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Finger Fracture


What is a finger fracture?

A finger fracture is a break in 1 or more of the bones in your finger. It is most commonly caused by a direct blow to the finger.

What are the signs and symptoms of a finger fracture?

  • Pain, bruising, or swelling
  • Weakness or numbness
  • Trouble moving your finger
  • Finger looks abnormally shaped

How is a finger fracture diagnosed?

Your caregiver will examine you and ask about your injury. You may also need an x-ray.

How is a finger fracture treated?

  • Cast or splint: You may need a cast or splint to prevent movement and protect your finger so it can heal.
  • Medicine:
    • NSAIDs: These medicines decrease swelling, pain, and fever. You can buy NSAIDs without a doctor's order. Ask your caregiver which medicine is right for you, and how much to take. Take as directed. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems if not taken correctly.
    • Pain medicine: You may be given a prescription medicine to decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take this medicine.
    • Antibiotics: You may need antibiotics if you have an open wound. This medicine helps fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
    • Td vaccine is a booster shot used to help prevent tetanus and diphtheria. The Td booster may be given to adolescents and adults every 10 years or for certain wounds and injuries.
  • Closed reduction: This is when caregivers put your bones back into their correct position without surgery.
  • Open reduction: This is done when a closed reduction does not work or you have ligament damage. An incision is made, and the bones and ligaments are put back into the correct position. Open reduction may include the use of wires, pins, plates, or screws. These help keep the broken pieces lined up so your finger can heal correctly.

What are the risks of a finger fracture?

You could get an infection or bleed after surgery. Even after treatment, your finger may not look like it did before your injury. Without treatment, you may have trouble using your finger for daily activities.

How can I manage my symptoms?

  • Ice: Ice helps decrease swelling and pain. Ice may also help prevent tissue damage. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel and place it on your finger for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed.
  • Elevate: Raise 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.

When should I contact my caregiver?

Contact your caregiver if:

  • Your pain or inflammation gets worse, even after treatment.
  • Your injured finger is cold.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

When should I seek immediate care?

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • Your splint breaks or feels too tight.
  • You have severe pain.
  • Blood soaks through your bandage.
  • Your injured finger is numb and pale.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. 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.

© 2015 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.