A sprained finger is a condition where the finger is bent in such a way causing damage to the ligaments which attaches the bones together.
What are the degrees of a sprained finger?
- 1st degree- mild pain and affects the stretched ligaments but not torn. It is characterized by pain and swelling around the joint; limited ability to flex or extend the finger.
- 2nd degree – moderate pain, more damage to the ligament and the joint capsule. It causes partial tear on the tissue. The pain is more intense; swelling and spreads to the full finger; limited range of movement of the affected finger and mild instability of the joint.
- 3rd degree – severe tearing and rupture of the ligament. Severe pain and swelling; full or partial dislocation of the finger, the affected finger becomes unstable and discoloration of the finger.
Other accompanying symptoms that might be present include:
- Swelling and redness
- Incapable of extending, straighten or bend the fingers
- Severe pain when moving or using the finger
- Excessive bending of the finger or bent in the wrong direction
- Bending of the fingers backward or hyperextension
- Accidentally bending the fingers while playing basketball
- Jamming the fingers into equipment such as ball or into another person.
- Falling on the hand and having weak ligaments
- Take plenty of rest for fast healing of the area.
- Apply an ice pack on the affected area for at least 15 minutes at a time on the first 24 hours after the injury to lessen the swelling the inflammation and the pain.
- Compress the area using an elastic compression bandage and wrapped around the affected finger. It supports the area and lessens the swelling. Avoid wrapping it too tight to prevent problems with circulation.
- Elevate the area above the level of the heart on the first 24 hours after the injury to lessen the pain and the swelling. Use a sling to keep fingers elevated while standing or walking. While lying or sitting down, place the hand in couple of pillows to keep it elevated.
- Prescribed over-the-counter pain medications to lessen the pain and the inflammation.
- Splint the affected finger in a slightly flexed or downward curving position for at least 5-7 days. After the splint is removed, buddy tape the area to finger next to it to prevent further irritations and makes it straighten as it heals.
- Perform regular finger stretches with the help of the physical therapist to increase flow of blood in the area and restore range of movement of the affected finger.
Disclaimer / More Information
The material posted on this page on a sprained finger is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize the signs and how it is managed by taking a first aid and CPR class with one of our training providers.