A finger dislocation occurs once the bones in a finger joint are driven out of position where it no longer functions normally. The injury generally occurs after sustaining a blow or strike such as a ball hitting the fingertip. Falling onto a finger or if the finger is trapped in an object can also result to the injury.
What are the signs?
- Finger pain
- Evident swelling of the affected finger
- Deformed or crooked appearance of the finger
- Inability to flex or straighten the finger
The doctor will assess the affected finger. In most cases, an X-ray is taken to assess if there is also a break in the finger.
Management of finger dislocation
The doctor will realign the dislocated finger bones. Generally, the finger is placed in a splint for a few weeks or tape to the adjacent finger which is called as buddy taping for several weeks.
When managing this injury, it involves the following:
- Apply an ice pack covered in a clean cloth or towel on the site of injury for 3-4 hours at 20-minute sessions until the discomfort settles.
- Raise the affected hand on a cushion if the individual is sitting or lying down.
- Provide an anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen that must be taken as instructed by the doctor.
The finger might appear evidently engorged with reduced strength and flexibility for several weeks. Oftentimes, the swollen joint might take weeks or months to settle and, in some cases, it can be permanent.
It is vital to continue with finger exercises during and after return to normal activities. These exercises help strengthen the finger as well as improve the range of motion.
Quick Note / Disclaimer
The material posted on this page on a finger dislocation is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize the signs of injury and how it is managed, register for a first aid and CPR course with Ottawa First Aid.