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Finger Fracture

(Broken Finger)

Definition

A finger fracture is a break in any of the bones in a finger.

Finger Fracture
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Causes

This injury is caused by trauma from:

  • Falls
  • Blows
  • Collisions
  • Severe twists

Risk Factors

Playing contact sports may raise your chance of this injury.

Symptoms

Symptoms may be:

  • Pain
  • Swelling and bruising
  • Problems moving the finger
  • Changes in the way the finger looks

Diagnosis

The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. You will be asked how the injury happened. A physical exam will be done, focusing on your finger.

Images will be taken of your finger. This can be done with x-rays.

Treatment

How it is treated depends on whether the injury is mild or severe. Options may be:

Initial Care

Initial care may be:

  • Ice to ease pain and swelling
  • Medicine to ease pain
  • A splint, cast, or tape keep the finger in place as it heals
  • Exercises to help with strength and motion

Children's bones have growth plates that let bones grow and harden with age. A child with this type of fracture will need to be checked over time to make sure the bone heals the right way and keeps growing.

Putting Bones Back In Place

Some fractures cause pieces of bone to come apart. These pieces will need to be put back into place. This may be done:

  • Without surgery—anesthesia will be used to ease pain while the doctor moves the pieces back into place
  • With surgery—pins, screws, or a wire may be used to reconnect the pieces and hold them in place

Prevention

This injury is due to an accident. It cannot be prevented.

RESOURCES:

American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
http://www.sportsmed.org

Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
http://www.orthoinfo.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

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

Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
http://www.canorth.org

REFERENCES:

Finger fractures. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00257. Updated December 2013. Accessed September 24, 2019.

Middle phalanx finger fracture. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/management/middle-phalanx-finger-fracture-emergency-management. Accessed September 24, 2019.

Oetgen ME, Dodds SD. Non-operative treatment of common finger injuries. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. 2008 Jun;1(2):97-102.

Last reviewed September 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Warren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM  Last Updated: 9/24/2019