgeon may use pins, screws or wires in your finger to hold the bones together from within.
If youve injured your finger and you fear it may be broken, schedule an appointment with Dr. Matthew Bernstein or Dr. Mark Yaffe, our hand specialists at Barrington Orthopedic Specialists. Our team of orthopedic hand specialists will get you the quick diagnosis and treatment you need to start recovering now. For urgent needs when our physicians office is closed, visit our Immediate Orthopedic Care clinic in Schaumburg, Illinois. Have questions? Contact us today.
What Causes A Broken Finger
Most finger fractures result from injuries. The most common situations that result in broken fingers include:
- Having a fast-moving object, such as a baseball, hit your hand.
- Putting out your hand to break a fall.
- Slamming your finger in a drawer or door.
- Trauma that impacts your finger, such as a car accident.
- Using tools such as drills, power saws or hammers.
Recovering From Finger Surgery
Sometimes a finger fracture requires surgery. If this is the case, you will be referred to an orthopedic surgeon. Reasons for surgery could include:
Complicated fracture that needs to be set
Bone fragments in the finger that need to be removed
Damage to the tissues in the finger, such as tendons, blood vessels, and nerves
The fracture is unstable and you need a pin inserted
Once the surgery is over and the splint or cast is applied, you will receive care instructions. In addition to the regular fracture care , you will also need to watch for signs of infection. These include:
The pain worsens rather than eases after a few days.
Discharge or pus is leaking from the splint or cast.
Foul odor is coming from under the splint or cast.
Red, warm skin around your finger is visible.
Fever not due to cold or flu.
If you suspect you may have an infection, contact your doctor as quickly as possible to avoid complications.
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Causes Of A Dislocated Finger
The fingers, not including the thumb, contain three joints. The joint closest to the palm is the metacarpophalangeal joint. The joint midway down the finger is the proximal interphalangeal joint. The joint closest to the fingertip is the distal interphalangeal joint. The proximal interphalangeal joint is the one that is most commonly dislocated.
What Are Some Common Causes Of Broken Fingers
Your hands are one of the most hardworking parts of your body, which also means theyre one of the easiest parts to injure. Finger fractures often occur as a result of breaking a fall with your hands, catching a ball without proper protection, being careless with power tools and other equipment, and accidentally jamming your finger when closing a door. Additionally, hand injuries are one of the most common workplace injuries in the United States, second only to back injuries.
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Should I See My Doctor If I Think My Finger Is Broken
Some of us may remember the old tape and popsicle stick splints from our childhoods. Yes, some finger fractures dont need more than a basic splint. But if you think you have a broken finger, its worthwhile to have a doctor check it out. Getting an accurate diagnosis as early as possible is essential for proper healing. You also want your doctor to check on the healing process moving forward to make sure things are going as planned. If you have a bad break and dont get treatment, it can affect your grip and movement for life. To best address a finger break, your doctor needs to look at which bone you broke and how its broken. The best way to get an accurate picture is with an X-ray. If you see your primary care physician and have a more complicated break, ask for a referral to an orthopaedist. In the case of a complex fracture, a specialist is the best person to provide a diagnosis and move forward with a treatment plan.
Symptoms Of A Broken Finger
It can often be quite hard to determine whether a finger is actually broken, because most of the symptoms are very similar to injuries such as dislocation or a sprain. If you cant completely determine whether your finger is indeed broken, its always worth seeking out some medical advice
Generally, a broken finger be:
- Painful to move, or to touch. The pain will no doubt worsen quite significantly when you attempt to move your finger, especially if you try to form a grip on an object.
- Noticeably swollen in comparison to your other fingers. Visible bruising around the point of the fracture will appear very quickly, almost immediately. This happens because when a fracture of any sort occurs, the fractured fragments will bleed into the tissue. Its what forms the bump and bruising.
- Difficult to move. A slight loss of motion and ability in the finger is common. Its less common for someone to experience a complete loss of motion in a broken finger, and this is usually an indication of a more severe fracture. A broken finger will generally remain usable, albeit through intense acute pain.
- Visibly wonky. It is a broken finger, after all. It may be apparent that your finger is deformed as a result of the injury. With more severe broken fingers, you may experience the end of the bone piercing the skin. This is what we call an open fracture.
- Giving you a tingling sensation, or feel numb. This occurs as a result of the restricted blood-flow to the finger.
