Broken finger


Overview of broken finger

A broken finger is a common injury that happens when one of the bones in your finger is fractured.

At Dignity Health, we offer complete care for bone fractures and broken fingers as a part of our orthopedic services. Find a doctor near you today.

Symptoms

Depending on the severity of your injury and how many bones are involved, symptoms may include:

  • Bruising or bleeding
  • Deformity
  • Pain or tenderness
  • Redness or warmth
  • Stiffness or difficulty moving the finger
  • Swelling

Though finger fractures may seem minor, a fracture has the potential to disrupt the precise alignment of the hand bones. In the future, this can cause pain or difficulty with fine motor control. If you are experiencing these symptoms, consult a medical professional. Without treatment, your finger and hand pain may last, worsen, or lead to difficulty with movement.

Causes

In most cases, broken fingers are the result of some type of falling accident or injury while playing sports. Finger fractures typically occur in sports such as basketball, baseball, and football. Simple daily activities such as slamming your finger in a door or putting your hand out to catch a fall can also result in broken fingers.

Underlying bone conditions such as osteoporosis can mean that your bones are weaker, and you are more likely to break a finger.

Types

A fractured finger may be a partial or complete break. It is possible to break more than one bone in a finger.

Fractures can also be described as closed or open. In a closed fracture, the bones do not break through the skin. If bones are poking through the skin, this is called an open fracture and should be cared for immediately.

Risk factors

The causes and risk factors of breaking a finger are primarily the same. Your risk of breaking a finger is increased if you play sports. Activities such as football, volleyball, basketball, and other sports where your finger could be jammed by a ball, put you at a higher risk of experiencing a broken finger.

Additionally, osteoporosis, which is a condition that weakens your bones, may put you at increased risk for breaking any bone, including your fingers.

Prevention

Most events that lead to broken fingers are unforeseen accidents. It is therefore difficult to totally prevent a broken finger. You can, however, take steps to build up bone strength, try to prevent falls, and wear the proper protective equipment during sports.

To build up bone strength, eat a balanced diet with calcium and vitamin D, get sufficient weight-bearing exercise, and do not smoke. Wearing the proper protective gear for your sports can help protect your hands and fingers if you fall onto them.

The information contained in this article is meant for educational purposes only and should not replace advice from your healthcare provider.