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Broken Finger

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broken finger 4

Media file 5: Broken finger. This x-ray illustrates a common fracture of the distal phalanx. It is an injury where the distal phalanx is forced toward the palm and resisted by the pull of the extensor tendon. This is very common in sporting events in which a ball strikes the end of the finger (often called mallet finger). These injuries are either bony (as seen) or involve ligaments. Treatment is splinting or surgical pinning of the distal phalanx. This injury may take a long time to heal and must be watched closely. Despite every effort to heal, a residual lag may continue after treatment. This usually is cosmetic only and does not affect grip strength.

broken finger 5

Media file 6: Broken finger. This is an x-ray of an oblique (diagonal) fracture of a metacarpal. These injuries occur from a twisting or crush injury to the hand. They are common to machining and workplace injuries as well as direct trauma. There are many different muscles and tendons that may accentuate this fracture causing shortening or angulation toward the palm. Treatment may consist of either casting with close observation or a surgical procedure for stability of the fracture. This would depend on the severity of the fracture seen on the x-ray.

Synonyms and Keywords

finger injuries, digit, phalanx, metacarpal, index finger, long finger, ring finger, small finger, thumb fracture, mallet finger, finger infection, broken finger

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WebMD Medical Reference from eMedicineHealth

Reviewed on August 10, 2005

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