Finger fracture

Hands | Orthopaedics | Finger fracture (Disease)


A fracture is a broken bone. Many types of fractures can occur in a finger; the type is determined by the direction of the break and whether or not the skin was torn by a broken bone projecting through the skin. If the bone is projecting through the skin, the fracture is termed an open fracture. A closed fracture is one in which the bones do not break through the skin. Further, it is possible to break more than one bone in a finger. This type of fracture is known as a comminuted fracture.

Causes and Risk factors

Finger fractures account for about 10 percent of all fractures. Sports injuries are the most common cause of finger fractures.

A true fracture usually will be painful, but a broken finger may still have some range of motion and dull pain, and the individual may still be able to move it. Usually within 5-10 minutes, swelling and bruising of the finger will occur and the finger will stiffen. Swelling may affect the adjacent fingers as well.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The fingers are commonly fractured and the treatment needed is dependent on the severity of the fracture. If the broken bone punctures the skin (open fracture) antibiotics will be needed to prevent an infection of the bone (osteomyelitis). If there is a loss of alignment with the fracture the bones will be put back in place and splinted. Severe fractures may have an associated tendon, nerve or blood vessel injury. Sometimes surgery is needed to realign the bones and to place a screw or wire to stabilize the bones while they heal. ...

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