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Tips To Shorten The Recovery Period
Act immediately after the fracture occurs, and remove any jewelry worn on the dislocated finger. As the affected portion swells up, it may be difficult and painful to remove the same afterwards. Additionally, wearing a tight ring will negatively affect your blood circulation and the overall healing process. In case of already swollen fingers, applying ice and cold compresses will help in reducing inflammation. Discussed below are some effectual tips concerning treatment and recovery.
These were some tips which you can follow for quick recovery. Even if you get a sprained finger, addressing the problem as soon as possible is imperative in order to manage the injury effectively. So, do not delay getting medical attention. Based on the severity of the break, the doctor will determine the prospective healing time. If required, a surgical procedure might be performed to keep the dislocated bone in place.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.
What Is A Broken Finger
A broken finger occurs when one or more of the bones in your finger break. Another name for a broken bone is a bone fracture. People often break their fingers due to injury or weakened bones.
Small bones called phalanges make up your finger structure. Each finger contains three phalanges, while the thumb contains two. Any of these bones can break. Breaks can also happen in your knuckles, the joints where your finger bones come together.
You can relieve pain from a finger fracture for a short time with ice and medication. But youll need to see a healthcare provider as soon as possible for an X-ray. Depending on the type and severity of the fracture, your provider may suggest a splint to stabilize your finger or surgery to repair the break.
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Do I Have A Broken Finger How Do I Know For Sure Can I Treat It Myself Or Am I Best Off Visiting My Local Minor Injuries This Article Does Its Utmost To Provide You With The Essential Knowledge To Treat What Is A Quite Common But Sometimes Incredibly Painful Injury
This article details the correct symptoms of a broken finger as a means of assessing your own situation. It then goes on to discuss the correct and appropriate course of action should you wish to seek medical attention. You will find all the relevant treatment information right here, as well as some tips for looking after your finger as it heals.
Choosing An Orthopaedics Practice For A Broken Finger
Your primary care provider can help with a broken finger in the most straightforward cases. However, a referral to an orthopaedics practice usually makes the most sense. Your orthopaedist takes a sophisticated approach to diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care and can offer in-house hand therapy if needed. At Countryside Orthopaedics, we take finger injuries very seriously because we know what benign neglect can mean: a potential loss of function and mobility. Our practice includes a hand specialist surgeon, top-notch physician assistants, and trained hand therapists. Well accurately diagnose and treat your finger injury the first time around and get you working and playing again.
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How Common Are Broken Fingers
Broken fingers are common. Finger fractures are the most common sports-related fractures in adults and teenagers in the United States. They sometimes happen along with metacarpal fractures .
Finger fractures often include fractured fingertips and avulsion-type fractures. Avulsion fractures happen when an injury occurs near where a tendon or ligament attaches to the bones in your hand, and the ligament pulls off a fragment of bone.
When Should I See My Healthcare Provider About Finger Pain
You should always seek care right away if you suspect you may have a broken finger. You can visit an urgent care center or a hospitals emergency department.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Broken fingers are common. They usually result from injury or weakened bones. Your provider will use an X-ray to look for any fractures. Treatment varies depending on the severity of your fracture but may include a splint or surgery. People generally recover well after finger fracture treatment if they follow a rehab plan prescribed by their provider.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 08/12/2021.
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How To Heal A Broken Finger
It will heal itself is likely something you have heard in regards to a broken toe or a broken finger but that statement is not entirely true. Because broken fingers, in particular, are hard to detect, oftentimes they are left untreated which people assume to be a good thing because the body works to heal itself. However, an untreated bone fracture in the hand can cause your joints to become stiff and be hard to move at times. If you have a broken finger and are wondering about the treatment options, read on to learn more.
Minor FracturesMinor fractures are often hard to detect from an x-ray alone and will typically require that you undergo multiple x-rays in order to identify where the fracture is and whether or not the bone is in fact fractured. If you are diagnosed with a minor fracture, the doctor will likely recommend that you immobilize your finger by wearing something like a stint or wrap. By inhibiting your finger from moving, you will prevent your finger against any further damage and will help the bone to heal back together over time.
A broken finger might seem like a tiny injury because the bone is so tiny. However, as one of the most intricate and complex parts of your body, the bones in your hand shouldnt be neglected. To learn more about treatment options for a broken finger, contact George Philip Smiths office today!
When Should I Seek Medical Advice
Seek medical care if:
- Pain does not improve with medicine.
- Blisters, rashes or raw spots appear on the skin around the splint or tape.
- A foul smell or drainage comes from the splint or tape.
- Your child gets a fever while the finger is healing.
- The splint feels too tight
- Your child’s fingers are pale, cold, numb or tingly.
