Broken Finger

  • Medical Author:
    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

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Broken finger facts

  • Finger fractures may account for up to 10% of all fractures.
  • The finger bones are named according to their relationship to the palm of the hand. The first bone, closest to the palm, is the proximal phalanx. The second bone is the middle phalanx. The smallest and farthest from the hand is the distal phalanx. The thumb does not have a middle phalanx.
  • Traumatic injury is the main cause of broken fingers, and it occurs from playing sports, workplace, injury, punching something, falls, or in other accidents.
  • The main symptoms of a broken finger are pain immediately after the trauma, and sometimes a deformed finger. If the trauma is severe, broken bones may be exposed through the soft tissues (called a compound fracture).
  • If pain or swelling limits the motion or use of the fingers, if the finger becomes numb, or if the injury includes a laceration, crushed tissue, or exposure of bone, seek medical care.
  • The mainstay of diagnosing finger fractures is an X-ray.
  • Treatment of broken fingers depends on the type of fracture and the particular bone in the finger that is injured. Surgery may be required for fractures causing significant deformity or involving a joint.
  • Complications of a broken finger can include join stiffness, rotation, nonunion, and infection.
  • After reduction, immobilization, and four to six weeks of healing, the prognosis for healing is excellent for a broken finger.
  • The best medicine for prevention of finger fractures is safety. Always use safety equipment when doing activities that may injure the hands.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/29/2015

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