Definition

What is dislocated finger?

Finger dislocation is a common injury. It occurs when the bones of the finger are moved (dislocated) from their normal position. A dislocated finger can occur in any of the joints of any finger, but it occurs most often in the middle knuckle of the little, ring, middle, or index finger.

How common is dislocated finger?

Dislocated finger is extremely common. It can affect patients at any age. It can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Symptoms

What are the symptoms of dislocated finger?

A dislocated finger is usually obvious. The finger appears crooked, swollen, and is very painful. It may be bent upward or at strange angles. You probably won’t be able to bend or straighten the finger if it is dislocated. Also:

  • Numbness or tingling with a severe dislocation.
  • The injured finger may appear a pale color.
  • The dislocation may cause a break in the skin where the injury has occurred. If this occurs, you should get medical attention right away.

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

When you have a dislocated finger, you should see a doctor at once. Delaying a visit to your doctor for a finger dislocation can make final treatment more difficult and can lead to delayed healing or permanent disability.

Seek medical attention immediately if there is any loss of sensation (numbness), if there are any open areas of skin, or if the finger is cold, pale, or bluish in color.

Causes

What causes dislocated finger?

A dislocated finger is caused by a “jamming” force to be applied to the end of the finger, or the finger may be forcefully overextended. Either of these situations, or a combination of both, can result in a dislocation. For example:

  • During sports activities, a basketball or baseball may strike the tip of an outstretched finger.
  • Your finger might get caught in equipment such as a game jersey or pads.
  • You might fall onto your outstretched hand.

Risk factors

What increases my risk for dislocated finger?

Please consult your doctor for more information.

Diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is dislocated finger diagnosed?

The doctor will first examine the finger you have injured. He or she may X-ray the finger to confirm the dislocation and look for any broken bones.

How is dislocated finger treated?

The doctor may realign the dislocated bones of your finger with a simple technique. This will often require a local anesthetic injection into the finger to help decrease or stop the pain and allow the doctor to reduce the dislocation and realign the bones. You may also receive medications by mouth, injection, or IV to help the pain and ease the reduction.

Your injured finger will then be placed in a protective splint or be “buddy taped” to the healthy finger next to it.

The doctor may get a second x-ray to confirm the realignment of your finger and to check for any broken bones that may not have shown up on the first X-ray.

 

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage dislocated finger?

It is not recommended that you treat a finger dislocation at home. A visit to your doctor or the emergency department is usually necessary.

If you have a dislocated finger, the finger will swell. To prevent further injury to the finger, immediately remove any jewelry, such as rings.

Apply an ice pack to your injured finger and elevate the hand above the level of your heart.

To prevent dislocated finger:

  • Finger dislocations are usually the result of an accident and accidents are not always preventable. When possible, however, you should avoid getting your finger stuck in objects such as athletic jerseys, basketball nets, and football helmets.
  • Wear protective gloves when possible.
  • Remove rings or other jewelry before participating in athletic events and when working with your hands, particularly around machinery.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

 

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: October 27, 2017 | Last Modified: October 27, 2017

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