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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A finger dislocation happen when bones in your finger move out of their normal position.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You have increased swelling under your splint or cast.
- You think your cast or splint is too tight.
- You cannot move your fingers.
Call your doctor or hand specialist if:
- You have numbness or tingling in your hand.
- The skin under your cast or splint burns or stings.
- The skin around your cast becomes red or raw.
- Your cast becomes cracked or damaged.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
You may need any of the following:
- Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not take other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to your healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your healthcare provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
- Acetaminophen decreases pain and fever. It is available without a doctor's order. Ask how much to take and how often to take it. Follow directions. Read the labels of all other medicines you are using to see if they also contain acetaminophen, or ask your doctor or pharmacist. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly. Do not use more than 4 grams (4,000 milligrams) total of acetaminophen in one day.
- NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and 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 healthcare provider.
- 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 or her 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.
Manage a finger dislocation:
- Apply ice to your finger. Apply ice 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 before you apply it to your finger. Ice helps prevent tissue damage and decreases swelling and pain.
- Elevate your finger above the level of your heart. This can help reduce swelling. Prop your arm or hand on a pillow. This should be done as often as you can for the first 1 to 3 days after your injury.
- Exercise your finger, as directed. Exercise can help reduce pain, swelling, and stiffness in your finger. It also can help increase strength and movement. You may need to exercise your finger as soon as you can. You also may be told not to move your finger for a few weeks. Be sure to follow your healthcare provider's instructions.
Care for your splint or cast:
- Do not get your splint or cast wet. Use a plastic bag to cover the splint or cast if you shower.
- Keep your splint or cast clean. Make sure no dirt gets under your splint or cast.
- Do not trim your cast without talking to your healthcare provider. Never remove your cast on your own.
Follow up with your doctor or hand specialist as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your follow-up visits.
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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.
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