(Dislocated finger; Dislocation, Finger)
by Mary Calvagna, MS
A finger dislocation is when the a finger bone is knocked out of place. A dislocation also often involves stretching or damage to the ligaments. Ligaments are strong bands of fiber that help hold bones in place. Dislocation can happen in any of the finger joints.
A dislocated finger is usually caused by:
Risk Factors TOP
Factors that increase your risk of dislocation include:
A dislocated finger may have:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and how the injury occurred. The injured finger will also be examined.
Your doctor may order an x-ray. This can help rule out broken bones. It may also be used to make sure the bone is back in the correct place.
Seek medical care right away. Do not try to put your finger bones back into place. If you wait for treatment, you could cause permanent damage.
The doctor will move the finger bones back into place. A local anesthesia may be used to help reduce pain. Your finger may then be placed in a splint or taped to the healthy finger. For severe injuries or ones that can not be moved back in to place by hand, a cast or surgery may be needed.
You may still have swelling and discomfort after the doctor adjusts your finger. To help reduce swelling and pain try:
Once the pain is reduced, begin exercises to restore function and strength in your finger.
To help prevent a finger dislocation wear proper padding and safety equipment when participating in sports. Work with a coach or other professional to learn proper techniques and safety steps.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
Canadian Orthopaedic Association
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
Disloacted Finger. Sports Injury Clinic website. Available at: http://www.sportsi... . Accessed December 28, 2012.
Finger (PIP joint) dislocation. National Center for Emergency Medicine Informatics website. Available at: http://www.ncemi.org/cse/cse0926.htm . Accessed December 28, 2012.
PIP dislocation. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated May 21, 2012. Accessed December 28, 2012.
10/26/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php : Massey T, Derry S, Moore R, McQuay H. Topical NSAIDs for acute pain in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;(6):CD007402.
Last reviewed November 2012 by Michael Woods, MD
Last Updated: 11/26/2012