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Finger Dislocation

(Dislocated finger; Dislocation, Finger)

Definition

A finger dislocation is when the a finger bone is out of place. A dislocation also often involves stretching or damage to the ligaments. Ligaments are strong bands of fiber that help hold bones in place. Dislocation can happen in any of the finger joints.
Finger Dislocation With Swelling
Nucleus factsheet image
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Causes

A dislocated finger is usually caused by:
  • A jamming force applied to the end of the finger
  • Finger being forcefully twisted or bent
  • Finger being overextended (bent backward)

Risk Factors

Factors that increase your risk of dislocation include:
  • Contact sports
  • Previous finger dislocation or sprain
  • Medical conditions or disease that make ligaments weak or loose such as Ehlers-Danlos or Marfan syndrome

Symptoms

Symptoms may include:
  • Severe pain
  • Crooked or awkwardly bent shape finger
  • Swelling and bruising in the injured area
  • Numbness and/or tingling
  • Inability to bend or straighten the finger

Diagnosis

You will be asked about your symptoms and how the injury occurred. The injured finger will also be examined.
Your doctor may order an x-ray . This can help rule out broken bones. It may also be used to make sure the bone is back in the correct place.

Treatment

Emergency Care

Seek medical care right away. Do not try to put your finger bones back into place. If you wait for treatment, you could cause permanent damage.
The doctor will move the finger bones back into place. A local anesthesia may be used to help reduce pain. Your finger may then be placed in a splint or taped to the healthy finger. For severe injuries or ones that can not be moved back into place, a cast or surgery may be needed.

Prevention

To help prevent a finger dislocation, wear proper padding and safety equipment when participating in sports. Work with a coach or other professional to learn proper techniques and safety steps.

RESOURCES

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://orthoinfo.aaos.org

The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine http://www.sportsmed.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org

Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://www.canorth.org

References

Dislocated finger. Sports Injury Clinic website. Available at: http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/sport-injuries/wrist-pain/dislocated-finger. Accessed September 25, 2014.

Finger (PIP joint) dislocation. National Center for Emergency Medicine Informatics website. Available at: http://www.ncemi.org/cse/cse0926.htm. Accessed September 25, 2014.

PIP dislocation. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated April 14, 2014. Accessed September 25, 2014.

10/26/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Massey T, Derry S, Moore R, McQuay H. Topical NSAIDs for acute pain in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;(6):CD007402.

Revision Information

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