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Finger, Hand, and Wrist Injuries

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Home Treatment

First aid for a suspected broken bone

  • If a bone is sticking out of the skin, do not try to push it back into the skin. Cover the area with a clean bandage.
  • Control bleeding camera.gif.
  • Remove all rings or bracelets camera.gif. It may be hard to remove the jewelry once swelling occurs, which in turn can cause other serious problems, such as nerve compression or restricted blood flow.
  • Free a trapped finger or hand from an object, such as a pipe, toy, or jar.
  • Splint camera.gif the injured area without trying to straighten the injured limb. Loosen the wrap around the splint if signs develop that indicate the wrap is too tight, such as numbness, tingling, increased pain, swelling, or cool skin below the wrap. A problem called compartment syndrome can develop.

Home treatment for a sore or sprained finger

  • Use rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) for pain and swelling.
  • If you do not have diabetes or peripheral arterial disease, a sore or sprained finger can be "buddy-taped" to the uninjured finger next to it. Protect the skin by putting some soft padding, such as felt or foam, between your fingers before you tape them together. The injured finger may need to be buddy-taped for 2 to 4 weeks to heal. If your injured finger hurts more after you have buddy-taped it, remove the tape. Then check your symptoms again. Caution: Never splint a finger in a completely straight position, such as on a Popsicle stick. For proper healing, the finger should be slightly bent and in a relaxed position.
  • Stop, change, or take a break from activities that cause your symptoms.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: October 11, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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