Contusion nail (swelling of finger and nail)

Hands | General Practice | Contusion nail (swelling of finger and nail) (Disease)


A patient with a finger contusion has a bruise to the soft tissues of the finger. A contusion is a swollen collection of blood that forms when blood vessels are damaged, usually due to an injury. A bruise is the most common type of contusion is. Blood that leaked into the tissue beneath the skin represents the color of a bruise. A blunt injury to the finger can result in pain and swelling of the nail and finger. If no blood develops under the nail the injury is called a nail contusion.

Fingernail contusions may be very painful because the fingernail limits the ability of the tissues to swell. If the blunt trauma is severe, the nail itself may lift off the nail bed or may no longer be intact.

Common symptoms of a finger contusion include finger pain, finger swelling, finger tenderness, bruising, and a collection of blood under the fingernail. Finger swelling may occur with other symptoms including: bruising or other discoloration; chills ; fatigue; fever; lumps or bumps along the finger; numbness or tingling from nerve compression; painful or tender areas.

Causes and risk factors

A swollen finger can be due to injury or trauma, infection, inflammatory conditions, and other abnormal processes. In some cases, a swollen finger is a symptom of a serious condition that should be immediately evaluated in an emergency setting, such as a broken bone or bacterial infection.

Diagnosis and Treatment

A history and physical exam will be performed. An X-ray may be done to identify an associated fracture. The finger and nail are protected from further injury. Symptoms are treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications and/or pain medications such as acetaminophen. ...