Nonsurgical Finger Fracture/Sprain Treatment

Your Wisconsin Bone & Joint doctor will put your broken bone back into place, usually without surgery.

You will get a splint or cast to hold your finger straight and protect it from further injury while it heals.

Sometimes your doctor may splint the fingers next to the fractured one to provide additional support.

Your doctor will tell you how long to wear the splint. Usually a splint on a fractured finger is worn for about 3 weeks.

You may need more x-rays over this time so that your doctor can monitor the progress of your finger as it heals.

RICE.  The protocol is effective for most finger injuries.  RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.

Rest – Avoid using the injured finger.

Ice – Apply ice or a cold pack to your finger for 15-20 minutes, four times a day, for several days or until the pain and swelling goes away. Ice helps to reduce pain and swelling in the sprained finger. Wrap the ice or cold pack in a towel. Do not apply the ice directly to your skin.

Compression – Wrap an elastic compression bandage around your finger. This will limit swelling and support your finger. Be careful not to wrap too tightly or it can cut off the circulation to your finger.

Elevation – Try to hold the injured hand above the level of your heart as much as possible for the first several days or until the swelling goes down. (For example, up on a pillow). This will help drain fluid and reduce swelling.

Medication

In consultation with your doctor, consider taking one of the following over-the-counter (OTC) drugs to help reduce inflammation and pain:

  • Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)
  • Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn)
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Aspirin

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