Doctor insights on:
Heal A Jammed Finger
Long time: A jammed finger is a significant injury to a small joint. They are almost dislocations with partial tearing of ligaments and swelling of the joint. They can take 6-12 months to heal. They usually feel a lot better in a few weeks, but can remain swollen for a long time. If you have not regained full motion by 4-6 weeks, you should see a hand surgeon or hand therapist. ...Read more
Jammed finger: You need to make sure that there is no fracture nor any significant ligament or tendon injury. Check with your doctor to find out for sure. If diagnosis is correct, range of motion exercises are extremely important. Modalities to reduce swelling include ice, elevation, and nsaids. Heat helps warm up and loosen joint aiding in range of motion. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Most : Most jammed fingers are "sprains"--that is, torn ligaments around the "second" knuckle known as the proximal interphalangeal joint. Most of them are stable and heal well. For the typical sprain, a week of rest in a splint and early motion with "buddy taping" work quite well. Some minor swelling and aching with weather changes, however, may last for years. However, not all finger injuries are simple sprains. High grade sprains can cause instability and may require repair. These are relatively rare, but do need to be addressed. Small fractures can also occur. Most of them are not significant and we treat them the same as simple sprains. However, just last week, i had to pin a finger with a tiny fracture that caused rotation of the finger to where it overlapped its neighbor. Tendon injuries can also occur. If the far knuckle (distal interphalangeal joint) is injured, you can have a mallet finger--where the tip doesn't come straight. Those need to be kept straight for several weeks to get the tendon to heal or another deformity can occur, called a swan neck deformity. At the proximal interphalangeal joint, the exensor tendon can rupture, causing a boutonniere deformity. These can be difficult to diagnose in a fresh injury and i usually re-examine my patients about 2 weeks after injury to make sure they don't develop one. While most tendon injuries, when they occur, involve the extensors, flexor tendon injuries can occur as well. These are much more serious and can affect grip. An injury called a "jersey finger" (sometimes "rugger jersey finger") needs to be repaired most of the time. Any significant finger injury should be evaluated by a physician, preferably a hand surgeon. X-rays will show a fracture and careful examination of the structures can find any associated injuries. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Buddy tape: Taping is usually not terribly effective for a " jammed finger", but when we do tape them, we will typically buddy tape the finger to the one beside it. This involves using two thin strips of tape and taping your injured finger to the one next to it above and below the injured joint. This allows you to still move it, but offers some limited support. ...Read more
X-Ray + time: You can't tell a jammed or sprained finger from a broken finger just by looking. You need an x-ray. Even if you can move it, it may still be broken. Treatment for a sprain is very different from a fracture. Get it checked out. If x-ray is negative, then time will usually heal the finger, but it may take 6 months or more to feel better. ...Read more
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