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Finger Fracture in Children

AMBULATORY CARE:

A finger fracture

is a break in one or more of the bones in your child's finger.

Common signs and symptoms include the following:

  • Pain, bruising, or swelling
  • Weakness or numbness
  • Trouble moving the finger
  • Finger shape is not normal

Seek care immediately if:

  • Your child's cast or splint gets wet, damaged, or comes off.
  • Your child says his or her splint or cast feels too tight.
  • Your child has severe pain in his or her finger.
  • Your child's finger is cold, numb, or pale.

Call your child's doctor or hand specialist if:

  • Your child's pain or swelling gets worse, even after treatment.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.

Treatment

may include any of the following:

  • A cast or splint helps prevent movement and protects your child's finger so it can heal.
  • 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 your child takes blood thinner medicine, always ask if NSAIDs are safe for him or her. 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.
  • Acetaminophen decreases pain and fever. It is available without a doctor's order. Ask how much to give your child and how often to give it. Follow directions. Read the labels of all other medicines your child uses to see if they also contain acetaminophen, or ask your child's doctor or pharmacist. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly.
  • Closed reduction is used to put your child's bone back into the correct position without surgery.
  • Open reduction surgery may be needed to put your child's bone back into the correct position. Wires, pins, plates, or screws may be used to keep the broken pieces lined up correctly.

Help manage your child's symptoms:

  • Apply ice on your child's 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 before you apply it to your child's skin. Ice helps prevent tissue damage and decreases swelling and pain.
  • Elevate your child's finger above the level of his or her heart as often as you can. This will help decrease swelling and pain. Prop your child's hand on pillows or blankets to keep it elevated comfortably.
    Elevate Arm

Follow up with your child's doctor or hand specialist within 2 days:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your child's 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.

Learn more about Finger Fracture in Children (Ambulatory Care)

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.