- Your child has a splint, and it cracks, becomes loose, gets wet or falls
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When Should I See A Doctor For A Broken Finger
- After an injury, if pain or swelling limits the motion or use of the fingers, or if the finger becomes numb, seek medical care.
- If the injury to the finger includes a laceration, crushed tissue, or exposure to the bone, the individual should go to an emergency department for immediate medical care.
- Some fractures of the fingers may be subtle and the pain may be tolerable, so if a person suspects that they may have a finger fracture, seek medical attention.
Broken Finger Recovery: What To Expect
Your fingers put up with a lot. They poke, prod, pick up objects, hold objects, and so much more. If you break a finger, everyday tasks can become complicated. And not only are things awkward to do with the splint or brace on your finger, you have to deal with the pain of the fracture too.
Luckily, broken fingers usually heal well and the incident quickly becomes history. Learn what to expect while your broken finger heals and how long this might take.
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What Causes Finger Fracture
Finger fractures most commonly happen after a finger gets jammed or twisted. This is a common injury for athletes, particularly those who play contact and ball handling sports. People with osteoporosis are also at greater risk for this injury.
Finger fractures are most common in these sports:
Basketball Field Hockey
Symptoms Of A Dislocated Finger
Due to damage and associated disruption of structures within the finger, the following symptoms are likely.
- Swelling: Swelling surrounding the affected joint may be short or prolonged. The trauma to the joint disrupts the normal joint architecture and can lead to fluid shifts, thus producing the swelling.
- Redness: The affected joint may appear red due to disturbed tissue.
- Pain: Even minor structural damage to the joint as well as the associated swelling can lead to feelings of pain in the affected area.
- Numbness and tingling: Branches of the radial, ulnar, and median nerves course across the joints extending to the ends of the fingers. If these branches are compressed, you may experience a sensation of numbness and tingling.
- Functional impairment: This symptom can occur for a variety of reasons. The swelling in the affected area may inhibit movement without any underlying tendon or ligament problems. If you experience a dorsal dislocation or bend the finger too far backward, you might damage the flexor tendon, which allows us to bend our fingers toward our palm. In the case of lateral dislocation, the ligaments on the sides of the fingers, called the collateral ligaments, may be disrupted.
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When To See A Doctor For A Finger Injury
It is normal to want to wait it out when youve experienced a finger injury. However, if you think you may have broken your finger, it is essential to be seen by a medical professional. If you are experiencing numbness, swelling, or difficulty moving your fingers after a fall or blow to your hand, it is especially vital to contact your doctor or head to urgent care as soon as possible.
Delaying diagnosis and treatment can delay your healing. This can lead to a deformity in your fingers, decreased range of motion, limited grip strength, and may increase your recovery time or lead to long-term issues.
The information contained in this article is meant for educational purposes only and should not replace advice from your healthcare provider.
How Can A Broken Finger Be Prevented
The best way to prevent your finger from getting fractured or broken is to practice safety, especially during sports and in the workplace. Most fingers get broken from machines while playing sports, or trauma that is self-inflicted like punching something.
Which is why it is so key to always use the right safety equipment when youre doing any dangerous activity. As for sports, making sure you are wearing the proper safety equipment and practicing proper form is the best way to prevent a finger injury.
Always be sure youre using the right safety equipment whenever you are participating in an injury that can put the safety of your hand or fingers in jeopardy.
If you get injured, dont wait. Make sure you evaluate the injury as soon as possible and seek medical attention if needed.
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How Could You Splint A Broken Pinky Finger
How could you splint a broken pinky finger? Treatment. Temporary splinting, ice, and pain control are helpful supportive treatments. Make a splint to immobilize your finger even if that means putting a popsicle stick or pen next to it and wrapping something around the stick and your finger . Apply ice to the injured finger as you head to an emergency department.
What does it feel like to break a pinky finger? Broken fingers rarely go unnoticed. Frequently, you have immediate pain after trauma and sometimes a deformed finger either at a joint or through the bone as a fracture. If there is no deformity, a person will typically feel a sharp pain at the injury site. You may not always be sure the finger is broken and try to bend it.
What to do if broken finger didnt heal properly? Method 2 of 4: Treating the Finger on the Way to the Doctor Download Article Apply ice to the finger. Wrap the ice in a towel and apply it to the finger on your way to the emergency room. Make a splint. A splint will keep your finger elevated and hold it in place. Try to remove any rings or jewelry. If possible, try to slide off any rings on your finger before the finger swells. Take acetaminophen to treat the pain.