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Finger Dislocation

(Dislocated finger; Dislocation, Finger)

Definition

A finger dislocation is when the a finger bone is 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.

Finger Dislocation With Swelling

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Causes    TOP

A dislocated finger is usually caused by:

  • A jamming force applied to the end of the finger
  • Finger being forcefully twisted or bent
  • Finger being overextended (bent backward)

Risk Factors    TOP

Factors that increase your risk of dislocation include:

  • Contact sports
  • Previous finger dislocation or sprain
  • Medical conditions or disease that make ligaments weak or loose such as Ehlers-Danlos or Marfan syndrome

Symptoms    TOP

Symptoms may include:

  • Severe pain
  • Crooked or awkwardly bent shape finger
  • Swelling and bruising in the injured area
  • Numbness and/or tingling
  • Inability to bend or straighten the finger

Diagnosis    TOP

You will be asked 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.

Treatment    TOP

Emergency Care

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 into place, a cast or surgery may be needed.

Prevention    TOP

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.

RESOURCES:

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
http://orthoinfo.aaos.org
The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
http://www.sportsmed.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Canadian Orthopaedic Association
http://www.coa-aco.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
http://www.canorth.org

References:

Dislocated finger. Sports Injury Clinic website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed September 25, 2014.
Finger (PIP joint) dislocation. National Center for Emergency Medicine Informatics website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed September 25, 2014.
PIP dislocation. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated April 14, 2014. Accessed September 25, 2014.
10/26/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Massey T, Derry S, Moore R, McQuay H. Topical NSAIDs for acute pain in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;(6):CD007402.
Last reviewed August 2014 by Michael Woods, MD
Last Updated: 9/25/2014