A broken finger is a condition where one or more bones that make up a finger are broken from injury mostly caused by force or trauma to the finger. Finger injuries are common and can happen in everyday activities at any time, a finger injury can vary in severity ranging from a simple bruise to multiple broken bones and dislocations in the finger.
Finger injuries are also more common to people with weakened bones, such as the elderly or those with deficiency in calcium. Athletes and people who do labor also have a higher risk of getting a broken finger. Sports such as basketball, baseball, volleyball, football, hockey, rugby, boxing, skiing, wrestling, and snowboarding also pose a risk to a broken finger.
Events that involve a lot of force such as an automobile accident can also cause a broken finger.
Broken fingers can be identified by the immediate pain after the trauma occurs, sometimes accompanied by a deformity if there’s a dislocation or fracture.
Signs and symptoms of a broken finger
- Pain in the injured area
- Difficulty or limited ability to move the finger
The broken finger may also look misshapen or deformed. Broken fingers can also be very painful, especially if you attempt to move the injured finger. Sometimes there is less pain that is tolerable. If there is no pain coming from a broken finger, it doesn’t mean that medical attention is not required.
To diagnose a broken finger, your doctor will see your medical history to see if there’s any underlying medical cause that contributed to the broken finger. A physical examination will also be done to assess the severity of the broken finger on the outside and an x-ray scan will be done to determine how severe the damages are to the bones.
The treatment for a broken finger varies on the location of the fracture and if the finger is still stable or not. If the broken finger is taped to an intact finger, then it is a stable fracture. If it’s an unstable fracture, however, it will require immobilization. After your doctor aligned the fracture or has reduced it, they can apply a splint.
If your broken finger has been an unstable or displaced fracture, your doctor will need to perform surgery to fix the fracture. This is required when:
- The fracture is unstable, displaced, or is an open fracture
- There are multiple fractures
- There are loose bone fragments
- A joint injury
- There is damage to the ligaments or tendons
- The fracture was caused by an impact
The risk of a broken finger can also be reduced with an adequate diet that involves sufficient amounts of vitamin D and calcium to keep the bones in a good state and less susceptible to fractures or damage. Anyone who has difficulty in walking due to age or medical reason can undergo a physical therapy and devices that assist in walking such as canes or walkers.
Disclaimer / More Information
The material posted on this page on a broken finger is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize the injury by taking a first aid and CPR class with one of our training providers.