Treating a sprained or dislocated finger

Dislocations and injuries occur when ligaments that support a joint are stretched too far, thus causing the ligament tissues to get torn. If the damage to the supporting ligaments is significant, then the joint could come apart; now, this is called dislocation. Common causes of these are injuries resulting from sports, work or automobile accidents. It is always important to have your doctor evaluate the intensity of the injury to determine the severity of the injury before recommending for a treatment.

Finger sprains

These are fairly common and due to falls on your hands and sports injuries. The finger bends unusually and the ligament is injured and subsequently becomes painful. Any of the knuckle joints can suffer from finger sprains but they are common with the PIP (proximal interphalangeal) joint which is in the middle of the finger. With this condition, you could experience pain while moving the finger, some swelling around the knuckle and tenderness of the finger. Your doctor may recommend an X-ray, which is a standard procedure to ensure there is no bone fracture-these would require more invasive treatment.

Treating finger sprains

These are either splinted or buddy-taped for a short while. As long as there is no fracture or dislocation, finger sprains need to move for about a week or so. During the sports, you should try splinting the sprained finger to protect it from injury but this should be done carefully to avoid stiffness around the digit.

The doctor should guide you on the finger injury treatment process, when to begin and how to do finger movements. The sprained finger can also be iced, elevated in case of swelling, or you can take some anti-inflammatory medication. Some sprains may require a longer period of immobilization and evaluation by the therapist especially with a torn ligament.

Finger dislocations

This is a more severe injury to the digit and it involves the ligaments and the surrounding joint capsule, cartilage, and other tissues. To align the fingers after dislocation, you must put the joint back to its position. Relocating a finger could be a simple process of gently pulling the finger back to its position or in severe cases, an anesthetist may be involved to help do the procedure and where necessary, a surgical procedure may be done to correct the misnomer.

A finger sprain and dislocation are easy to treat most of the times. The healing process can take a week or so to heal. However, if the pain extends to a longer period, it’s not a cause for worry. Speak to your doctor who would make the right recommendation.