It’s a common event. You go to catch a football or basketball, but instead of the ball cruising efficiently into your hands, it smashes into the tip of your finger. Or, as you go to close a drawer, you accidentally jam your finger versus its edge. This kind of blunt effect might cause a jammed finger, a condition that happens when the idea of the finger is pushed back toward the hand.
The momentum from the impact’s force can stretch and even tear the ligaments in your finger, which causes a sprain. Ligaments are tough bands of connective tissue that hold your bones together.
If the effect’s force is hard enough, it can trigger tendon damage or a bone fracture.
Even if your finger isn’t fractured, the jam can trigger it to swell up and be painful. A jammed finger requires to be treated. In some cases the injury is minor enough that you can take care of it at home.
For a more severe injury, you’ll require medical treatment to prevent permanent damage to your finger. It can be difficult to identify if you have a mild or more extreme injury. If you’re uncertain, seek medical attention.
If you’ve injured your finger, you may question whether it’s jammed or fractured. While both conditions can cause pain, each has unique, but similar, symptoms. This can make it challenging to distinguish between the two.
You can get a jammed finger when you smash your finger against something and the force presses the suggestion of your finger down toward your hand.
In this case, the proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joint in the middle of your finger absorbs the force of the blow and the ligament in your finger gets stretched.
You might jam your finger playing sports, like when you try to catch a ball. Or, you might jam it doing something as simple as closing a door or pushing the sheets under the mattress as you make the bed.
A jammed finger can lead to some complications, including:
- long-term pain and swelling in the joint, known as terrible arthritis
- tightness in the finger
- weakness in the finger
- irreversible failure to correct the alignment of the finger
- deformity of the joint
Frequently you can identify and treat a jammed finger yourself. If you’re in a great deal of pain or you can’t bend and correct your finger, see your doctor or go to an emergency room for treatment. These symptoms might suggest a fractured bone or burst tendon.
Your doctor will inspect your finger for swelling, ask about your pain, and see how well you can move it. Comparing the injured finger to the ones around it can help your doctor identify the level of swelling.
Your doctor may order an X-ray to look for any fractures or other damage inside the finger. You might likewise require an MRI or CT scan to help your doctor to additional assess your injury.
Your treatment strategy will be determined based upon the intensity of your injury. Here are some steps to take if your injury is small and you’re able to treat it at home:
- Apply ice for 15 minutes each hour to lower the swelling. If you don’t have ice, you can soak the finger in cold water instead.
- Keep your finger raised above chest level.
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) to ease any pain.
If the finger looks like it runs out the joint, don’t pull on it. Rather, keep the finger in place by splinting it. A splint is a piece of metal or foam that twists around your finger and keeps it in place. Holding your finger still with a splint prevents you from injuring it even more.
You can likewise paralyze your hurt finger by taping it to the neighboring finger. This is called buddy strapping. A doctor can splint or buddy strap your finger if you ‘d rather not do it yourself.
Keep the finger splinted or strapped until it no longer injures. This can take about one to 2 weeks.
For more major injuries, see a doctor. You might require surgery if you have a bone fracture or a torn ligament or tendon.
After the injury has recovered, exercise or physical treatment can help you regain complete movement of the impacted finger. To strengthen the finger, you can practice making a fist, squeezing a ball, or holding objects in your hand.
Most of the time a jammed finger will get better by itself within a week or two. However even with treatment, your finger might stay inflamed or sensitive for lots of months.
During recovery, try to utilize the finger as little as possible while it recovers. Take a break from sports or other activities that could worsen your injury.
When your finger has recovered, you ought to be able to correct it with no pain.
You’ll have the best chance for a full healing if you follow the care instructions from your doctor and physiotherapist. Without the right treatment, you can have long-term damage and difficulty moving the finger.
If you have any concerns about your diagnosis or treatment plan, see your physician. The faster they can make a right diagnosis and administer the right treatment, the much faster your finger will recover.