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Finger Dislocation(Dislocated finger; Dislocation, Finger)
Definition

A finger dislocation is when the a finger bone is out of place. A dislocation also often involves stretching or damage to the ligaments. Ligaments are strong bands of fiber that help hold bones in place. Dislocation can happen in any of the finger joints.

Finger Dislocation With Swelling

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Causes

A dislocated finger is usually caused by:

  • A jamming force applied to the end of the finger
  • Finger being forcefully twisted or bent
  • Finger being overextended (bent backward)
Risk Factors

Factors that increase your risk of dislocation include:

  • Contact sports
  • Previous finger dislocation or sprain
  • Medical conditions or disease that make ligaments weak or loose such as Ehlers-Danlos or Marfan syndrome
Symptoms

Symptoms may include:

  • Severe pain
  • Crooked or awkwardly bent shape finger
  • Swelling and bruising in the injured area
  • Numbness and/or tingling
  • Inability to bend or straighten the finger
Diagnosis

You will be asked about your symptoms and how the injury occurred. The injured finger will also be examined.

Your doctor may order an x-ray . This can help rule out broken bones. It may also be used to make sure the bone is back in the correct place.

Treatment
Emergency Care

Seek medical care right away. Do not try to put your finger bones back into place. If you wait for treatment, you could cause permanent damage.

The doctor will move the finger bones back into place. A local anesthesia may be used to help reduce pain. Your finger may then be placed in a splint or taped to the healthy finger. For severe injuries or ones that can not be moved back into place, a cast or surgery may be needed.

Prevention

To help prevent a finger dislocation, wear proper padding and safety equipment when participating in sports. Work with a coach or other professional to learn proper techniques and safety steps.

RESOURCES:

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
http://orthoinfo.aaos.org

The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
http://www.sportsmed.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Canadian Orthopaedic Association
http://www.coa-aco.org

Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
http://www.canorth.org

References:

Dislocated finger. Sports Injury Clinic website. Available at: http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/sport-injuries/wrist-pain/dislocated-finger. Accessed September 25, 2014.

Finger (PIP joint) dislocation. National Center for Emergency Medicine Informatics website. Available at: http://www.ncemi.org/cse/cse0926.htm. Accessed September 25, 2014.

PIP dislocation. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated April 14, 2014. Accessed September 25, 2014.

10/26/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Massey T, Derry S, Moore R, McQuay H. Topical NSAIDs for acute pain in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;(6):CD007402.



Last reviewed August 2014 by Michael Woods, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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