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Finger Sprain, Ambulatory Care

A finger sprain

happens when ligaments in your finger or thumb are stretched or torn. Ligaments are the tough tissues that connect bones. Ligaments allow your hands to grasp and pinch.

Common symptoms include the following:

  • Bruising or changes in skin color
  • Pain and stiffness
  • Swelling and tenderness

Seek immediate care for the following symptoms:

  • Bluish or pale skin on your injured finger
  • Increased pain, even after taking pain medicine
  • New or increased trouble moving and using your finger or thumb

Treatment for a finger sprain

may include medicine to decrease pain.

Care for a finger sprain:

  • Rest your finger for at least 48 hours. Avoid activities that cause pain. Return to normal activities as directed.
  • 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.
  • Compression helps support your finger as it heals. Your injured finger may be taped to the finger beside it. Severe sprains may be treated with a splint. Ask how long you must wear the splint or tape, and how to apply them.
  • Elevate your finger 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.
  • Exercise your finger to help decrease stiffness, swelling, and pain. You may be given gentle exercises to begin in a few days. Exercises also help improve finger movement. Check with your healthcare provider before you return to your normal activities or sports.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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.

© 2016 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.

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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