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Finger Dislocation

Follow-up Care for a Dislocated Finger

Apply an ice pack to your dislocated finger for 20-30 minutes every 3-4 hours for the first 2-3 days or until the pain and swelling have subsided. This should lessen the pain and swelling that results from the finger dislocation.

  • Elevate your injured finger on several pillows while lying down or on the back of a couch or chair while sitting. This will help reduce swelling and the pain that results.
  • The doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication to help control the pain of your injury. Take only as directed by your doctor.
  • The doctor may refer you to a bone specialist in the week or so following your injury. The specialist will be able to monitor the healing process of your finger.
  • Your finger will be splinted for 3-6 weeks if the healing process goes well.
  • The doctor may give you exercises to perform during the healing process, which will help strengthen your finger and reduce the chance of decreased function of your finger.

How to Prevent a Finger jam

Finger jams are usually the result of an accident and accidents are not always preventable. When possible, however, you should avoid getting your finger stuck in objects such as athletic jerseys, basketball nets, and football helmets.

Wear protective gloves when possible.

Remove rings or other jewelry before participating in athletic events and when working with your hands, particularly around machinery.

Outlook for a Dislocated Finger

Most simple finger dislocations can be put back into place easily. Full function in the injured finger will usually return. Mild or moderate discomfort or disability can continue for 12-18 months. You may expect some permanent swelling or disfigurement of the injured joint.

Occasionally, a fragment of the dislocated joint or some surrounding tissue can become lodged between the displaced bones. This prevents the bones from going into place. Surgery may be necessary to put the bones into the correct position. Results of this surgery are usually very good, but some function may be lost.


WebMD Medical Reference from eMedicineHealth

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on April 25, 2014

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