WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
A jammed finger is an injury to the tendon that straightens the tip of your finger. A piece of bone may be pulled away with your tendon. Your injury may take 4 to 8 weeks to heal.
You may need any of the following:
- Acetaminophen decreases pain. It is available without a doctor's order. Ask how much to take and how often to take it. Follow directions. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly.
- NSAIDs help decrease swelling and pain or fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions. Do not give these medicines to children under 6 months of age without direction from your child's doctor.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
- Apply ice on your finger for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel. Ice helps prevent tissue damage and decreases swelling and pain.
- Elevate your hand above the level of your heart as often as you can. This will help decrease swelling and pain. Prop your hand on pillows or blankets to keep it elevated comfortably.
- Immobilize your finger. A splint will be placed on your finger to keep it straight while it heals. You may need to wear this splint for 6 to 8 weeks. You may need to continue to use the splint during sports activities for another 6 to 8 weeks.
- You may remove the splint each day to wash your finger.
- When your splint is off, do not try to bend the tip of your finger.
- Put your splint back on as soon as possible. When you apply new tape, make sure the splint is in the same place and position. You may also need new tape if the splint gets wet. If your finger is numb or tingling, the splint may be too tight. Loosen the tape so your finger is comfortable.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have pain or swelling that is getting worse.
- You have increased redness and swelling in your finger.
- Your finger feels numb, tingly, or cold, even after you loosen the splint.
- Your finger looks white or blue and feels cold.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You have blood beneath your nail, or your nail is not fully attached.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.