Sprain of the Finger

Your hands and wrists are essential tools that allow you to work, play and perform everyday activities. How well the hand and wrist interact depends on the integrity and function of the ligaments, tendons, muscles, joints and bones.

Problems in any of these can affect upper extremity function, causing disruptions at home and work and negatively impacting quality of life.

The human hand itself is very complex and delicate in structure.  At some time in life, you may experience hand or wrist pain.

Finger sprains and dislocations are common injuries.

Both sprains and dislocations cause damage to the ligaments that support the finger joints — in more severe injuries, a dislocation may occur, necessitating the finger to be “put back into place” or “reduced.”

Finger Sprain

Finger sprains are injuries that cause a stretching and tearing of the ligaments of the fingers or thumb. The most common causes of finger sprains are sports injuries and falls onto your hand. Often, the finger bends unusually, causing the ligament injury and subsequent pain.

How is a finger sprain treated?

Finger sprains are often splinted or buddy-taped (taped to an adjacent finger) for a short period of time. So long as there was no fracture or dislocation, most finger sprains should be allowed to move within about a week.

Splinting the sprained finger during sports can help protect the injury, but unnecessarily splinting the finger can cause it to stiffen up.

You should discuss with your doctor when to begin finger movements.

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