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Jammed Finger

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jan 5, 2023.

What is a jammed finger?

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.

What are the signs and symptoms of a jammed finger?

Your finger may be swollen, red, and painful. The tip of your finger may droop down. You may not be able to move your finger normally.

How is a jammed finger diagnosed and treated?

You may need to have an x-ray of your finger to check if a bone is broken.

How is a jammed finger treated?

  • 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.

How do I care for my splint?

  • 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 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.

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

  • You have pain or swelling that gets 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.

When should I seek immediate care or call 911?

  • You have blood beneath your nail, or your nail is not fully attached.

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 healthcare providers 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.

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Further information

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